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Pats thought they'd win Super Bowl XX


Even though the Bears were 10-point favorites, the New England Patriots approached Super Bowl XX in New Orleans with confidence.

"We've been underdogs all year," cornerback Raymond Clayborn said a few days before the game. "I accept it. We'll go out and beat the Bears just like we beat everybody else. Do football players pay attention to the spread? We notice it. But we have confidence in ourselves."

The Patriots made the playoffs as a wildcard and beat the Jets, Raiders and Dolphins to reach Super Bowl XX. But Clayborn and the rest of his teammates were no match for the Bears, who trounced New England 46-10.

The Patriots headed into the game believing they could run the ball.

"We're not going to panic if we get behind," running back Tony Collins said before the game. "We can still move the ball on the ground. A lot of people believe that you can't rush the ball against the Bears. We don't believe that.

"Coach [Raymond] Berry has told us we are going to rush the ball and wear them down. They might get tired in the fourth quarter.

"We're going to run right at [Bears middle linebacker] Mike Singletary. I know he's the best in the business, but we're going to try to run straight at him. We'll put some offensive linemen on him and I'm going to go up and cut him a couple of times and see what happens."

What happened was that Singletary and the Bears held the Patriots ground game to a meager seven yards on 11 carries, a Super Bowl record that still stands. Members of the Bears' starting defense did not appear to be tired in the fourth quarter as Collins had predicted, at least not when they were on the sideline watching reserves mop up.

The Patriots defense was also confident entering Super Bowl XX.

"I don't know if Chicago knows how to play catchup ball," New England linebacker Larry McGrew said in advance of the game.

The Bears left little doubt about their ability to rally; after falling behind 3-0 following an early turnover, they scored 44 unanswered points en route to the most lopsided win in Super Bowl history up to that point.

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