- Tom Jackson, NFL studio analyst
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Here's my take on what we saw in Super Bowl XXXVIII:
Offensive player of the game:
Patriots quarterback Tom Brady. Completed 32 of 48 passes for 354 yards and three scores (1 INT) and led his team downfield in the closing minute once again as the Patriots broke the Panthers' hearts.
Defensive player of the game:
Patriots outside linebacker Mike Vrabel. The one-time Buckeye recorded six tackles, two sacks, forced a fumble and caught a touchdown pass from quarterback Tom Brady in New England's wild win.
Special teams player of the game:
Patriots placekicker Adam Vinatieri. Although he missed one field goal and had another deflected, he was clutch in the final seconds as Bill Belichick's team won another Super Bowl.
Number of the game:
323 -- Panthers quarterback Jake Delhomme's passing yards (plus three TDs) in Super Bowl XXXVIII, the second-most passing yards in a losing effort in the big game. The most in a loss: Kurt Warner vs. the Pats in Super Bowl XXXVI.
Surprise of the game:
The Patriots ran the ball 35 times (within 83 offensive plays), while Carolina totaled only 16 running plays.
Store it away:
With two Super Bowl titles in three years and a pair of first- and second-round draft choices this April, the Patriots have the look of a team that may beat the odds of free agency.
Tom Jackson is an NFL analyst for ESPN.
With so many draft choices this April, the Patriots have the look of a team that may beat the odds of free agency.