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SB # XXXIX — Patriots 24, Eagles 21

Super Bowl 39
 

Super Bowl XXXIX was an American footballgame played between the American Football Conference (AFC) champion New England Patriots and the National Football Conference(NFC) champion Philadelphia Eagles to decide theNational Football League (NFL) champion for the2004 season. The Patriots defeated the Eagles by the score of 24–21. The game was played on February 6, 2005, at Alltel Stadium (now EverBank Field) in Jacksonville, Florida, the first time the Super Bowl was played in that city.


The Patriots, who entered the Super Bowl after compiling a 14–2 regular season record, became the first team since the 19971998 Denver Broncos to win consecutive Super Bowls.[5] New England also became the second team after the Dallas Cowboys[6] to win three Super Bowls in four years. The Eagles were making their second Super Bowl appearance after posting a 13–3 regular season record.


The game was close throughout, with the teams battling to a 14–14 tie by the end of the third quarter. The Patriots then scored 10 points in the 4th quarter with Corey Dillon's 2-yard touchdown run and Adam Vinatieri's 22-yard field goal. The Eagles then cut their deficit to 24–21, with quarterback Donovan McNabb's 30-yard touchdown pass to receiver Greg Lewis, with 1:48 remained in the game but could not sustain the comeback. Overall, New England forced four turnovers, while Patriots wide receiver Deion Branch was named Super Bowl MVP for recording 133 receiving yards and tied the Super Bowl record with 11 catches.[7] Because he recorded 10 catches during the previous year's Super Bowl, he also set the record for the most combined receptions in 2 consecutive Super Bowls (21). Branch was the third offensive player ever to win Super Bowl MVP honors without scoring a touchdown or throwing a touchdown pass. The other two players were Joe Namath in Super Bowl III and Fred Biletnikoff in Super Bowl XI.[5]
 

To avoid the possibility of an incident similar to theSuper Bowl XXXVIII halftime show during the previous year, the league selected Paul McCartney as a "safe" choice to perform during Super Bowl XXXIX's halftime. The broadcast of the game on Fox was watched by an estimated 86 million viewers.