Seven Super Bowl appearances in 16 seasons. It's a stunning legacy left behind by Bill Belichick, who was head coach for all of them. With nearly half a regular-season load's worth of Super Bowls under their belt in the Belichick-Brady era, we decided to look at the Patriots' all-time Super Bowl team.
This list just includes stats and performances from the Super Bowl itself, not the rest of the playoffs. Take a look and tell us what you think.
Winslow TownsonUSA TODAY Sports
QB: Tom Brady
Super Bowls: 6
Stats: The unquestioned on-field leader of the Patriots dynasty, Brady has been at the helm of all six (going on seven) of New England's Super Bowls in the 2000s, putting up stats —164-247, 1,605 yards, 13 TDs, 4 INTs — that would be MVP-worthy in a regular season, not to mention against the best in the NFL. He was named the game's MVP three times.
Winslow TownsonUSA TODAY Sports
RBs: Antowain Smith, Kevin Faulk
Super Bowls: 2 (Smith), 4 (Faulk)
Stats: Smith (pictured) boasts the highest two single-game rushing totals in Patriots Super Bowl history, gaining 92 yards in 2001 and 83 in 2003 in 44 total carries. He also recorded a touchdown in the Super Bowl XXXVIII win over the Panthers. Faulk gets the second spot on longevity — he played in four Patriots Super Bowls, amassing 199 yards on the ground and through the air.
Focus on SportGetty Images
WRs: Deion Branch, Troy Brown
Super Bowls: 3 (Branch), 3 (Brown)
Stats: Branch’s (pictured) 321 total Super Bowl receiving yards are best in team history, and his two top performances — 143 yards and the opening touchdown in 2003, 133 yards in 2004 (winning MVP honors for the latter) — are the two highest single-game totals. He also had 45 yards in the 2011 loss to the Giants. You could argue Wes Welker for the second spot, but Brown’s 182 total receiving yards are second on the list, and he played in three wins as opposed to two losses. Julian Edelman could well bump out Brown, too, with another big game on Feb. 5 — he had 9 catches for 109 yards and the game-winning TD in the Patriots’ win over the Seahawks in 2014.
Getty ImagesGetty Images
TE: Rob Gronkowski
Super Bowls: 2
Stats: Gronk had just 2 catches for 26 yards in 2011's loss to the Giants, but he earned his spot on this list with his performance in 2014 against the Seahawks, catching 6 for 68 yards and a TD in the win.
Kevin C. CoxGetty Images
OLs: Matt Light, Logan Mankins, Dan Koppen, Joe Andruzzi, Sebastian Vollmer
Super Bowls: 5 (Light), 3 (Koppen, Andruzzi), 2 (Mankins, Vollmer)
Stats: Light anchored the all-important left tackle spot through Brady’s first five Super Bowls. Koppen, the center, and Andruzzi, who played at each guard spot, are the only other offensive linemen to have played in more than two Patriots Super Bowls. Mankins (pictured) and Vollmer’s two appearances at left guard and right tackle are the most at those positions.
David Butler IIUSA TODAY Sports
DLs: Richard Seymour, Vince Wilfork, Rob Ninkovich
Super Bowls: 4 (Seymour, Wilfork), 2 (Ninkovich)
Stats: Seymour was a terror over the span of four games, recording 14 tackles and notching two sacks. Wilfork (pictured) was his usual steady presence in the middle. Ninkovich had eight tackles and a critical sack of Russell Wilson in 2014, as well as 4 tackles and a half-sack in 2011.
Melina VastolaUSA TODAY Sports
LBs: Mike Vrabel, Tedy Bruschi, Willie McGinest, Adalius Thomas
Super Bowls: 5 (Bruschi), 4 (Vrabel, McGinest), 1 (Thomas)
Stats: Vrabel was Mr. Everything, racking up 16 tackles, 3 sacks a forced fumble and two touchdowns as a goal-line pass-catcher in his four games. Bruschi (pictured) piled up 23 tackles. McGinest is the only Patriot to record a sack in three separate Super Bowls. After those three and the three DLs above, it’s anyone’s pick for a seventh member of the defensive front. We’ll go with Thomas, who was a force in his lone Super Bowl (albeit a loss), recording five tackles, two sacks, and forcing a fumble out of Eli Manning in 2011.
DBs: Rodney Harrison, Ty Law, Malcolm Butler, Randall Gay
Super Bowls: 3 (Harrison, Law), 1 (Butler, Gay)
Stats: Harrison’s (pictured) 28 tackles in three games are the most in franchise history, as are his two picks in a single game in 2004. Detractors will point out that he defended David Tyree during the infamous helmet catch in 2011, but it’s hardly enough to cost him his place on this list. Ty Law also played in three Super Bowls and returned an interception for a touchdown in the 2001 win over the Rams. Gay was huge in the 2004 win, making 11 tackles and forcing a key fumble. Butler is on here on the strength of one play, but there was arguably no bigger play in Patriots Super Bowl history — his goal-line interception of Russell Wilson in the final seconds sealed Super Bowl XLIX.
Jim RogashGetty Images
K: Adam Vinatieri
Super Bowls: 4
Stats: A perfect 11 for 11 on extra points. Just 6 for 9 on field goals, but two of the makes were the biggest in franchise history — he hit game-winners in the final seconds in each of the Patriots’ first two Super Bowl wins. His three extra points and one field goal proved pretty huge in their third Super Bowl win too, a three-point win over the Eagles in 2004.
This content is subject to copyright.AFP/Getty Images