New England (1-2-1) got its first goal of the season in the 21st minute. A turnover created a chance for Rowe, whose blast from 17 yards deflected off the head of defender Shaun Francis, who committed the original turnover.
The Revolution added their second 16 minutes later. Chris Tierney's left-footed free kick was headed by a diving Darrius Barnes to Rowe and he buried it past David Bingham, who could only get a hand on it.
Chris Wondolowski halved the deficit with a penalty kick in the 62nd minute, awarded after Scott Caldwell clipped Clarence Goodson in the box.
San Jose fell to 2-2-0.
New England started the season scoreless in its first three matches. Its goal in the 21st minute broke a 291 minute drought, ensuring the Revolution would not come close to equalizing the MLS record to start the season without a goal, 383 minutes by Toronto FC in 2007.
It's the second year in a row New England registered its first win in its fourth game, with San Jose the victim last year as well.
The conditions made footing treacherous, especially early.
"It happens with turf and then cold weather and the snow. These conditions are a little bit rare, but give them credit," San Jose coach Dominic Kinnear said, without blaming the result on the weather.
"(New England) came out ready, we came out a little bit sleepy and that's why we were down 2-0 at halftime. We fought hard to get back into the game and then obviously the chance at the end would have been great for us. Unfortunately we couldn't capitalize on it."
San Jose created several chances late, but the one Kinnear referred to was in the waning moments of stoppage time, when Jean-Baptiste Pierazzi's short-range effort sailed over the goal. Revolution keeper Bobby Shuttleworth also made a pair of tremendous saves late, including one in the 83rd minute, tipping a Victor Bernardez header over the bar.
New England had the better of possession (51.1 percent) though most of the day, mustering 20 shots with eight on goal, against 11 and five for the Earthquakes.
San Jose defender Marvell Wynne left the pitch with an apparent leg injury in the 55th minute.
New England travels to Colorado on April 4.
San Jose hosts Real Salt Lake on April 5.
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