New England Patriots Super Bowl Champs

Top 10 Greatest Playoff Games in Patriots History

The Pats are looking to add another legacy Sunday when they take on the Ravens in the 2011 AFC Title game. They have played a ton of playoff games over the years, and today we take a look at the Top 10 games the Pats have played in the playoffs over the years.

10. 1996 Divisional Playoff Game vs Steelers 28-3

The Steelers had beaten the Colts the week before in the AFC Wild Card game, and the following Sunday they rolled into Foxboro against a very ready Patriots team. It was just the second time in their history they had hosted a playoff game, and they gave the fans a treat.

Playing in a fog, the Pats run game ran all over the Steelers, as they used Curtis Martin for a pair of scores, including a 78-yard TD run. Keith Byars ran in a 34-yard screen pass for a touchdown and Martin torched past eight defenders at his 22 for the long TD run and a 21–0 Patiots halftime lead; Martin would add a 23-yard score in the fourth to cap a 166-yard rushing day.

9. 1963 Divisional Playoff Win Over Buffalo 26-8

There wasn’t a ton to remember about this game, other than that it was the first ever Pats playoff win. They beat the Bills 26-8 at the War Memorial Stadium, and put up a solid day through the air with QB Babe Parilli going for 300 yards through the air with a pair of scores. Larry Garron had four grabs for 120 yards with two scores in the win. The team lost the following week to the Chargers 51-10 in the AFL Title game.

8. 2006 Divisional Playoff Win Over the Chargers 24-21

San Diego was expected to be able to have their way with the Pats, having gone 14-2 in the regular season and having the week off before. Instead, a couple of wacky plays helped the Pats stay in the game, and in the end, a missed field goal by Nate Kaeding gave the Pats the win. The Pats D stepped up to hold Philip Rivers to 230 yards through the air with a pick, while Tom Brady threw for 280 yards with two TD’s and three picks in the win.

7. 2004 AFC Title Game Win Over the Steelers 41-27

The Pats were beat up by the Steelers earlier in the season on Halloween, but this time around in the biggest game of the year – they were ready. They came out and ran right past the stunned Steelers for a 41-27 win that was highlighted by a big day for Deion Branch who had 4 grabs for 116 yards with a score. Tom Brady threw for 207 yards and two scores, and Rodney Harrison had an 87-yard pick six of Ben Roethlisberger. It was the second time in four years the Pats celebrated a title win at Heinz Field.

6. 2003 Divisional Win Over the Titans 17-14

The coldest game in Pats history, the Titans were frozen solid as the Pats earned a hard fought 17-14 win to move on to the AFC Title game against the Colts. Adam Vinatieri saved the day with a 46-yard field goal to break the 14-14 tie with just over four minutes left to take home the win. Temps during the game dipped to two degrees — with a wind chill of 11 below. The Pats through were hot enough to win the game and move on against Steve McNair and company.

5. Super Bowl XXXIX 24-21 Win Over Eagles

The Pats arrived in Jacksonville ready to take home their third Super Bowl title, and it paid off with a tough 3-point win over the Eagles. The trickery in the title game paid off, as Mike Vrabel caught a TD, and Deion Branch, who recorded 133 receiving yards and tied the Super Bowl record with 11 catches was the MVP. The defense did enough to hold off an Eagles rally, and it would be the final game for the coaching staff that included Bill Belichick, Romeo Crennel and Charlie Weis.

4. 1985 AFC Title Game Win Over Miami 31-14

Many were calling for a Bears-Dolphins Super Bowl XX rematch, but the Pats spoiled the party, squishing the fish in Miami to move on to the Super Bowl. The Patriots converted 6 Dolphins turnovers into 24 points, and running back Craig James was the man on offense, rushing for a career postseason high 105 yards of the Patriots 255 total rushing yards in a game played in a steady rain. The Pats celebrated on the Fins field, sending Don Shula and Dan Marino home a loser.

3. 2001 Divisional Playoff Win Over Oakland 16-13

The game that will forever be remembered for the “tuck rule,” the Pats got a huge night from kicker Adam Vinatieri, who kicked a 45 yarder to tie it in the final seconds, and a 23 yarder in OT to win it. Many still think that the Raiders were robbed, but like it or not, it was a game that started a legacy, as the Pats would beat the Steelers the next week to move on to their first Super Bowl since 1985.

2. Super Bowl XXXVIII 32-29 Win over Carolina

In a game that started as a defensive battle it turned into an offensive shootout highlighted by huge plays by both teams in the second half. The two teams combined to score 37 points in the fourth quarter, with the Pats scoring 18 while the Panthers scored 19. The Pats through got the most important points – the last three, with the game tied at 29. Adam Vinatieri kicked a perfect 41-yard field goal on a 6 plays 37 yard drive in the final 1:04.

1. Super Bowl XXXVI 20-17 Win Over the Rams

A miracle year ended with a miracle win, as the Pats were heavy underdogs, and totally outplayed future Hall of Fame QB Kurt Warner and the Rams with a tough D that held St.Louis’ “Greatest Show on Turf” in check. Tom Brady, the QB out of nowhere, led the team on a game-winning drive after the Rams had tied the game. Brady, who was the MVP, was 16 of 27 passes for 145 yards with a touchdown.

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