For some sports fans, the Patriots are a gag-inducing team that reeks of smug superiority. But that superiority is well-earned -- New England is the NFL club to beat. How much do you know about the fabulous football dynasty?
Edelman is a true athlete who can play on both sides of the ball. He's better as a receiver, but in 2011 he also spent time at cornerback.
Belichick is, by any realistic measure, one of the best head coaches in NFL history. His poker-faced demeanor and intelligence drive the competition crazy.
When the team first hit the field in 1960, it was called the Boston Patriots. It changed its name to the more regional-sounding New England Patriots in time for the 1971 season.
Brady had a rather unspectacular college career at Michigan. He was drafted in the sixth round of the 2000 NFL draft and then worked his way to one of the most impressive resumes ever compiled in pro sports.
In 2007, the Patriots used cameras to record defensive signals used by Jets coaches. They created the recording from the wrong location, though ... and the event turned into a fiasco that resulted in a $500,000 fine against the Patriots' head coach.
The Patriots have appeared in nine Super Bowls. That's the most of any team in the entire NFL.
Gillette Stadium features FieldTurf, a type of artificial turf. Some studies show that more player injuries occur on artificial turf than on natural grass.
False, the Patriots are tied with the Cowboys and 49ers, each with five Super Bowl wins. The Steelers have six titles, more than any other team.
In recent years, Gronkowski has been one of the best tight ends in the league. In his first six seasons, he scored 68 touchdowns, a seemingly-astronomical number of TDs for his position.
Law played in the NFL for a whopping 15 years, and he was the "law" in the secondary. During that time, he logged 53 interceptions. He won three Super Bowls while playing for New England.
It won't win points for originality, but "Gronk" is a suitable nickname for a large, powerful tight end who steamrolls safeties with ease.
Drew Bledsoe was the clear starter for the Patriots, but he nearly died after a horrific injury in 2001. Brady stepped up his game and made the best of the situation, proving that he belonged on the field as a starter.
The Patriots used to play in Foxboro Stadium, but in 2002 they moved to Gillette Stadium, about 20 miles from downtown Boston. It seats about 67,000 (fanatical) Patriots fans.
Until 1992, the Patriots had "Pat the Patriot" on their helmets. It was a dude in a Revolutionary War getup snapping a football between his legs.
The Patriots play in the East division, same as the New York Jets. The two are intense rivals, but in recent years the Jets haven't won many games against the powerful Pats.
In 2007, the Patriots won every regular season game and then cruised through the playoffs. Then, they clashed with an East Coast rival in a Super Bowl for the ages.
Orthwein pounced on the struggling Pats and planned to move them to St. Louis. But New England businessman Robert Kraft (who owned Foxboro Stadium) had the power (and the cash) to buy the team and prevent it from vacating the area.
Hannah was the first Patriots player inducted into the team's Hall of Fame. Hannah, "Hog," was a standout left guard who was inducted in 1992.
All three men have been head coaches for multiple NFL teams. But Andy Reid has never been at the helm of the Patriots.
The Patriots' unparalleled success has helped the team sell out every game in the posh environs of Gillette Stadium. But the sellout streak predates Gillette, going all the way back to 1994 -- more than 230 games and counting.
Belichick has found unprecedented success with the Patriots. Since 2000, he's coached the team to seven Super Bowls, earning the envy of pros and fans throughout the NFL world.
The Patriots joined the NFL in 1970. That was the year that the American Football League merged with the NFL.
Brady was implicated during Deflategate, a supposed scandal in which the Patriots purposely underinflated balls during the 2014-15 AFC Championship game. The idea was to gain a bit of an advantage over the Colts. When he returned to the field from the suspension, Brady unleashed a fury of statistics the likes of which the NFL has never before seen.
Vinateri (now of the Colts) is sometimes called "Mr. Clutch." He's made game-winning kicks in numerous close big games.
Kickers are rarely picked high in the draft, but Vinateri? He wasn't selected at all. He signed as a free agent and went on to become the most legendary kicker in team history.
Since Tom Brady and Bill Belichick got into a groove, the Patriots have been mostly unstoppable in the East division, which they've won 14 times since 2001. Yawn.
Brady is a machine in the playoffs, and he's won more postseason games than any QB in NFL history. Following the 2016 season, his playoff record was 25-9.
Each time the Patriots score a touchdown, the End Zone Militia steps forward, raises their muskets and fires blanks. Then, they sign a facsimile of the Declaration of Independence and mock King George, and we probably made that part up.
Tom Brady and company seemed destined to complete the most impressive undefeated streak in NFL history against the Giants. But as the clock wound down, Giants receiver David Tyree made a catch for the ages, helping New York end the Patriots' dreams of glory.
Cappelletti is one of the most celebrated figures in Patriots history, and he played both wide receiver and kicker. He scored more points than any other Patriots player until Adam Vinateri came along.