Top 5 Regular Season Patriots Games
Mike Dussault, patspropaganda.com
Any time you pick a top five anything you should probably disclaim what the criteria is for your selections. So in picking my top five Pats games from this past season my criteria is games, or more specifically wins, that were the best for the T.E.A.M. team.
I tried not to be sentimental, and to pick games that really defined who the Patriots have become as they enter the playoffs with the top seed in the AFC.
So without further ado, we count down the best five games of the 2010 regular season.
5. Baltimore Ravens: This one would’ve probably ranked higher on the list if I were being sentimental. Yes it felt good to squeak it out against the team that humiliated us on our home field in 2009, but at the end of the day this was first win of the season over a team that most people seemed to think was the class of the NFL. Not many picked the Pats to win this one, and they barely did. But this game was the first evidence that this Patriots team had special something, a little magic. It was also one of the only good defensive performances in the early part of the season. The Ravens punted THREE times in overtime.
4. Indianapolis Colts: Maybe this is a slightly sentimental since it seemed pretty apparent that the Patriots were the better team and it shouldn’t have been as close as it was, but Peyton Manning had gone 5-1 against the Pats in the last six meetings and you can’t underestimate the psychological impact on the team of winning the annual Colts-Pats war. I have to say, regardless of the lack of talent around him I’d prefer not to see Peyton again. We all know that regardless of who’s hurt or what the records are these games always go down to the wire.
3. Pittsburgh Steelers: Nearly every “pundit” out there picked the Steelers to win this game, and what happened? A Pats blowout. Before this game everyone thought the Pats were flawed and the Steelers were the class of the NFL. But afterwards it was clear that this was a Patriots team that had to be taken very seriously as Super Bowl contenders. It was yet another signature 2010 Pats performance, brutally efficient offense and a turnover driven defense.
2. Miami Dolphins (week four): Some people might be a little surprised to see this game as the number two pick but it was one of the defining games of the season. The Pats had lost to the Jets, and barely gotten past the Bills when they stepped on the field in Miami on Monday Night Football. There was lingering discussion if the Pats still had their second half demons from 2009. That question was answered when Brandon Tate took the second half kickoff back for a TD and the Pats never looked back. It was in this game that we really started to see what a ball hawking defense the Patriots had. It was also a breakout game for my personal boo Patchung! I see this game as the catalyst that really kick started the Patriots 2010 season, and was the foundation of their identity, especially for their young defensive players.
1. New York Jets (you know which one): A 45-3 beatdown of the loudmouths from New York that essentially sealed the division title, gave the inside track for homefield advantage, and exposed the Jets as the flawed team that most of us suspected they were once you got past their bark. No question about it, this was the best game of the season.