What’s your favorite date on the calendar? For the New England Patriots, Feb. 1 has to be the leader in the clubhouse.
On seven occasions in the last 16 years, turning the calendar from January to February has meant preparing for another Patriots appearance in the Super Bowl. In two instances, that Super Bowl has landed on the same date: Feb. 1.
And New England is a perfect 2-0, with wins in arguably two of the greatest Super Bowls ever.
First, let’s flash back to Feb. 1, 2004, when the Patriots faced the Carolina Panthers in Super Bowl XXXVIII. It was a back-and-forth barn burner, with the Panthers tying the score with just 1:08 remaining in regulation. But that was all the time Tom Brady needed to march New England’s offense down the field, setting up Adam Vinatieri for a 41-yard field goal with four seconds remaining to give the Pats a thrilling 32-29 win.
Fast-forward to 11 years later, when New England met the mighty Seattle Seahawks in Super Bowl XLIX on Feb. 1, 2015. As in Super Bowl XXXVIII, the game came down to the last drive — but this time, the Patriots’ defense played hero.
Rookie cornerback Malcolm Butler intercepted Russell Wilson’s pass at New England’s 1-yard line with 20 seconds remaining, sealing an incredible 28-24 win and giving Brady and head coach Bill Belichick their fourth Super Bowl title together.
The Patriots have to wait four more days before battling the Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl LI in Houston. But let’s just say this is a good time of year for Patriots memories, with the first of the month at the top of the list.
Thumbnail photo via Kyle Terada/USA TODAY Sports Images