Patriots 32, Panthers 29

Patriots claim second Super Bowl win thriller vs. Panthers

The Patriots won their second Super Bowl in three years, 32-29, and 15th consecutive game on Adam Vinatieri’s 41-yard field goal with four seconds to go against Carolina.

Rodney Harrison, who broke his arm during the game, celebrates the Patriots' win in Super Bowl XXXVIII against the Panthers.

Jim Davis/Globe Staff

Rodney Harrison, who broke his arm during the game, celebrates the Patriots' win in Super Bowl XXXVIII against the Panthers.

Tom Brady led the Patriots to their second championship in three seasons with three touchdown passes in a wild, back-and-forth game.

Matthew J. Lee/Globe Staff

Tom Brady led the Patriots to their second championship in three seasons with three touchdown passes in a wild, back-and-forth game.

Adam Vinatieri again provided the winning margin with a field goal in the final seconds.

AP

Adam Vinatieri, right, again provided the winning margin with a field goal in the final seconds.

Matt Chatham and the Patriots ended the season with 15 straight victories and an overall record of 17-2.

Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Matt Chatham and the Patriots ended the season with 15 straight victories and an overall record of 17-2.

Brady, 26, won Super Bowl MVP honors for the second time.

John Bohn/Globe Staff

Brady, 26, won Super Bowl MVP honors for the second time.

Bill Belichick, head coach of the New England Patriots holds the Vince Lombardi trophy after winning Super Bowl XXXVIII, 01 February 2004 at Reliant Stadium in Houston, Texas. The Patriots beat the Carolina Panthers 32-29 to win the game. AFP PHOTO/Jeff HAYNES ORG XMIT: JTH05 2004patsedit

Jeff Haynes/AFP/GETTY IMAGES

Patriots coach Bill Belichick matched his mentor, Bill Parcells, with two NFL titles as a head coach.

Bob Ryan

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2012/01/05/BostonGlobe.com/Sports/Images/ryan90-1506.png Perhaps the greatest Super Bowl ever played

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is why a couple of billion people around the globe are hooked on sport.

Michael Holley

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2012/01/05/BostonGlobe.com/Sports/Images/brady-1507--90x90.jpg These Patriots among greatest NFL teams ever

It is now OK to place the New England Patriots in a historical sentence that few teams are able to utter. The Patriots are great. Swallow it straight, with no chaser.

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2012/01/05/BostonGlobe.com/Sports/Images/X00132_9-1531[11]-1506--90x90.jpg Bill Belichick now in pantheon of great NFL coaches

Belichick finally allowed himself to smile, to cheer, to show emotion. He allowed himself to mention winning 15 straight games, a second Super Bowl in three years.

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2012/01/05/BostonGlobe.com/Sports/Images/PX00225_9-1531[11]-1518--90x90.jpg With another winning kick, Adam Vinatieri is Mr. Clutch

There are very few things in life that Patriots linebacker Mike Vrabel is absolutely, positively certain about. Vinatieri is one of them.

Dan Shaughnessy

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2012/01/05/BostonGlobe.com/Sports/Images/shaughnessy-1524.png Another Patriots championship, and just a little sweeter

It was all so familiar . . . Vinatieri kicking the game-winner . . . Brady the MVP . . . Belichick and Kraft hoisting the Lombardi Trophy.

Patriots had no doubts going for win on final drive

This team genuflects to nobody. Not if there’s still time on the clock and a championship trophy waiting at the other end of the field.

More Super Bowl XXXVIII

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Tom Brady celebrates with Deion Branch after connecting on a touchdown pass with him during Super Bowl XXXVIII.

Outlasting Panthers was what mattered for Patriots

How you win means nothing on Super Bowl Sunday. All that matters is that you win, which is exactly what the Patriots did.