The American Football Conference champion New England Patriots are the home team for Super Bowl LII, but will wear their white away jerseys. While no explanation has been given, one has to think that history had something to do with the decision. So let’s look back at that history.
Super Bowl XX, Jan. 26, 1986 – The Patriots wore their home red jersey and jumped on top with a Tony Franklin field goal to take a 3-0 lead. The Chicago Bears then scored 46 unanswered points. The Pats lost, 46-10.
Super Bowl XXXI, Jan. 26, 1997 – The Patriots wore their away white jerseys and jumped out to a 14-10 lead after one quarter. The Green Bay Packers scored 17 unanswered to go to the half with a 27-14 lead. New England made it 27-21, but a 100-yard kickoff return for a touchdown by MVP Desmond Howard iced the game for the Packers.
Super Bowl XXXVI, Feb. 3, 2002 – The Patriots wore their home blue jersey and trailed, 3-0, before Ty Law returned an interception 47 yards for a touchdown. New England eventually led, 17-3, before the Rams scored two touchdowns to tie with 1:21 to go. Tom Brady led a 53-yard, game-winning drive capped by Adam Vinatieri’s 48-yard game-winning field goal.
Super Bowl XXXVIII, Feb. 1, 2004 – The Patriots wore their home blue jerseys in a back-and-forth, punch-counterpunch, 32-29 win over the Carolina Panthers. Vinatieri’s 41-yard field goal in the waning seconds provided the margin of victory.
Super Bowl XXXIX, Feb. 6, 2005 – The Patriots wore their away white jersey in a 24-21 win over this year’s Super Bowl opponent, the Philadelphia Eagles. The hype surrounding the pregame involved the Patriots bid to win consecutive Super Bowls and three in four years, just as it will try to do vs. the Eagles this year. From Philly’s perspective, the pregame coverage focused on the health of star receiver Terrell Owens. The injured wideout played and had nine catches for 122 yards, but in a losing effort. This year’s health question looks like it will revolve around Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski, who suffered a concussion in the AFC Championship Game. Philly jumped on top, 7-0, in Super Bowl XXXIX and it was 14-14 after three. A Corey Dillon touchdown run and short Vinatieri field goal gave the Patriots a 10-point lead and they held on to win after Rodney Harrison’s interception sealed it.
Super Bowl XLII, Feb. 3, 2008 – The 18-0 Patriots wore their home blue only to see their high-powered offense stymied by the upset-minded NY Giants. The Patriots scored a go-ahead touchdown with 2:42 to go to take a 14-10 lead, but the Giants found the end zone with :35 left for a 17-14 final score.
Super Bowl XLVI, Feb. 5, 2012 – The Patriots once again wore home blue against the Giants and once again lost a heartbreaker in the final minute. The Patriots led, 17-9, in the third quarter, but the Giants kicked two field goals to make it 17-15 and then won it on a 6-yard run with :57 left for a 21-17 win.
Super Bowl XLIX, Feb. 1, 2015 – The Patriots wore their white away jerseys and rallied from 10 points down in the fourth quarter to take the lead on a Brady-to-Julien Edelman touchdown pass with 2:02 left in the game. Seattle drove to the Patriots 1-yard line with a chance to win before Malcolm Butler sealed the Patriots victory with a miraculous interception on the goal line.
Super Bowl LI, Feb. 5, 2017 – White away jerseys.
34-28 in OT.
Super Bowl record in home jerseys all-time: 2-3
Super Bowl record in away jerseys all-time: 3-1
Super Bowl record vs. Philly in away jersey: 1-0