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Revisiting the 2001 Patriots

2021 Patriots Season:
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Pick Results: NE: 83.3% at BUF: 16.7%

Mon
Dec 6th

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1960Pats

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I decided to re-watch Brady's first start vs Indy.
*Brian Cox set the tome with a brutal hit on one of PEDton's early hospital passes.
*Otis MY MAN!
*Basically, Indy was Faulk-ed the entire game.
*After the Cox hit the Indy receivers couldn't get down fast enough after their catches.
*No wonder the NYFL moved PEDton "Happy Feet" Manning to an all-expansion team division. He didn't stand a chance in the AFCE.
*The biggest difference that I remember between Drew and Tom, which was evident in that game, was Tom's ability to throw swing passes perfectly in stride even when he was rushed and about to be hit.
 

1960Pats

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I have no memory of Tom in 2000.

I do remember thinking Tom looked good in preseason. Nothing beyond that really.

I was done with Bledsoe in 2000. Patting the ball...Locking in on receivers.....
I have a memory of Drew throwing a pick in the SB vs GB that still bugs me. Shawn Jefferson was blowing by the defender like he was standing still and Drew threw up a back foot pass that was at least 20 yards short and ended up as one of his 4 picks.
 

1960Pats

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At the time, he was probably the best QB in our history. Yeah I remember him being Marino-like for a number of years, now when I look back, it was like, meh. It must be how the lions saw Stafford.
I think Babe Parilli was the best QB in our history at that time.
 

1960Pats

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My dad and I have a great relationship today, but we had some chilly years. When AV nailed that last kick in the SB, we had our first hug in probably 10 years.

There have been many more since. Thanks Pats.
Great story. I only wish my dad had lived long enough to see the game. He passed away in 1994.

I watched the game with my sons, my oldest who played all sports and my youngest who had no interest in sports. My oldest son and I were in and out of our chairs and I looked at my youngest as the kick went through. He was sitting calmly and said "so this is a big deal huh?"
 

40yrpatsfan

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I was at the San Diego game that year, down close to the field in the old stadium, and it was so obvious to me that Brady was the best player on the field. He had a presence, and the footwork and throwing motion were so polished. That 4th quarter comeback from down 10 was epic, a weird foggy day.
 

jbean9876abcd

Third String But Playing on Special Teams
So, they have a bunch of Patriot’s games from that 2001 season on YouTube. And was watching Brady’s first NFL start vs the Colts. Pats were 0-2 coming into the game, facing the AFC East 2-0 division leading Colts (yes you youngsters, they used to be in our division). It was a season ender if they lose that game. Pats KILLED the Colts.

A 24 year old Tom Brady didn’t do anything spectacular in that game, though he did make some nice throws that would’ve made Pat’s fans back then go, “hmmm”.

Next game, the Pats laid an egg, played horribly vs the Dolphins and lost an ugly game. 1-3 record. This coming off an 5-11 record. Things look dismal. Lost our high priced Pro Bowl QB, Brady looks ordinary to bad, our season looks doomed.

Heading into a game vs the Chargers, with a 1-3 record, and with a basically inexperienced QB. Heading towards 1-4. But this would be Brady’s coming out party. It was his first NFL come from behind masterpiece, first of many, and truly a show of what kind of QB Brady would become. It was his only 300 yard game that season, but was just a brilliant comeback. I think the Pats were behind 10 in the 4th quarter, and Brady brought them back to tie late, and drove them down the field in OT for the game winning FG (sounds familiar).

They would win the next game, to go 3-3, things are looking up. But then the Pats, once again laid an egg. Brady throws 5 INTs after a brilliant game the week before. We lose to Denver, the Broncos owned the Pats back then.

They win the next 2 games to go 5-4, but then lose the next game vs the Rams, but quite differently, this loss, they played a Super Bowl contender, the team with the best record, blow for blow. It was a game that gave the Patriots a ton of confidence in themselves.

They would not lose another game that season. They would go 9-0 the rest of the way, including the playoffs and the SB.

Just an incredible season. This was an 0-2 and 1-3 team. I couldn’t find any info about if they are the only 1-3 team to ever win a SB. I know there were a few 0-2 teams have won SBs.

But think about it, 1-3, and losing game 5 by 10 points in the 4th quarter, with basically a rookie QB, who had shown some promise, but statistically at that point, had shown nothing. Brady saved that season with that brilliant come from behind win.

