Behind Brett Favre’s TD passes of 54 and 81 yards to Andre Rison and Antonio Freeman, respectively, and game MVP Desmond Howard’s 99-yard kickoff return for a score, the Packers win Super Bowl XXXI, 35-21, over the Patriots at the Louisiana Superdome.
The touchdown to Rison came on Green Bay’s second play from scrimmage, as Favre audibled at the line of scrimmage and then celebrated the early score by memorably running off the field with his helmet raised above his head. The Freeman touchdown came early in the second quarter and gave the Packers the lead back after the Patriots had turned an early 10-0 deficit into a 14-10 advantage by the end of the first quarter.
After Favre’s scrambling 2-yard TD run late in the second quarter gave the Packers a 27-14 halftime lead, the Patriots got back within six points on a Curtis Martin TD run late in the third. That’s when Howard took the ensuing kickoff and wasted no time giving Green Bay its two-touchdown lead back.
The Packers’ defense intercepted Patriots QB Drew Bledsoe four times, and Reggie White sacked him a Super Bowl-record three times, including twice on back-to-back plays on the possession following Howard’s momentous kickoff return.The next day, an estimated 100,000 fans lined the streets in Green Bay and another 60,000 filled Lambeau Field in 20-degree weather to welcome the team home in a celebration that started three hours late.