The New England Patriots began the 2003 season just as they ended their 2002 Super Bowl campaign first and foremost, as a team.
After christening their new home with a Monday night victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers, the momentum created by Gillette Stadium helped the Patriots surge to a dominating 3-0 start, proving that their ascent to the top of the NFL was no fluke. Still, every NFL season has its struggles and this one was no different. The Patriots suffered a four game losing streak, but refused to lose their confidence. They had been though adversity before. Teamwork, as it always had, would see them through.
The Patriots got back on track by winning four of their next five games, including two wins over division rival Buffalo. The wins were crucial in the bitterly contested race for the AFC East Division Title - one of the most competitive divisions in football.
Although the Patriots tied for the division's best record, a tiebreaker left them short of the playoffs. Nonetheless, they provided their fans with another late-seasons game filled with home field magic.
This time, it took place on A New Battlefield, one that dazzles the eye as much as this year's finale excited the heart. There is no doubt - Gillette Stadium is sure to witness many such victories in the years to come.