After cornerback Malcolm Butler has been able to intercept a third down pass by Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton late in the first quarter, the New England Patriots were able to turn the takeaway into points. The defending world champions drove 74 yards in 11 plays to take a 10-3 lead on a Tom Brady to Chris Hogan pass:
The Patriots approached the 3rd and goal attempt from the Panthers' 2-yard line with their standard 11-personnel group. Brandin Cooks was isolated on the left side of the formation with a trips set on the right. Lining up on the boundary side of the three-man bunch was Chris Hogan, who ran a crossing route near the backline of the end zone.
After climbing the pocket, Brady was able to fire a bullet to his wide receiver and New England went ahead 9-3. A successful extra point attempt by Stephen Gostkowski put the team ahead 10-3.