Welcome to the offseason. That magical time of year where we all suddenly find ourselves with an extra weekend day to get stuff done or just relax without having to worry about the outcome of a Patriots game. It always sucks when the season ends, but at the same time I always look forward to a few months of stress-free existence.
And with the offseason comes the triumphant return my annual list of the 20 most memorable Patriots moments of the season that just ended. Over the coming days, weeks, and months, I’ll be counting down what I believe are the games, moments, and events that defined the 2019 season as a whole. Some will be good, some will be bad, and some will be memorable more for how they impacted the overall landscape of the Patriots team this past year. I always have a blast putting these lists together, and I hope you all enjoy it too.
That said - as we get ready to begin this countdown, I want to make something abundantly clear: in terms of memorable football seasons, 2019 really doesn’t rank very highly at all from a Patriots perspective. They didn’t win a single playoff game. There were no 24 point comebacks. Not a single botched fake punt. No goal line stands. Zero last-minute wins, crazy endings, or buttfumbles. Compared to other offseason countdowns, this one is going to fall flatter than the champagne everyone cracked the day the Patriots dynasty was first declared dead back in 2005. So I advise you all to take this season for what it is, not compare it to other years, and use this list to fully appreciate the fact that a 12-4, division winning finish represents one of the worst seasons the Pats have had this century.
Before we start the countdown in earnest, as always, let’s have a little bit of fun by taking a look back at the previous year’s list for a quick trip down memory lane. Here are the Top 20 Patriots Moments of 2018; if you want to read the accompanying article, just click the corresponding number:
20. Danny Etling gets half of the Giants fired with an 86 yard touchdown run.
19. The Patriots demolish the Jets at home to secure a playoff bye.
18. Julian Edelman bounces off a Bill and into the end zone on a 4th down conversion.
17. Some punt team acrobatics keep the Steelers from getting a touchback.
16. Gronk magic returns with a 34 yard touchdown seam route catch against the New York Jets.
15. James Develin finds the end zone twice against the Minnesota Vikings.
14. The New England Patriots trade for Josh Gordon.
13. A Julian Edelman screen pass and an epic Tom Brady fakeout secures a primetime win on Sunday Night Football over the Green Bay Packers.
12. The Patriots right the ship with a Week 4 blowout of the Miami Dolphins.
11. Special teams lead the way for a decisive road victory over the Chicago Bears.
10. Tom Brady avoids the sack on 3rd and goal and dives headfirst into the end zone to take the lead against the Kansas City Chiefs.
9. Tom Brady becomes the all time passing yards leader in a win over the New York Jets.
8. Tom Brady eclipses 1,000 career rushing yards with a five yard scamper against the Minnesota Vikings.
7. The Miami Miracle.
6. A Devin McCourty pick-six seals a Monday Night victory over the Buffalo Bills.
5. Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski team up to lead the Patriots on a late game-winning drive against the Kansas City Chiefs.
4. The Patriots shut everybody up and dismantle the Los Angeles Chargers in the Divisional Round.
3. Tom Brady hits a double-covered Josh Gordon in the end zone for a 34 yard touchdown against the Indianapolis Colts.
2. Tom Brady leads the Patriots to the Super Bowl with an overtime victory over the Kansas City Chiefs.
1. Stifling defense and a drive for the ages lead the Patriots to a Super Bowl victory over the Los Angeles Rams.
Check back in at Pats Pulpit all offseason long for news, developments, podcasts, and when things are slow around here, the countdown.