December, 29, 2007: The 2007 New England Patriots are remembered for completing a perfect 16-0 regular season and for not ending the season perfect. But on this day seven years ago is when the team accomplished the former.
The Patriots rallied from 12 points down in the second half to beat the New York Giants, 38-35, becoming the first team since the 1972 Miami Dolphins to finish the regular season unbeaten, and the first ever after the league expanded to 16 games in 1977. The previous best was 15 wins by the 1984 San Francisco 49ers, the 1985 Chicago Bears, the 1998 Minnesota Vikings, and the 2004 Pittsburgh Steelers.
Also monumental in this game was a major record set by New England quarterback Tom Brady. Brady's second scoring pass was his 50th of the season, putting him past Peyton Manning's record of 49, set in 2004. The team featured a record-setting offense with Brady and newly acquired receivers Randy Moss and Wes Welker. It was a team the looked unstoppable, that is until the Super Bowl.
Remember, the season started in controversy with Bill Belichick and Spygate against the New York Jets. It also ended in unbelievable fashion with the 18-0 Patriots shocked by the New York Giants, 17-14, in Super Bowl XLII. That game featured an unbelievable escape by Giants quarterback Eli Manning and one of the most incredible catches by receiver David Tyree on the same play that ultimately led to the game-winning touchdown.
While the season ended in shock, the 2007 Patriots were so dominant during the regular season that we honor them on this day. Here's to you, 2007 Patriots: