The 2017 NFL season is nearing its end with only one game left, Super Bowl LII between the New England Patriots and the Philadelphia Eagles. Because of that, Sport Illustrated has compiled a list of 100 moments that have “defined the 2017 season”. As expected, the Patriots are heavily featured on the list as a total of 10 entries are related to the AFC champions.
Take a look:
67. Jay Cutler enjoys one last hurrah, beating Tom Brady in Miami.
64. Steve Sarkisian draws fire for a fourth-and-goal jet sweep on a foggy night in Foxboro.
43. James Harrison signs with the Patriots.
41. Seth Wickersham writes about growing tension between the Bill Belichick, Tom Brady, and Robert Kraft.
19. Rob Gronkowski attacks Tre’Davious White after a play, drawing a one-game suspension.
12. Jesse James seemingly scores a game-winning touchdown against the Patriots, but officials decide he did not “survive the ground.”
None of the Patriots-related stories listed by author Jacob Feldman are particularly surprising. There are, however, a few omissions: New England sending quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo to the San Francisco 49ers at the trade deadline, for example, is nowhere to be found. The same goes for the season-ending injury to team captain Dont'a Hightower or the Patriots becoming the first NFL team to reach 10 Super Bowls.
Furthermore, the list includes some odd rankings and inclusions. Atlanta Falcons offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian “drawing fire” for a goal-line jet sweep is reflective of the bigger picture – the Falcons' offensive issues – but not exactly one of the defining moments of the season. After all, the team was down 20-0 against the Patriots at that point in the game.
It is also surprising to see Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Ryan Shazier's season-ending spinal injury listed at number eight, while Tom Brady cutting his hand – and subsequently playing at his usual high level – ranks at number seven.