1-3, and then 13-2 the rest of the way, unbelievable. And what’s more unbelievable is, they went on to win SB 36, with a basically average roster, so Belichick really deserves a lot of credit as well.

0-2, then 1-3, and then 5-5, then 9-0 wow.

Can’t believe that was 20 years ago.
When I read this the first time, all the beautiful memories came flooding back. (Oh 20 years ago when I was still able to go out and get drunk after work and be effective the next day - now I can't even have a drink on a "school night"). The second time I read this, I have to remind myself that Mac can have a 4INT stinker of a game and that's ok.
 

patfanken

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I watched the Pats 2001 yearbook again (thanks to the poster) and here are my comments on what I saw.

1. When they showed the first Colts game you couldn't help but wonder "what if", when you saw how great Terry Glenn looked on ALL his completions. What a shame. Few remember that he came back from that disastrous season and had a 10 year career with 2 1000 yd seasons at the END of his career with Dallas. How much better he might have been if he hadn't had those mental health issues.

2; Watching Antoine Smith make all those long runs makes you forget that he barely averaged 4 ypc and that was the only year he did, though he was instrumental in 2 superbowl wins. Bill loved him because he knew when he gave him the ball, Smith would LOSE any yds. He could count on him to gain something positive even if it was only a 2 or 3 yd gain. He'd get you to 3rd and 5 or 6, and for this offense those were makeable throws..

3. I mourned that half the great hits that made us smile in that tape would be flagged today. I saw only 2 there were really flag worthy.

4. Drew Bledsoe was a much better QB than one of the posters made him out to be. However he was a fish out of water playing in the Weiss system, a system that fit Brady's skill set to a T. QB success requires you have a system that matches your offensive system. That is what makes Mac's future look so bright. Bill's QB choice was the right one back then, even before Brady emerged as the GOAT.

5. As I look at the team that Bill amassed for that first great season, I see a raft of similarities to what he is trying to build here. \

a. A tough BIG DL to pound OL's and contain the run game - Is Baremore this Generation's Richard Seymour (I'd take Seymour-lite ) check

b. Big tough physical and VETERAN LB's who make all the moves and changes that Bill wants at the LOS presnap and will punish runners and beat up pass catchers. Back then it was McGinest,, Cox, and Roman Phifer. This year it is Hightower, Van Noy and Judon

c. He brought in a touch somewhat slow, but steady CB in Otis Smith. Jalen Mills perhaps who adds position flexibility to that description

d. And had 2 veteran hard hitting Safeties check.

e. A strong Running game that will move the chains - Guys who you can count on to at LEAST get you to makeable 3rd down - check

f. A strong OL that will be better than the sum of its parts. Actually this could be a MUCH better OL given that that one only had 2 real talents in Light and Woody and Light was a rookie. Gregg f#cking Robinson-Randell was our RT and IIRC he was out of the league a year or 2 later. The others like Andruzi were just blue collar guys who were more tough than talented. Check plus.

g. Solid steady WR's - in 2001 we had no one who would scare a DC either, but and only Patten and Brown put up ANY numbers. and freakin' Wiggy was the TE :eel: And while I the complaints about the WR's are well documented, this is certainly a more talented group than the one we had in 2001, especially after Glenn left after game #3

h. And then we come to the QB - You want your QB to stay within the system. Make good decisions. and above all move the chains. I know I'd feel better if this were Mac's 2nd year, but he is what we have and he certainly fits the system to a T,

i. Finally you can't watch that clip without coming to the conclusion about how important turnovers were to the success of the Pats, especially in the playoffs. We had FIVE in Pittsburgh in a 7 point game. No win their without all 5. Most of the games we play this year will be a touchdown or less games. Our plus minus turnover ratio will play a key role in decided what kind of season we have. Like in 2001 the margin of victory will will often be narrow, especially with a rookie QB., But anyway you look at it Mac is EXACTLY what Brady was in 2001 (lacking that extra year of maturity.

When you think about it,, it's kind of spooky.
 

Kasmir

Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job
I think Babe Parilli was the best QB in our history at that time.
I've been a fan since the inception. Grogan was our best QB until Brady IMO. When he was on and throwing play action to Stanley Morgan and Russ Francis it was incredible and they were unstoppable running behind Hannah and Gray. Grogan had the occasional bad game when his ball would sail on him. But what a competitor, love him to this day.

