The season is over, we’ve all had our period of adjusting to life after football, and we’re all extremely sick of winter by now. And that only means one thing:
Time to start counting down the Top 20 Most Memorable Patriots Moments of 2017!
As I do every year, over the coming days, weeks, and months, I’m going to be whittling this past season down into a series of 20 moments that I feel best represent the Patriots in 2017 as a whole. Most of the moments are good ones, but there will be a few bad ones thrown in there as well - and hopefully, by the time September rolls around, we’ll all be able to look back upon this list and remember how much fun being a Patriots fan is.
As with all countdown lists, it will be subjective, it’s my opinion only, and you aren’t likely to agree with all of it. But it’s that discussion and debate that keeps us hanging on through the long, slogging offseason, and believe it or not I always enjoy getting the occasional email from some pissed off fan telling me how stupid I am for ranking a moment too high or too low. So never hesitate to voice your displeasure over the next few months.
I should also mention that, while it should probably be #1, I’m not going to be including Tommy B’s Super Bowl performance on this list. Yes, the man played a game for the ages...but I want this list to end on a high note, and that wasn’t the case in that game. So know that I acknowledge how awesome Brady played in the Super Bowl, but it’s not going to be on there.
And while I’m on the subject: let’s just get something straight right now. The 2017 Patriots are coming off of a season in which they fell short in the Super Bowl. The season that preceded this one, 2016, was either the first or second best season this team has ever had in their entire history, depending on your opinions about 2001. The Pats dealt with a Brady suspension, political strife, an amazing slate of games, and then came back from a 28-3 deficit to win their 5th Lombardi Trophy. Counting down the Top 20 Patriots Moments of 2016 was so nuts that, for the first time, I had to do an Honorable Mentions article just to give credit to all of the moments I left off. So there’s absolutely no way that any of the moments on my 2017 list will be able to hold a candle to last year, and that’s just the way it is. Every season is different, and at the end of the day 2017 isn’t going to go down in the history books as anything all that memorable.
And yes, only in Patriots Nation is a season that ends with a Super Bowl appearance and a 500 yard throwing performance somewhat forgettable. Man, life is good.
As always, before I dive into the latest season, we take one last look back at the year that preceded it. And again - holy Tebow what a season last year was. You can click on any of the below numbers to reach the corresponding article.
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.
12. LeGarrette Blount sets a franchise record with his 15th rushing TD of the year against the Denver Broncos.
11. Tom Brady hits Chris Hogan for a 79 yard TD to ice the game against the Baltimore Ravens.
10. Rob Gronkowski sets a Patriots All-Time receiving TD record by notching his 69th against the Buffalo Bills.
9. A kickoff return for a TD highlights a historic night for Dion Lewis in the AFC Divisional Round against the Houston Texans.8. Dont’a Hightower blows up Andy Dalton for a safety to give the Patriots some much-needed momentum against the Cincinnati Bengals.
7. Michael Floyd decapitates Tony Lippett to spring Julian Edelman for a 77 yard touchdown.
6. A Jacoby Brissett naked bootleg highlights a Thursday night shutout of the Houston Texans.
5. Tom Brady returns from suspension to the tune of 406 yards and 3 TDs in an absolute beatdown of the Cleveland Browns.
4. Tom Brady becomes the winningest quarterback in NFL history by notching win #201 against the Rams.3. A flea flicker and a rumbling run help send the Patriots to yet another Super Bowl.
2. Jimmy Garoppolo comes out, in his first ever NFL start, and takes down the Arizona Cardinals on the road, in primetime, on Sunday Night Football.
1. Tom Brady leads the Patriots from 25 points down to an overtime victory against the Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl LI.
Be sure to check in with Pats Pulpit throughout the offseason as the countdown begins in earnest next week.