Happy Memorial Day Weekend, everyone!
Summer is unofficially upon us, and with the kickoff of this weekend comes a few months of slowing things down a bit, enjoying some long weekends, summer Fridays, and all of that other good stuff that makes this time of year something special. And since there is absolutely zero chance of me getting any work done today as I count the minutes until it's time to get the hell out of here and fire up the grill, I figured we may as well continue our countdown.
We're almost into the Top 10...but first, the list so far:
20. In the span of two weeks, the Patriots make two trades to acquire and .
19. A decision to kick in OT backfires as the Jets beat the Patriots in Week 16.
18. Otherwordly phenom and greatest player of all time J.J. Watt is held completely ineffective as the Patriots secure a playoff spot against the Houston Texans.
17. Chandler Jones and Akiem Hicks team up for a strip sack touchdown against the Tennessee Titans.
16. Stopped in the backfield, LeGarrette Blount sheds tacklers and rumbles for a 17 yard gain against the Houston Texans.
15. Danny Amendola and Tom Brady connect for some trickery against the Philadelphia Eagles.
14. The Patriots continue to kick in Rex Ryan's world with a season sweep of the Buffalo Bills.
13. A pair of James White catch and runs show off some agility, speed, and elusiveness.
12. The Patriots absolutely destroy the Dolphins on Thursday Night Football.
Number 11 takes us on the first of two trips to Dallas, where a phenomenal catch and run more or less put the game completely out of reach.
11. Julian Edelman outruns the entire Cowboys D on his way to the end zone.
Once billed as one of the premier contests of the 2015 season, the Week 5 game between the Patriots and Cowboys lost the vast majority of its excitement when Tony Romo broke his collarbone during the second game of the year. With Brandon Weeden under center, Dallas went from 2-0 to 2-2 very quickly, and with the 3-0 Patriots coming to town fresh off a bye and an offense that had scored 91 points in the last two games, nobody was expecting much of a contest.
To Dallas's credit, they were able to keep it close in the first quarter due to a strong pass rush and stifling defense. However, they were completely unable to get anything going offensively, and the teams took a 3-3 tie into the second quarter before Tommy B turned on the gas. He punched a 1 yard run in himself, and was then able to tack on another field goal before the end of the half to put the score at 13-3, with New England set to receive to start the 3rd quarter.
New England wouldn't punt for the rest of the game. They took their first drive of the 2nd half 80 yards on nine plays, ending with a Dion Lewis catch and run that is going to be making an appearance on this list over the coming weeks. With the score 20-3, the Patriots had the game well in hand. Dallas was able to scorer a field goal on their answering possession, which would be the last points they could score that day.
Receiving the ensuing kickoff, the Patriots started the drive from the 20. A quick completion to Lewis, a short Blount run, and a 16 yard completion to Keshawn Martin put the Patriots near midfield. The ensuing play was a 34 yard completion to Danny Amendola, but an offensive pass interference call on Julian Edelman negated the big gain and set the Patriots back to their 34. Dion Lewis gained seven yards back on the next play to set up a 2nd and 13 on the NE 41.
With Lewis still in the backfield, Tommy B lined up in shotgun with Edelman lined up in the weak side slot. Martin was out wide to his left with Amendola flanking him. At the snap, Martin ran a mirror image of the same slant pattern that had gashed the Cowboys a few plays earlier, drawing the safeties towards the middle of the field. Amendola ran a quick in route, stopped, and immediately put his hands up in the air as Dallas cornerback Morris Claiborne ran right into him. Claiborned was assigned to cover Edelman, who ran across the flat and up the left sideline as Brady hit him in stride at the Dallas 42 with Brandon Carr closing in fast. Edelman made the grab and cut sharply to the right, leaving Carr grasping at air as Edelman ran for daylight. Unfortunately for Edelman, four Cowboys - Sean Lee, Terrance Mitchell, Claiborne and J.J. Wilcox, were all converging upon him and about to hit him from almost every angle. However, with his trademark elusiveness, Edelman was able to avoid them all and turn on the afterburners , leaving those Cowboys who weren't floundering around on the ground in the dust before diving into the end zone. An extra point later, and it was 27-6. Ballgame.
There are few things more enjoyable than watching Julian Edelman work in open space. He's one of the most elusive receivers in the game, and this play was a prime example of that. On at least three occasions, he should have been tackled; however, he was able to cut on a dime, outrun the defenders, and completely put this game away. The Cowboys game represented the New England offense really starting to click, and we would all bear witness to just what this team was capable of before injuries started bringing everything down.
Check out the play here.
Full game highlights here.