It's an offseason tradition like no other. Welcome to the Top 20 Patriots Moments of 2015.
Over the coming weeks and months, usually during the periods where actual NFL news is hard to come by, I'll be breaking down what I think are the greatest plays, games, touchdowns, and shenanigans that comprised the 2015 season. This now marks the fourth year I have had the pleasure of going back through the league year that was, picking out my favorite moments, and ranking them all for everyone here at Pats Pulpit to relive, discuss, and debate. It's always a great way to pass the time, but it's also an excellent opportunity to really examine the last season after some time has gone by and I have had a chance to fully digest what was the focal point of my life over the last six months. Of course, the list will be nothing more than my opinion, and like all things of this nature, is pretty subjective. But that makes it fun.
Before we get started, though, I thought it would be fun to take one last look at my list of the Top 20 Patriots Moments of 2014. If you'd like to read the accompanying article, just click on the number next to the moment:
20. Jimmy Garoppolo wins a job - and our hearts - with a spectacular preseason.
19. Brandon LaFell officially arrives in a Week 6 contest against the Buffalo Bills.
18. The Patriots get embarrassed on national television with a 41-14 beatdown at the hands of the Kansas City Chiefs.
17. The Patriots sign Darrelle Revis.
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.
13. Darrelle Revis shuts down Calvin Johnson as the Patriots stomp the Lions.
12. Chris Jones finds redemption in the form of a last second blocked field goal against the New York Jets.
11. The Patriots avenge a Week 1 loss by obliterating the Dolphins to secure the AFC East.
10. Julian Edelman's catch and run helps lift the Patriots over the San Diego Chargers.
9. Danny Amendola hauls in a 19 yard touchdown catch on 3rd and goal against the Jets to secure a lead.
8. Jonas Gray rushes for 200+ yards and four touchdowns against the Indianapolis Colts.
7. LeGarrette Blount goes off - again - against the Colts in the AFC Championship Game.
6. Nate Solder rumbles into the end zone off a playaction pass against the Colts in the AFC Championship Game.
5. Rob Gronkowski bowls over the entire Colts defense on his way to the end zone and a 42-20 rout.
4. A spectacular one-handed catch caps off a 43-21 beatdown of the Denver Broncos.
3. We're on to Cincinnati.
1. Malcolm Butler intercepts Russell Wilson at the goal line with 25 seconds left to play to clinch Super Bowl XLIX for the Patriots.
It seems like forever ago, doesn't it?
Looking back over that list, it's even more obvious now than ever that the 2015 season simply isn't going to live up to 2014. The Super Bowl victory aside, last year was absolutely chock-full of amazing plays, crazy games, and huge moments. And while this past season certainly had its fair share of great times, it's really no contest when you put the two up against each other. So if you're going to spend this offseason comparing this year to last, get ready to be disappointed.
That said, there is lots to cover regarding this past year, so get ready for the Number 20 Patriots Moment before too long.