A history of every New England Patriots Super Bowl game

How many times have the New England Patriots been AFC champions?

How many Super Bowl rings does Tom Brady have?

How many times has Bill Belichick won the Vince Lombardi trophy?

When it comes to the NFL's most dominate franchise in recent history, it's hard to keep track of these things.

It's hard to believe that before 2001, the Patriots were an underdog NFL team. The franchise was founded in 1960, and didn't appear in its first Super Bowl until 1985.

The Boston area team's championship luck changed, though, when the Patriots drafted Michigan quarterback Tom Brady as the 199th pick in the sixth round of the 2000 NFL draft. Little did team owner Bob Kraft or recently-hired head coach Bill Belichick know that they had a decade plus of greatness ahead of them.

RELATED: Look back at the Patriots season:

The San Francisco 49ers of the late eighties and the Pittsburgh Steelers of the seventies are the two franchises often posed as comparable to the Patriots' current elite status, and this year's Super Bowl could seal their fate as the greatest of all time.

Relive the New England glory with a recap of every Patriots Super Bowl appearance in NFL history:

1985-1986: In Super Bowl XX, the Chicago Bears crush the New England Patriots in their first championship appearance. The New Orleans match up featured a Patriots team led by former head coach Raymond Berry and a Bears franchise who many argue had the greatest defense in the history of the NFL.

1996-1997: Led by coach Bill Parcells, the Patriots returned to New Orleans for their second Super Bowl appearance, this time facing the Green Bay Packers in Super Bowl XXXI. The Packers defeated the Patriots 35-21, leading former quarterback Brett Favre to his singular career championship victory. Packers return specialist Desmond Howard notably won the MVP title that year after a 99-yard kickoff return for a touchdown -- making Howard the only player to ever win the award based solely on a special teams performance.

2001-2002: Third time was the charm for the Patriots' luck in New Orleans for Super Bowl XXXVI. The Patriots -- now led by former Giants defensive coordinator Bill Belichick -- face the St. Louis Rams as the 14-point underdogs. The Patriots defeat the odds, though, and beat the Rams 20-17.

SEE ALSO: Tom Brady shuts down questions on relationship with President Trump

In the biggest upset in NFL history, the game ended in truly stunning fashion when kicker Adam Vinatieri first barely made a 45-yard field goal which sent the game into overtime and then kicks a game-winning 23-yard field goal. The Patriots land their first NFL championship and quarterback Tom Brady wins his first Super Bowl MVP. This was also the first Super Bowl games played in February, after the season's schedule was pushed back a week due to the September, 11 attacks.

2003-2004: The Patriots faced off against the Panthers in Houston for Super Bowl XXXVIII, in which the Patriots beat Panthers 32-29 in one of the highest scoring Super Bowl games. Once again, with four seconds left, Vinatieri wins it with a field goal. Brady wins his second Super Bowl MVP. This Super Bowl also featured the halftime show where Janet Jackson suffered a notorious wardrobe malfunction.

2004-2005: In Super Bowl XXXIX, the Patriots defeat the Philadelphia Eagles 24-21. Patriots wide receiver Deion Branch wins MVP after he goes for 11 catches and 133 yards. The Patriots join the Dallas Cowboys as the only teams in NFL history to win three Super Bowl games in four years. The Patriots amount to "dynasty" status, and Brady becomes the fourth quarterback in NFL history to win three NFL championships.

SEE ALSO: Brady says Patriots 'brainwashed' to shut out distractions

2007-2008: Super Bowl XLI ended poorly for the Patriots, when they lose the championship game to Eli Manning and the New York Giants after maintaining a perfect record throughout the season. Quarterback Eli Manning led the Giants in one of the greatest upset victories in Super Bowl history, when the Giants beat the Patriots 17-14. Manning wins the MVP, and Brady and Belichick lose their first Super Bowl as a quarterback-head coach pair. The Giants win on wide receiver Plaxico Burress' touchdown catch with 35 seconds left in the game.

2011-2012: In Indianapolis, the Giants once again edge the Patriots with a Super Bowl XLVI victory. The Patriots lose 21-17, and Manning gets his second career Super Bowl MVP title.

2014-2015: After suffering two Super Bowl loses, the Patriots were ready to regain their status as champions. In Arizona for Super Bowl IL, Bill Belichick faced Seattle Seahawks head coach Paul Caroll in one of the more thrilling Super Bowl games in NFL history. The Seahawks led 24-14 in the 4th quarter, but Brady rallied with a touchdown pass to Danny Amendola -- bringing the score to 24-21 with 7:55 left in the game. Brady then eyes Edelman for a touchdown with 2:02 left, bringing the Patriots to a 28-24. Malcolm Butler historically seals the Patriots' fate with a goal-line interception on a play call Paul Carroll likely still regrets. The Patriots win and Brady lands his third Super Bowl MVP title.

2016-2017: To be determined.

RELATED: Tom Brady through his career: