Today in sports history, one year before the Detroit Lions recorded a winless regular season, the 2007 New England Patriots recorded an undefeated regular season. With a 35-27 win over the New York Giants, the Patriots completed the first undefeated regular season since 1972.
Many offseason moves culminated in this near-perfect season. Before the season, the 2007 New England Patriots traded for receivers Wes Welker and Randy Moss, then added Donte Stallworth. Along with Tom Brady, who was just reaching his prime, this was one of the best offenses in NFL history.
2007 New England Patriots Finish 16-0
The season could not have started better for Brady and Bill Belichick. The 2007 New England Patriots were coming off a season that saw them lose in the playoffs to the Colts. This loss came after the Patriots led 21-3 in the game. With the loss, the Patriots went out and signed/traded for a new receiving corps. The additions of Moss, Welker and Stallworth perfectly complemented each other, with Welker working underneath, Moss over the top and Stallworth in the middle of the field. On the defensive side of the ball, the Patriots added Pro Bowl linebacker Adalius Thomas.
New England came out of the gates hot, scoring 34 or more (!) points in their first eight games of the season. A Week 9 matchup against the Indianapolis Colts led the Patriots astray, as they only scored 24, beating the Colts by a field goal. The Patriots had the luxury of playing their last four games at home, where they won by a combined score of 120-65. With foreshadowing coming into play, the Patriots hung on against the New York Giants, 38-35, to finish the season undefeated.
The New England Patriots set numerous records this season. They broke the record for most wins in a regular season, longest winning streak and most point scored (which was later broken by the 2013 Broncos).
Tom Brady also set the record for most passing touchdowns in a season, 50 (which was later broken). Randy Moss also set the record for most receiving touchdowns in a season, 23.
Patriots Don’t Finish the Job
The playoffs picked up right where the regular season ended, as the New England Patriots beat both the Jaguars and Chargers by two scores. That’s when the Patriots met the Giants in the Super Bowl. The Giants were able to neutralize the Patriots’ passing attack with their pass rush.
Lawrence Maroney scored the first touchdown of the game, with a score early in the second quarter. The game went to the half with the Patriots leading, 7-3. The third quarter went scoreless. This opened the Giants to take the lead with their first drive of the fourth quarter. David Tyree scored a go-ahead touchdown, as the Giants led 10-7. After the Patriots methodically worked down the field, Moss scored a touchdown to push the score to 14-10.
With just over a minute left, Eli Manning threw a pass to Tyree that was almost intercepted by Asante Samuel. With 1:15 left, Manning and Tyree completed the greatest play in NFL history, as Manning eluded New England’s pass rush and found Tyree over the middle of the field, where the receiver pinned the ball to his helmet for a crucial first down. The drive ended with a Plaxico Burress to score the go-ahead and ultimately deciding touchdown.
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