Faces 1 and 2 on the Mount Rushmore of Patriots quarterbacks. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Today’s trivia quiz paid tribute to the All-Time Great New England Patriots. A few weeks ago, I remembered the Bad Old Days, where the Patriots were the laughingstocks of both the NFL and the sporting world in general, and so today I thought I'd take the opposite approach. While this team did have more than its share of down times over the years, there really were some great players that came through and made their mark on NFL history. Today’s quiz highlighted a few of them.
While I ultimately think that the Patriots of the 2000s will always be the teams that history remembers best, I wanted to make sure that we all remembered that there were more than a few All-Stars playing for this team before some skinny kid from Michigan nobody had ever heard of took the field and marched directly into the Hall of Fame. Some Patriots were hometown heroes, some were league-wide heroes, and some are Hall of Famers. And while I couldn’t pay homage to every single great Patriot in a measley 15 questions, I was able to get at least one question on most of them. Maybe I’ll do an "Honorable Mention Patriots" quiz in the future.
Answers after the jump.
1. What was quarterback Steve Grogan’s number?
Answer: C. 14. While Grogan’s number has not been retired by the New England Patriots as of yet, his alma mater, Kansas State, has retired his number 11.
2. How many years did Grogan play for the Patriots?
Answer: D. 16. Grogan’s 16 years as an active Patriot is currently a team record for most years of service by a player.
3. Who is the only Patriot to have over 200 yards receiving in a single game?
Answer: A. Terry Glenn. I realized, too little too late, that Wes Welker also had a 200+ yard receiving game last season, so this question is a little faulty. However, of the Patriots listed, the answer is Glenn. In an away game against the Cleveland Browns on October 3rd, 1999, Glenn had 214 yards and a touchdown on 13 receptions, averaging 16.5 yards per catch. The Patriots won that game 19-7 to put them at 4-0 on the year. In true 90s Patriots fashion, they would struggle down the stretch and finish the 1999 season 8-8.
4. Which of the following Patriots has been selected to the most Pro Bowls?
Answer: B. John Hannah. Hannah, one of the all-time great offensive linemen, played in nine Pro Bowls. He was first selected in 1976, and was then selected every season between 1978 and 1985.
5. Which Patriots quarterback holds the team record for most passing yards in a single season?
Answer: D. Tom Brady. In 2011, Brady broke his own record and passed for 5,235 yards. Brady first became the Patriots record holder in 2007, when his 4,806 yards eclipsed the record held by Bledsoe (4,555 yards).
6. True or false: Curtis Martin never had a 100 yard receiving game during his NFL career.
Answer: True. While Martin had sixty 100 yard rushing games, he never once had a 100 yards receiving.
7. How many career touchdowns did Curtis Martin have?
Answer: B. 100. Martin has exactly 100 career touchdowns. The first 37 came while he was a Patriot. I have absolutely no idea where he scored the other 63. Maybe Seattle.
8. Which Patriot holds the team record for most career receiving yards?
Answer: C. Stanley Morgan. From 1977 to 1989, Morgan amassed 10,352 career receiving yards, which still stands as the Patriots’ team record.
9. Which player is the current New England Patriots all-time sack leader?
Answer: D. Andre Tippet. No brainer here. Hall of Famer Andre Tippett played his entire career in New England, from 1982 to 1993, and he ranks first in the team’s history with 100 sacks. Tippett had a career high 18.5 sacks in 1984, but his best season was arguably 1985, when he was a first team All Pro. That year, Tippett had 16.5 sacks, and added four fumble recoveries, including one for a touchdown.
10. Who is the only Patriot to ever lead the NFL in scoring in back-to-back seasons?
Answer: C. John Smith. Kicker smith led the NFL in 1979 with 115 points scored, and then again in 1980 with 129. 1980 marked the Englishman’s only trip to the Pro Bowl as well.
11. How many interceptions does Patriots legend Mike Haynes have for his career?
Answer: A. 28. During his 7 year career in New England, Haynes had 28 interceptions and 1,159 yards on 111 returns, a 10.4-yard average. He was inducted into the Patriots Hall of Fame in 1994, and his number has been retired by the team.
12. Which of the following facts about Adam Vinatieri during his tenure with the Patriots are NOT true?
Answer: A. 20 game-winning field goals with under a minute to play. Vinatieri’s field goal percentage of 81.9 (263 out of 321 attempts made) is the fifth highest in NFL history. He finished his 10 years with the Patriots as the team’s all-time leading scorer with 1,156 points. His career-long 57 yard field goal is nothing to shake a stick at. But he actually only made 18 game winners for the Patriots with under a minute to play. Slacker.
13. How long was Adam Vinatieri’s fabled field goal in the blinding snow to tie the 2001 AFC Divisional game at 13?
Answer: C. 45 yards. That kick is arguably the greatest kick of Vinatieri’s career, and one of the greatest plays in Patriots history. It basically launched the dynasty and started New England’s streak of dominance. There is still an "X" in the parking lot at Gillette stadium where Foxboro Stadium once stood marking the exact spot where the fabled kick was made.
14. Which of the following Patriots was NOT a 1st round draft pick?
Answer: D. Steve Grogan. Grogan actually wasn’t selected until the 5th round of the 1975 NFL Draft.
15. How many New England Patriots are currently in the Hall of Fame?
Answer: A. 4. The most recent inductee, Andre Tippet, joins John Hannah, Nick Buoniconti, and Mike Haynes as the only Patriots currently in the Hall of Fame. Curtis Martin is also in the Hall, but he is remembered more as a Jet than a Patriot by most, sadly, and so he isn't included here (and yes, I know that Buoniconti played for the Dolphins as well, but seeing as he split is career fairly evenly between the Dolphins and Pats, he is remembered in the Hall as a member of both teams). That number is likely to increase substantially within the next 10-20 years.