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The Top 20 Patriots Moments of 2016: Number 12

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Our offseason countdown continues with the Number 12 Most Memorable Moment of the 2016 season

Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

What? What's that? We haven't posted a LeGarrette Blount article yet today? Well time to fix that. On with the countdown of the Top 20 Most Memorable Moments of 2016!

The list so far:

20. The New England Patriots trade Jamie Collins to Cleveland for a bag of peanuts.
19. LeGarrette Blount runs through the entire Seahawks line on his way to the end zone.
18. A Chris Long strip sack helps to ice the game against the New York Jets.
17. The Patriots defense shuts down Trevor Siemian and the Denver Broncos on the road.

16. LeGarrette Blount owns Byron Maxwell with an epic hurdle.
15. A different kind of Malcolm Go highlights a convincing road win against the San Francisco 49ers.
14. Chris Hogan finds some nice redemption against his old team in the form of a beautiful 53 yard TD.
13. Shea McClellin leaps the line to block a FG against the Baltimore Ravens.

Blount is back in the news this week after receiving a very obscure free agent tender, which makes today's moment fitting. Whenever somebody sets a Patriots record, he's all but guaranteed to make this list.

12. LeGarrette Blount sets a franchise record with his 15th rushing TD of the year against the Denver Broncos.

It has been pretty difficult to knock the Patriots over the past decade; they remain the model franchise and have experienced a string of consistent dominance that the National Football League will very likely never see again. However, one area where the Patriots have faced criticism in the past is that they have had trouble finding a consistent running back. Players like BenJarvus Green-Ellis and Stevan Ridley have flashed, and receiving backs like Shane Vereen were positive contributors, but you never had to look far to find a conversation along the lines of "Tom Brady is being asked to do too much, and the Patriots haven't had a true between-the-tackles runner since Corey Dillon."

Enter LeGarrette Blount.

Blount went undrafted in 2010 and spent some time on the Tennessee Titans before having a breakout year with the Buccaneers. He was inconsistent, though, and thus Tampa Bay thought it was worthwhile to send Blount to the Patriots in 2013 in exchange for a 7th round pick and sprinter turned running back Jeff Demps.

What a trade that was.

I have no clue what came out of that 7th round pick - it was ultimately traded to Minnesota in the 2013 Draft - but Jeff Demps never amounted to much of anything in the NFL as his heart was clearly on the track and field...um...field. As for Blount...

Since that day (minus a brief and entirely forgettable stint in Pittsburgh), Blount has been a staple in the New England backfield and has been absolutely crucial cog in helping the team win two Super Bowl championships in three seasons. He has been a battering ram, a walking highlight reel, and a fantastic Patriot. While his time with the team has come to an end, fans will always look back at Blount Force Trauma with nothing but respect and admiration.

It's fitting, then, that Blount ended his tenure with New England by setting a franchise record for most TDs in a single season. The previous record holder for the Patriots was Curtis Martin with 14, but Blount eclipsed that on December 18th, 2016 at Mile High Stadium against the Denver Broncos when he notched his 15th on the year. As for the play itself, it wasn't anything spectacular; just a simple one yard dive play at the goal line, but it was enough to secure Blount's place in the history books. That TD also represented the only touchdown of the entire game, on either side, and the win went a long way towards securing a playoff bye for the Patriots while simultaneously dashing Denver's postseason hopes. Not a bad day at all.

By season's end, Blount would lead the entire NFL in scoring with 18 touchdowns to go along with his 1,161 rushing yards. He averaged four yards per carry last year and only lost one fumble. He was able to make his way onto the Top 100 Players List for the first time in his career. Some of his runs will be on Patriots highlight reels for decades to come, and because of his record, he'll now be an answer to pub trivia questions all over the New England area

I realize that this article is more of a tribute to Blount than it is a recap of an actual Patriots Moment, but I'm OK with that. Blount, in setting the single season Patriots TD record, definitely earned his spot at Number 12, and I'll be very curious to see how history remembers him.

Rather than give another link to highlights of the Broncos game - you can get that in the Number 17 Moment Above - I thought this would be a good place to showcase some of Blount's career highlights. This video and this one are both pretty solid. This one ain't too shabby either.