The 76 team is still my favorite Pats team because they were our first great team. And I still love those Fairbanks defenses: Julius Adams, Ray Hamilton, Steve Nelson, Sam Hunt, Mike Haynes, Ray Clayborn, Tim Fox and the introduction of the Oklahoma 3-4 to the NFL as a base defense. Still respect Chuck Fairbanks despite the 1978 betrayal.
 

scott99

Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal
terry glenn made impossible catches in that chargers game. He is by far the most talented WR the Patriots have drafted in past 25 years
I remember always being jealous of the Cowboy’s triplets in the 1990’s. Then we got Bledsoe, then Curtis Martin, and then Glenn. I remember being so psyched when they got Glenn, thinking we finally got out triplets. Then Glen goes out and has the greatest rookie receiver campaign ever (since surpassed). I always thought Glenn would be the next Lynn Swan.
 
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scott99

Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal
I've been a fan since the inception. Grogan was our best QB until Brady IMO. When he was on and throwing play action to Stanley Morgan and Russ Francis it was incredible and they were unstoppable running behind Hannah and Gray. Grogan had the occasional bad game when his ball would sail on him. But what a competitor, love him to this day.

The 76 team is still my favorite Pats team because they were our first great team. And I still love those Fairbanks defenses: Julius Adams, Ray Hamilton, Steve Nelson, Sam Hunt, Mike Haynes, Ray Clayborn, Tim Fox and the introduction of the Oklahoma 3-4 to the NFL as a base defense. Still respect Chuck Fairbanks despite the 1978 betrayal.
That 1976 team was definitely one of my favorites. It was my 2nd year as a Pat’s fan, and I was a big Russ Francis and Steve Grogan fan. Steve Nelson being my favorite on defense, though I loved Tim Fox and Mike Haynes as well.

Slight correction on your post though, Stanley Morgan was a 1st round pick in 1977, so not on that 1976 team. The other 1st round pick in 1977, was Raymond Clayborn, who wound up setting up a great CB tandem with Haynes for a couple years.
 

Hyped

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I remember always being jealous of the Cowboy’s triplets in the 1990’s. Then we got Bledsoe, then Curtis Martin, and the Glenn. I remember being so psyched when they got Glenn, thinking we finally got out triplets. Then Glen goes out and has the greatest rookie receiver campaign ever (since surpassed). I always thought Glenn would be the next Lynn Swan.

I think a lot of Glenn's early career was damaged by Ernie Zampese's timing route offense....Glenn should have been able to just fly like he did in '96 and just have Bledsoe rip the ball....

===================

Bledsoe, before he got into the "patting the ball" part of his Patriot career...he was a different QB in 1994-1998, IMO. Especially the comeback against the Vikings game...when he just slinged the ball... hell I'd still argue that Bledsoe had the best arm of any Patriot QB...could make all the throws if his feet were set.

I was and still am a huge Bledsoe fan....the 2001-2002 AFC title game is the perfect synopsis of Bledsoe's career...he comes off the bench cold...and BOOM BOOM BOOM...scores the 1st passing TD of that playoff run....a quarter or two later he hits Joey Porter in the numbers....then hits Patrick Pass on a perfect floater near the sideline..... I think that game is the one that made me understand why we wanted Brady at the helm. At the time, I compared it to two guys driving to work. One guy had a Ferrari....always got up late...raced to work...made it on time sometimes...other times he had an accident and was late. The other guy had a Ford...left early for work...always made it on time...

I was sad when Bledsoe was benched for Tony Romo in Dallas....I remember Parcells taking him out of the game...it was a Monday nighter I think.... that was the end.... I still want to visit his winery some day though...
 

RobertWeathers

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OT: Funny story.

About 2 years ago I played in a United Way golf tourney at Framingham CC. Great time. Great food. Plenty of money raised.

Some of you may know Joe Andruzzi is a big UW volunteer.

We were in the foursome in front of him and his crew.

My buddy, T (who knows Joe well) bought NYJ, MIA and Bills ball markers. He was one of the organizers and set it up that way.

He purposely left them on the greens once we finished putting.

He knew Joe would take it all in good fun.

On #5 we were waiting to tee off.

Joe and his crew pull up.

Joe gets out and starts walking towards us. His mouth billowing of cigar smoke. He is still a VERY big dude.

