Enough with this DeflateGate nonsense. Time to get back to celebrating last year's championship season. Let the anti-Patriots crowd take their enjoyment out of bad things happening to another franchise. We'll just go ahead and take our enjoyment out of good things happening to this one. Time to resume the countdown of Top 20 Patriots Moments of 2014.
The list so far:
20. wins a job - and our hearts - with a spectacular preseason.
19. officially arrives in a Week 6 contest against the .
18. The get embarrassed on national television with a 41-14 beatdown at the hands of the .
17. The Patriots sign .
16. Vince Wilfork and Jamie Collins help the Patriots lock up a 1st round bye against the New York Jets.15. Chandler Jones blocks a Blair Walsh field goal attempt against the Minnesota Vikings to keep the momentum with the Patriots.
14. Rob Gronkowski officially returns to form as the Patriots destroy the Chicago Bears.
The Number 13 Most Memorable Moment of 2013 makes this list not so much for what it was, but for what it represents.
13. Darrelle Revis shuts down Calvin Johnson as the Patriots stomp the Lions.
When the Detroit Lions came to New England in November of last year, the Patriots had just come off what can only be described as a statement win against the Indianapolis Colts the week before. The Lions, on the other hand, had been unable to find the end zone in a Week 11 loss to the Cardinals and desperately needed to right the ship against the Patriots in order to keep pace with the Packers in the NFC North. Lions vs. Patriots also represented one of the marquis matchups of the year in Darrelle Revis vs. Calvin Johnson. Johnson was hands down the most dominant receiver Revis had faced thus far into the season, and whether or not he would be able to match up one on one was a question mark.
A question, however, that was quickly answered.
The Lions were able to generate a field goal from their opening possession, a possession in which Johnson wasn't even targeted once. Both teams traded punts for a while before New England finally found paydirt off a 4 yard pass to Tim Wright. The Lions were able to move the ball effectively to close out the first quarter and open the second, driving all the way from their own 20 to the New England three yard line. A quick Joique Bell run for one yard set up a 2nd a goal.
On 2nd and Goal from the New England two yard line, the Lions lined up in a 1 WR, Jumbo goal line set with Calvin Johnson alone against Revis on the left sideline. Stafford called for a quick snap and released almost immediately to Johnson, who quickly faked inside and then drove for the corner. Revis didn't bite on the fake, stayed with Johnson the whole way, and broke up the pass. Stafford simply stood staring at the spot of the play for a few seconds, unable to comprehend what had just happened. His next pass, a shotgun attempt to Joseph Fauria, was inaccurate and broken up by Pat Chung, stalling the drive and limiting Detroit to a field goal. The Patriots answered the FG with an 81 yard Danny Amendola kick return and then a LeGarrette Blount TD a few plays later. It was a lead the Patriots would not relinquish as they went on to absolutely roll in the 2nd half to the tune of 34-9. The Lions were, for the 2nd week in a row, unable to find the end zone. Calvin Johnson finished the day with 10 targets and only four receptions for 58 yards. 16 of those yards came on a ridiculously athletic catch where Revis wasn't even in coverage. Against Revis, Johnson went three for 42.
On the surface, nothing I just described is an overly mindblowing play. There was no blocked field goal returned for six. There were no broken tackles or huge gains. There was just an elite cornerback getting the best of an elite receiver to the point where he wasn't even able to find the end zone from inside the five on a fade route, which is nothing short of remarkable. And for any Patriots fan who has been around for the past few years and remembers what this secondary used to be, watching Revis shut down Megatron the way that he did was highly, highly enjoyable. The general consensus coming into this game was that Johnson was going to get his touches and Revis would hopefully be able to limit the damage done by the best receiver in the league and allow the Patriots to focus on stopping Detroit's other weapons. However, Revis just straight up shut Johnson down, and because of that the Lions weren't able to get anything going offensively. The win was New England's seventh in a row. Tommy B threw for 350 yards and 2s, Blount was back on the roster, and the postseason push continued. It wasn't quite the statement win it was against the Colts, but it was a defensive clinic the likes of which hasn't been seen around New England since the early 2000s, and because of that Revis Island makes another appearance on the countdown.
Game highlights here.