The Patriots have appeared in more Super Bowls than any team in history, so it’s not surprising to see so many of their games among the NFL’s greatest of all time.
NFL Network completed its list of the greatest 100 games in league history Friday night, and the Patriots were prominently featured. In fact, 10 games involving New England made the final cut.
Trying to narrow down all the great moments into one that stands above the rest is a difficult task. The six Super Bowl titles obviously come to mind, as do the many postseason wins and even some losses. In all seven wins and three defeats made the list, which was selected by an 80-person panel of experts.
Two of New England’s most recent titles were the highest-rated victories while the franchise’s most bitter defeat earned the highest spot on the list.
On the positive side, the Patriots victory over Seattle in Super Bowl XLIX narrowly edged the win over Atlanta two years later, finishing eighth and ninth respectively. New England’s magical win over Oakland in the Snow Bowl finished 15th while the Super Bowl XXXVI win over the Rams (20th), last year’s AFC Championship win over Kansas City (36), Super Bowl XXXVIII over Carolina (37) and the infamous Snow Plow win over Miami in 1982 (94) also made the list.
The best finish for a game involving the Patriots was Super Bowl XLII in the loss to the Giants that spoiled New England’s perfect season in 2007. That game cracked the top five at No. 5. Other losses included Super Bowl LII against the Eagles (14) and the 2006 AFC title loss in Indy (21).
This is an impossible task given the amount of success the Patriots have enjoyed. Couple that run of dominance with the amount of truly memorable games New England has been involved in and it becomes even tougher.
Personally, I like the choice of the win over Seattle as being the best victory. It was a back and forth game featuring two heavyweights slugging it out with the outcome being decided by a singular play that easily could be considered the best of all time. The comeback over Atlanta is the only overtime game in Super Bowl history and produced plenty of magical moments along the way. Either one is worthy of the top spot so seeing them listed eighth and ninth makes sense.
And if we’re being completely honest, the loss to the Giants deserves the top spot among greatest games in Patriots annals. The unbeaten Patriots were this close to completing the first 19-0 season in NFL history, only to watch New York complete one of the greatest upsets in all of sports with a magical finish.
The game is still too painful for many of us to watch, but it’s hard to imagine any involving the Patriots was more memorable.