Ricky Proehl: We were just a good football team — offensively and defensively. At times, maybe we were too confident. The 1999 season we went from worst [in the division] to first and I think we were humble and hungry. In 2001, we knew what we were capable of.Tommy Polley: Being the naive fool that I am, I broke it down in practice with “Super Bowl.” I already had in my mind we were going.New England, meanwhile, was coming off a 5-11 year in coach Bill Belichick’s first season. The Pats then had to turn to unheralded second-year signal caller Brady in Week 2 when starter Drew Bledsoe went down injured.Bobby Hamilton: We saw something during the offseason. We saw what Belichick was doing. When you were in practice, you could see something special in Tom Brady. He always had a chip on his shoulder. New England, then 5-4, hosted the 7-1 Rams in Week 10 of the regular season and fell 24-17. It was the last game the Patriots would lose.TP: I guess it wasn’t “The Greatest Show on Turf” because you’re not going to beat Belichick that way. Any time you played the Patriots, it felt like they knew you better than you knew yourselves!BH: In the locker room, we thought, “We can do this.” If that’s the best team that we’re going to face, we could see them again.The two would meet again in Super Bowl 36, when the Rams were 14-point favorites.TP: Playing them again, we didn’t see where it was going to be a problem. Tom wasn’t what he is now. View this post on Instagram Omnisport spoke to three men who were involved in the Pats’ stunning 20-17 success: Ricky Proehl, who had the late touchdown reception to draw St. Louis level, Rams rookie linebacker Tommy Polley, and defensive end Bobby Hamilton, who led New England in sacks that season. View this post on Instagram Super Bowl 53: What the world looked like when Tom Brady won his first ring Sunday’s showdown will not be the first time Tom Brady and the Patriots have faced the Rams in a Super Bowl.Back in 2002, New England’s dynasty was born against the then-St. Louis Rams — and their “Greatest Show on Turf” offense — when Brady engineered a late drive that culminated in Adam Vinatieri’s game-winning field goal as time expired in New Orleans. 17 years later, we meet again.A post shared by New England Patriots (@patriots) on Jan 28, 2019 at 8:05am PSTThe Rams entered the campaign two seasons removed from winning the Super Bowl. They had finished with the top-ranked offense in each of the previous two years. Related News View this post on Instagram Unfinished business from 2002. Can the @rams top the Pats this time? #SBLIIIA post shared by NFL (@nfl) on Jan 30, 2019 at 11:42am PSTThough the Rams got on the board first with a field goal, Ty Law returned an interception for a score and Brady connected with David Patten to give New England a 14-3 halftime lead.TP: You knew at some point [the Rams offense] were going to get it rolling. You’d seen it all year, in practice every day. I just think early in the game Coach [Mike] Martz wanted to pass a lot. I think he should have run the ball with Marshall Faulk more.RP: They were doing a good job of showing eight in the box and then dropping guys to take the pass away. Looking back, I think we should have run the ball. Coach Martz was really stuck on, “Hey, we’re gonna throw it.” We felt like as a group that we should have run Marshall more. Sometimes you have to make adjustments. You have the best running back in the league. Run him.BH: That’s the one thing about Belichick – we were going to try and take away the best of what you do.However, the Rams rallied and with 1:30 to go on the clock, Proehl’s touchdown and the subsequent successful extra point made it 17-17.RP: We had struggled all game and when you finally score and tie the game, we felt like, “We’re back in this.”New England’s offense took over on its 17-yard line with no timeouts and 1:21 remaining. Television analyst John Madden said they should “play for overtime” but Brady had other ideas… A lot has changed since @tombrady’s first Super Bowl #SBLIIIA post shared by NFL (@nfl) on Jan 29, 2019 at 2:59pm PSTBH: I saw that highlight when he said that. We saw it in practice, we saw it during the season. You can see it in Tom Brady’s eyes to this day. Tom Brady thinks he can come back at any time.RP: This is Brady’s first show, you’re not thinking, “They’re going to get out of bounds on every single play.”A key play occurred with 41 seconds left when J.R. Redmond gained 11 yards through the air and, crucially, got out of bounds as Polley made the tackle to stop the clock.TP: To me, he was inbounds. They called it out of bounds. That was pivotal where they got some momentum and the time stopped.On the next play the Rams blitzed Brady, who narrowly evaded Polley and threw the ball away. Not including spikes, Brady went 5-of-6 on the drive and that was his only incomplete pass.TP: It was surprising that he even knew the blitz was coming. I think I disguised it pretty good.Having driven 53 yards, Brady spiked the ball to stop the clock with seven seconds left to give Vinatieri a 48-yard field goal for the victory. He duly slotted his kick through and an NFL dynasty was born.BH: It was a high I’d never had before. I couldn’t move. I was crying. The Rams finished with more offensive yards, more first downs and their offense held the ball for longer. Yet, with New England winning the turnover battle 3-0, it was Super Bowl MVP Brady who won his first ring.RP: It was awful. Inside the locker room you can hear the Patriots celebrating on the field. Those are the ones you never forget — the ones where you feel like you should win. Those haunt you forever.TP: We got Brady-ed!