And just like that, another season in the books.
As dozens upon dozens of Los Angeles Rams fans celebrate a Super Bowl victory, it’s wild that it’s already almost time to turn the page to 2022. The NFL Combine is right around the corner, soon to be followed by free agency, the draft, and minicamp; before you know it. we’ll be into summer and those meaningless three games in August before the season kicks off in earnest.
Which means it’s time for everyone’s (and by “everyone,” I mean me) favorite offseason tradition here at Pats Pulpit: counting down the 20 most memorable New England Patriots moments from the previous year.
I’ve done my best to compile and rank a list of moments that represent the 2021 Patriots season as a whole: the ups, the downs, the surprises, the letdowns, and everything in between. 2021 was a highly unique one for this team, as it represents the beginning of a new era of Patriots football. So I’m looking forward to breaking it all down with you over the coming weeks and months, usually during the quieter times where there isn’t all that much news to report. So be sure to check back here often to see how much you agree, or disagree, with my rankings.
But first, as we always do before getting into it in earnest... let’s take a quick look back at my countdown from last season. If you’d like to read the article accompanying the moment, just click on the corresponding number.
The Cam Newton Era feels like a lifetime ago, doesn’t it?
20. A diving N’Keal Harry grab in the end zone makes it a game against the Kansas City Chiefs.
19. A last second 51 yard Nick Folk field goal caps off a comeback win against the New York Jets.
18. Two red zone trips, zero total points against the Kansas City Chiefs.
17. A fourth down option read to James White puts the Patriots on the board against the Arizona Cardinals.
16. A last-second goal line stand prevents the Patriots from stealing a game on the road against the Seattle Seahawks.
15. A nonsensical blindside blocking flag negates an 82 yard punt return for a touchdown against the Arizona Cardinals.
14. Derrick Carr is strip sacked in the end zone to put six points on the board and put the game away against the Las Vegas Raiders.
13. A goal line stand just before halftime keeps the game close against the Arizona Cardinals.
12. The Patriots debut the RPO offense against the Miami Dolphins.
11. Rex Burkhead hurdles into the end zone just before halftime against the Las Vegas Raiders.
10. The Patriots sign Cam Newton.
9. Cam Newton hits Damiere Byrd for a 42 yard touchdown bomb against the Houston Texans.
8. Jakobi Meyers connects with Rex Burkhead in the end zone to take a 14-10 lead into the half against the Baltimore Ravens.
7. A last minute fumble short-circuits an epic comeback attempt against the Buffalo Bills.
6. A 49-yard Cam Newton rush against the New York Jets sets a Patriots record for longest run by a QB
5. Gunner Olzsewski takes a punt return to the house against the San Diego Chargers.
4. Jakobi Meyers hits Cam Newton in stride for a 19 yard score against the New York Jets.
3. A blocked field goal attempt just before halftime leads to the second Special Teams TD of the day against the Los Angeles Chargers.
2. The Patriots upset the Ravens at home in the blinding rain in a win that absolutely nobody saw coming.
1. Tom Brady announces he’s leaving the Patriots.
Moment Number 20 coming soon!