Top Fifteen Throw-Up-In-Your Mouth Pats Losses 2001-present
posted at 1/11/2010 4:19 PM EST
15. Pittsburgh ends the 21 game win streak (2004):
Halloween, I had a cold, things seemed pretty bad. They got worse when Dillon didn't suit up, Law got hurt, and some Gay guy gave up a Burress TD pass. Throw in a poor game by Brady, and you have an end to the streak.
14. Meltdown in Miami (2004): Pats are leading the whole game. They have a 12-1 record. Then Brady throws while falling on his a*s, leading to a pic. Feeley delivers the game winner over DB Troy Brown and the game ends on Brady's fourth pick.
13. No 2001 Repeat (2002): The 2002 squad wasn't horrible. They had leaders leftover, but they may have gotten too big for their britches. They were lucky to win in 2001 and I got the feeling that this team experienced a lot of growing pains - pains that would pay dividends over the rest of the decade, especially after Rodney comes aboard. But in 2002, we were still clinging to the hope of a repeat performance. They were 5-5 and if they could just run the tables again . . . and they started to, winning 3 in a row. Then they lost to the Titans and were at 8-6. A win at home against the Jets and the would have to win their last game at home to lock up the division. But they went out and blew it, allowing the Jets to win the division in a three-way tiebreaker.
12. Martyball in Foxboro (2005): In the first game after Rodney busts his knee, Seymour hurts his playing Fullback. Tomlinson has a field day, and Marty feels bad for the Pats, riling Brady up. It was the first time we all saw Cassel, because the Pats got smoked, giving pause to the whole threepeat notion.
11. Peyton's Place (2005): Shortly after San Diego comes to Foxboro and slaughters the Pats, the Colts finally win in Foxboro and show the world that Duane Starks was NOT the key to the 2000 Baltimore defense. Polian hopes Flutie breaks his leg.
10. Miami Shutout Machine (2006): Miami wins 21-0 on the legs of Sammy Morris. Who knew that the next regular season game the Pats would lose would be against the same Dolphins - in 2008.
9. The Milloy Game (2003): The only tough loss in 2003 (which isn't saying much cause there were only two). This game turned out to be the game where the Pats went from Lawyer's team to Rodney's team. And Rodney was only THE GREATEST PATRIOT EVER.
8. Blowing it in Denver (2009): Maybe not such a memorable game for all, but I remember watching this game and realizing that this was not going to be 2007 again. That, at best, it could be 2003, but maybe more like 2002. But it wasn't as bad as . . .
7. No Superdome Flashback (2009): Playing at the site of the launching pad for the dynasty, the Patriots were embarrassed. They simply got torched. We learned that Jonathan Wilhite belongs in the pantheon of bad Pats DB's along with Starks, Ellis Hobbs, and Chris Canty. And I realized that this team had NOOOOOO chance to win a Super Bowl.
6. Back-to-Back (2009): With the Pats coming off their worst loss of the year, they had the chance to get back on track and stay close for a first round bye. They blew it again in Miami, letting a win and almost the division slip through their fingers. By this game, it was clear that good to great teams could pummel the Pats, and that the Pats had no killer instinct.
5. Texas Sized Disaster (2009): First they lose Welker. Then they lose the game. While the actual "loss" wasn't really one of the worst, in reality, this game was the death knell for the season. Only the true diehard, rose colored glasses wearing fan came out of that came with any semblance of hope. The repercussions from that game should be felt at least until week 6 of 2010.
4. Fourth and 21 (2009): Forget about fourth and 2, fourth and 21 says it all - as in, 21 unanswered points by the Colts in the fourth quarter. This game was the tipping point for the Pats season. Before this game, they were finding a groove. They had a chance to be great. After this game, all we heard about was 4th and 2 - which is better than "Belicheat and Spygate" but not as good as "running up the score?"
3. Nevermore, Nevermore (2009): As in, the Dynasty is nevermore, nevermore after getting obliterated by the Ravens at home in the first round (and minute) of the playoffs. Maybe the dynasty actually ended when Brady was injured in 2008, but this game reminded the fans that the glory years of 2001-07 are DEFINITELY over. Maybe the team can come back ala the 1995 Niners, but it will not really be the same "team" that went to four Super Bowls.
2. The Prelude to a Greater Collapse (2006): The AFC Championship collapse to the Colts was a tough pill to swallow. But it seemed like a fluke. The Pats never gave up leads. They never dropped balls. Brady always came through at the end. I convinced myself it was a fluke and that the next year they would feed off the loss. And they did. But losing a chance to go to the super bowl does not compare to . . .
1. %^*&*(*(^$$##^*(%$!!! (2007): Losing the chance to go 19-0 and be known as the greatest team ever. In hindsight, it will never get as good as the Saturday night before SB 42. It was like Christmas Eve with the mosts presents under the tree that you've ever seen. Only to wake up the next morning to find out that some crazy homeless chick that your family took in stole ALL THE PRESENTS. Except, this wasn't a bad episode of growing pains. It was the WORST DEFEAT IN PATS HISTORY.
And yes, I realize that the losses are tilted to 2009, but has there ever been a harder team to watch? 2002 was tough, but the window was wide open. The 2004 and 2003 losses are, in hindsight, positive. The 2005 season was ruined by injuries and the adjustment to life without Weis and Crennel - but the window was still there (Brady was only 28). 2006 was a weird year. In many ways, it resembled this year from the offensive side of the ball. But they were 12-4 and had that great San Diego "Light Out" win. And last year, heck, that was one of the most relaxing years ever. Once Brady was out, it was no pressure, no expectations.
This year was horrible. I wish I had 51 hours back.