Okay, let’s face it. 2013 was not a kind year for the Patriots at all. It started with them getting knocked around in the AFC Championship game at home to the hated Baltimore Ravens, there was a star Tight End arrested for murder, and every time Gronkowski touched the ball in 2013, he got hurt. Here are the top 5 Patriots moments from 2013:
5.) Patriots Defeat the Texans in the Playoffs, January 13, 2013.
The Houston Texans were a different team after losing big time to the Patriots on a Monday night in the regular season. Houston knew it was a huge game, and even wore their letterman jackets to Foxboro. That game morally destroyed that team, and when they returned to Foxboro for the divisional playoff game, their tails were still between their legs. The Patriots destroyed the Texans 41-28 to advance to play the Ravens in the AFC Championship for the 2nd year in a row.
4.) Patriots Complete Miracle Comeback Against Browns, December 8, 2013.
Things were not looking good for the Patriots against the lowly Cleveland Browns. They were down by 12 points with just over a minute to play in the 4th quarter. With 1:01 left, Tom Brady threw a 2 yard Touchdown to Julian Edelman to make the game a 1 possession game, but the team still needed to recover an onside kick, which almost never works. Stephen Gostokowski laid down a beautiful onside kick which the Patriots recovered at the Cleveland 40 yard line. After a 1 yard pass by Brady, he tried going deep in the end zone to Josh Boyce, but on the play pass interference was called and the Patriots got the ball at the 1 yard line. They punched the ball in to take a 1 point lead. The Browns still had enough time to drive the ball, and kicker Billy Cundiff missed a field goal as time expired to give the Patriots the win, and keep them in contention for a first round bye.
3.) Patriots get Payback against the Ravens, December 15, 2013.
Whenever the Patriots and Ravens play each other, the games seem to be close. The Patriots went into Baltimore with the Ravens still playing to get a playoff spot with 2 weeks remaining. The Patriots took an early 17-0 lead, but the Ravens kept it close. It was just a 2 possession game in the 4th quarter, but then the Ravens puked all over themselves, and the Patriots defense took over to give the Patriots a 41-7 win. All the “experts” from ESPN picked the Ravens to win the game. That loss eventually kept the Ravens who defeated the Patriots twice last season, out of the playoffs.
2.) Unicorns, Show Ponies, Where’s the Beef?!?! October 13, 2013.
Every football fan has heard Scott Zolak’s call of the Tom Brady’s winning TD pass with 5 seconds left in the game. As amazing as the TD was, it was a miracle the Patriots were even in the position. Trailing by 1 the Patriots failed to convert a 4th down conversion inside their own 30 yard line, and the Saints were only able to come up with a field goal to make it a 4 point game. On the next play, Tom Brady threw an interception, and that surely looked the end for the Patriots. Luckily for New England, the Saints didn’t weren’t able to eat the clock up. The Patriots got the ball back with 1:13 to play and no timeouts. Tom Brady was Tom Brady and kept his cool and drove the offense down field, and eventually it Kembrell Thompkins for a 17 yard TD with 5 seconds left to win the game 30-27.
1.)Brady V. Manning, 24 point comeback, November 23, 2013
It was Wes Welkers return to Gillette Stadium, and of course all the hype of a normal game against Peyton Manning and Tom Brady. On the coldest night in November, the Patriots couldn’t hold onto the ball, as they lost fumble after fumble to the Broncos, and they looked like a team lost on the football field trailing 24-0 at halftime. It was so bad fans at Gillette were booing the hometown team as they went to the locker room. They came out of the locker room a new team. Brady found Edelman in the end zone early in the 3rd quarter to make it 24-7, and the Patriots kept bringing the heat and scored 31 un-answered points to make it a 31-24 game. But Peyton answered and tied the game with 3:06 to play. With the wind playing a major factor, Bill Belichick decided to defer the ball to start overtime after winning the coin toss. It paid off as the Broncos were unable to score. But then the Patriots couldn’t score, and the teams kept punting the ball to each other. With 3 minutes left and the Patriots punting, old friend Wes Welker didn’t call off his teammates in time and a Bronco made contact and the Patriots got possession of the ball in the Broncos 20. That led to the Game winning kick by Gostkowski, and proved to the football world, the Patriots were a legit contender.
Now with the playoffs and 2014 starting let’s see what this Patriots team can do. They hope to go to New York for the Super Bowl in February.