By Brendon Rosenau, Patriots Daily Staff
It’s a year that in all honesty will never get the recognition it truly deserves. Since the NFL expanded to a 16 game schedule, only one team has managed to run the table in the regular season. Only one team in the NFL has won 18 straight games in one season. Yet, the 2007 New England Patriots will forever be remembered for the one game they did not win, the final, and most important game of the year, the Super Bowl. Frequently lost in the catastrophic loss were all the other notable events of the year. We all remember the records set by Tom Brady and Randy Moss, but let’s revisit some of the other happenings of the year.
Feeling that Brady needed better targets to throw to, the Patriots completed an offseason for the ages when the acquired three top flight receivers for minimal price. Moss was netted for a fourth round pick, Wes Welker was had for a second and seventh round pick, and Donte Stallworth was signed as a free agent. Kelly Washington was also added through free agency and would be a dynamite special teams player for the Pats. On defense they signed former Ravens standout Adalius Thomas to form a veteran line backing crew that became known as the brotherhood. The team also had a long contract battle with Asante Samuel, whom they eventually where able to franchise.
The season opened with a resounding 38-14 win over the Jets. Ellis Hobbs returned the second half kick an NFL record 108 yards and we got a glimpse of how good Moss would be when he caught 9 passes for 183 yards and a TD. All good feelings where lost when the Spygate incident came to the front page of the papers. That is all I am saying about that subject.
The Pats then smoked a vengeful San Diego team by the same score serving notice that New England was the team to beat. Thomas earned his Pat Patriot logo when he scored on a 65-yard pick six. The Patriots then rolled. In Week Six they hung 48 on the road in Dallas and followed that with a 49 point outing against the Dolphins and a 52-7 win over the Redskins.
The teams first test came in Indy. The Pats trailed 13-7 at the half and 20-10 with under 10 minutes to play in the fourth. However, a Moss 55-yar grab set up a Welker TD. After the defense nearly forced a turnover, Brady led a game winning drive with Kevin Faulk catching the winner. Jarvis Green stripped Peyton Manning on the Colts last drive and Rosevelt Colvin recovered the clinch the win.
The Pats had two other big time scores, as they allowed A.J. Feeley to throw for 345 yards in a Sunday night win. Feeley made two critical mistakes, both to Samuel, that allowed the Pats to move to 11-0. The next week on Monday night the Patriots snuck by the Ravens 27-24 when the Pats took advantage of several Ravens miscues late in the game. Frequently forgotten was Mark Clayton’s Hail Mary reception on the game’s final play that feel inches shy of the goaline.
The Pats concluded the regular season with a 38-35 win over the Giants.
What do you remember about that year? Set the disappointment aside and relive one of the most enjoyable NFL seasons in years.
- Tom Brady – 440-652 (1st NFL), 4,806 yards (1st), 50 TD (NFL Record), 8 INT, 300.4 yards per game (1st), 8.3 yards per attempt (1st), 117.2 rating (1st), NFL MVP
- Laurence Maroney – 835 yards, 6 TD
- Wes Welker 112 receptions (T-1st), 1,175 yards, 8TD
- Randy Moss 98 receptions (T-8th), 1,493 yards (2nd), 23 TD (NFL Record), 138 points scored (2nd)
- Ellis Hobbs 26.0 kick return average, 1 KR TD
- Stephen Gostkowski 74-74 PAT (1st), 21-24 FG, 137 points (3rd)
- Tedy Bruschi 93 tackles
- Mike Vrabel 12.5 sacks (T-6th)
- Asante Samuel 6 INT (T-5th)
ALL PRO (1st Team)
Tom Brady (QB), Randy Moss (WR), Matt Light (LT), Mike Vrabel (LOLB), Asante Samuel (LCB)
Brady, Moss, Light, Logan Mankins (LG), Dan Koppen (C), Vince Wilfork (NT), Vrabel, Samuel