Druz- "Which one of you motherf---ers has been leaving these piece of s--t ballmarkers?".

RW buddy T-"I figured you'd need them since you will most likely finish last".

Druz- "Go f__k yourself, T" (shaking his head with a disgusted grin).

Later at the clubhouse T introduced us to Joe. He was awesome. Down to earth guy.
 
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scott99

Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal
OT: Funny story.

About 2 years ago I played in a United Way golf tourney at Framingham CC. Great time. Great food. Plenty of money raised.

Some of you may know Joe Andruzzi is a big UW volunteer.

We were in the foursome in front of him and his crew.

My buddy, T (who knows Joe well) bought NYJ, MIA and Bills ball markers). He was one of the organizers and set it up that way.

He purposely left them on the greens once we finished putting.

He knew Joe would take it all in good fun.

On #5 we were waiting to tee off.

Joe and his crew pull up.

Joe gets out and starts walking towards us. His mouth billowing of cigar smoke. He is still a VERY big dude.

Druz- "Which one of you motherf---ers has been leaving these piece of s--t ballmarkers?".

RW buddy T-"I figured you'd need them since you will most likely finish last".

Druz- "Go f__k yourself, T" (shaking his head with a disgusted grin).

Later at the clubhouse T introduced us to Joe. He was awesome. Down to earth guy.
I loved Andruzzi. I still get chills when he talks about his brothers and 9/11. Such a horrible day for America, was so happy his brothers survived, they were heroes. And it runs in the family, I remember Andruzzi carrying an injured woman after the Boston Marathon bombings.
 

sb1

Hall of Fame Poster
Was that the Avalon where Bledsoe was stage diving with Lane back in the day and hurt someone and got sued? LOL. That’s not something I’d expect from him
 

Kasmir

Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job
That 1976 team was definitely one of my favorites. It was my 2nd year as a Pat’s fan, and I was a big Russ Francis and Steve Grogan fan. Steve Nelson being my favorite on defense, though I loved Tim Fox and Mike Haynes as well.

Slight correction on your post though, Stanley Morgan was a 1st round pick in 1977, so not on that 1976 team. The other 1st round pick in 1977, was Raymond Clayborn, who wound up setting up a great CB tandem with Haynes for a couple years.
Fair enough. The 1978 team could have been even better -- they set the NFL single season rushing record that lasted 41 years -- but fell apart in the playoffs when Fairbanks announced his departure. I was in the stands for the horrible 31-14 playoff loss to the Oilers. A cold and miserable New Year's Eve afternoon.
 

Actual Pats Fan

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Fair enough. The 1978 team could have been even better -- they set the NFL single season rushing record that lasted 41 years -- but fell apart in the playoffs when Fairbanks announced his departure. I was in the stands for the horrible 31-14 playoff loss to the Oilers. A cold and miserable New Year's Eve afternoon.
Losing Stingley, the way we lost him, hurt to the core. You initially think it's only one guy, but this particular guy, in that way, that opponent, that venue. Now Harold Jackson was awesome, but Darryl was one of the veteran leaders from the beginning. The other injuries to Adams and Smith might have happened anyway, but Fairbanks leaving was directly as a result of it. The initial response by ownership was enough to drive him away. Francis was gone two years later. It's a cumulative effect. The Sullivans were not responsible for Dreith or Tatum, but their subsequent actions made things much worse. Our margin for error - or misfortune - was razor thin in the 70's.
 

scott99

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Losing Stingley, the way we lost him, hurt to the core. You initially think it's only one guy, but this particular guy, in that way, that opponent, that venue. Now Harold Jackson was awesome, but Darryl was one of the veteran leaders from the beginning. The other injuries to Adams and Smith might have happened anyway, but Fairbanks leaving was directly as a result of it. The initial response by ownership was enough to drive him away. Francis was gone two years later. It's a cumulative effect. The Sullivans were not responsible for Dreith or Tatum, but their subsequent actions made things much worse. Our margin for error - or misfortune - was razor thin in the 70's.
Stingley’s injury broke my heart. He seemed like he was such a good person, who was finally living up to his potential. I remember even sending him a card saying how much he inspired me after his injury. It was a very sad day.

Harold Jackson came in and really fit in with the team after the loss of Stingley. He was 32 when he came to the Pats, the following season, as a 33 year old, had a 1,000 yard season.
 

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