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Super Bowl XXXI

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January 26, 1997, New Orleans, Louisiana

Green Bay Packers 35, New England Patriots 21

Before the game

Playoffs:

The game

The Packers were favored to win the game over what many thought was a Cinderella Patriots team, and they did not disappoint. The rumored departure of head coach Bill Parcells[?] from New England didn't help that team either. After the game, Parcells refused to travel back with the rest of the Patriots and then found a job coaching the rival New York Jets.

On the field, the Packers dominated the Patriots on both sides of the ball, outgaining New England 323 yards to 257 and intercepting Drew Bledsoe[?] four times. Bledsoe was also sacked three times by Reggie White[?].

Green Bay opened the scoring early, with a 54-yard Andre Rison[?] touchdown catch on their second offensive play of the game. The first of Bledsoe's interceptions set up a Chris Jacke[?] field goal to make it 10-0.

New England did storm back to take the lead by the end of the first quarter, with touuchdowns by Keith Byars[?] and Ben Coates[?].

The lead was short lived, as Antonio Freeman[?] caught a Super Bowl record 81-yard touchdown a minute into the second quarter to put the Packers back in the lead for good. Another field goal and Brett Favre scramble into the end zone put the Packers up by 13 points at halftime.

The Patriots' last gasp was an early third-quarter touchdown by Curtis Martin[?] to make it a 6-point game. But the following play broke a record and broke the hearts of New England fans, when Desmond Howard[?] returned the kickoff 99 yards for what would prove to be the last score of the game.

Howard was named MVP.

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