Tag Archives: Adam Vinatieri

ICYMI: Charles Woodson Still Cannot Get Over The Tuck Rule

Robert Alvarez
January 13, 2019 at 12:50 am ET

17 years ago, then New England Patriots kicker Adam Vinatieri made two memorable field goals against the Oakland Raiders during the 2001 Snow Bowl, or whats more popularly known as “The Tuck Rule game”.

With heavy snow coming down all night coupled with near whiteout conditions, Vinatieri drilled a game tying 45 yard field goal to force overtime, then the winner from 23 yards a short time later.

Fast forward to Saturday, a now 46 year old Vinatieri was back in another snow playoff game, but this time the results were a bit different.

Late in the second quarter, Vinatieri missed a 23-yard attempt prompting former Raider and Hall of Famer Charles Woodsoon to tweet a funny reaction to the miss.

Seeing an opportunity, former Patriots linebacker Willie McGinest chimed in a short time later with some ribbing at Woodson’s expense.

https://twitter.com/WillieMcGinest/status/1084269283469869056

Bill Belichick Reflects Back On Adam Vinatieri’s Career

Robert Alvarez
October 2, 2018 at 7:45 pm ET

When the New England Patriots welcome the Indianapolis Colts to Foxborough Thursday night, it will mark kicker Adam Vinatieri’s sixth trip back to visit the team that originally signed him as an undrafted free agent in 1996.

In what has become an illustrious 23 year career in the NFL, for many Patriots fans, its hard to believe that Vinatieri has now played more seasons (13) in Indianapolis than in New England (10).

Just last week, Vinatieri set the NFL’s all time record for field goals with 566, surpassing Hall of Famer Morten Andersen with 565.

In terms of longevity, on the same day Vinatieri also surpassed George Blanda for fourth all time on the games played list with 341, Blanda retired at age 48, Vinatieri is 45.

New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick doesn’t enjoy talking about the past, but made an exception during his Tuesday conference call when an Indianapolis reporter asked him to discuss what impressed him most about Vinatieri.

Belichick chose to talk about Vinatieri’s game tying kick during the 2001 AFC Divisional Playoff against the Oakland Raiders, known to many as the “Tuck Rule Game” or in New England, “The Snow Bowl”.

“I would say it was by far the greatest kick I have ever seen, The conditions were very difficult. There were probably three to four inches of snow on the ground. It was a soft snow that kind of didn’t go away. I mean, there was no way to get around it. The magnitude of the kick was significant. It’s got to be the greatest kick of all time, certainly that I’ve seen.”

Belichick then went into complementing Vinatieri and looked back upon his days coaching him.

“Adam is a great player. He was a great player here and has been a great player for the Colts, great person. He works hard. He certainly doesn’t fit the classic profile for a kicker. He is more of a football player. He’s physically and mentally tough. When he was here, he trained and worked out with all the players. There was no special program for him as a kicker or anything like that. He embraced that. He had a great relationship with his teammates because of the way he worked, how competitive and mentally and physically tough he was and how he was willing to help out in other areas of the team – scout team and things like that. Whatever the team needed he was always great about that. He was a clutch, dependable player in his role. So, you can’t ask for much more than that. He has had a fabulous career.”

Belichick concluded his discussion by stating his opinion on where Vinatieri ranks all time among kickers.

“Certainly, in my opinion, the greatest kicker in the game. Not just for his longevity and production but again, the magnitude of some of the kicks that he made and the difficulty – particularly the one that you mentioned.

But there were many besides that – the kick in the Super Bowl and the kick in the Carolina Super Bowl. So, I mean there were just big games after big games that we couldn’t – back in 2001, it seemed like every game came down to the last possession or the last kick. Every point was critical. Those games we won in 2001 and 2003 – especially in the early part of the year in 2003 – were all close games and tough ones. Adam came through for us with some enormous kicks.

Congratulations to him and to the great career that he has and honestly it doesn’t seem like there is much sign of him slowing down. The ball continues to go right in the middle of the uprights. It never curves. It doesn’t hook. It just goes straight down the middle. So he just has an unbelievable level of consistency.”

Belichick coached Vinatieri from 2001-2005, he signed with the Colts in free agency before the 2006 season.

Earlier this season Vinatieri expressed that has no plans to retire anytime soon.

Stephen Gostkowski Silences Critics, Sets Team Record For Longest Field Goal

Robert Alvarez
October 2, 2017 at 10:07 pm ET

Ever since his 2015 extra point miss in the AFC Championship game against the Denver Broncos two years ago, New England Patriots kicker Stephen Gostkowski has received a modest amount of criticism and concern by many throughout the fanbase and media.

Heck, had the Patriots been unable to convert two, two-point conversions during their 25 point comeback in Super Bowl LI, the attention just might have returned back to Gostkowski again for extra point miss in the third quarter. The headlines of “playoff choker” and shades to Buffalo Bills kicker Scott Norwood back in the early 90’s.

But would any of this be truly justified criticism?

While yes in 2016, Gostkowski statistically had his lowest field goal percentage in four years, making just 84% of his field goal attempts (27 for 32), it wasn’t the 93.6% from 2013-15, what is interesting to note is his 2016 average did align to his early career numbers from 2006-2012 at 84.2%.

Through his first seven seasons as a professional, Gostkowski only had one season (2008) where he hit 90% of his field goal attempts before his rise to near-automatic kicker in 2013.

From 2013-2015, Gostkowski was by far the NFL’s best kicker, making a ridiculous 106 of 114 field goals, while continuing to collect an additional 147 straight made extra points to build his streak leading into the 2015 AFC Championship.  It was during this time, Patriot Nation really grew accustomed to Gostkowski being automatic in every situation. So no, perhaps it is not a matter of Gostkowski going on the decline as it is he did so well during this three year stretch, his standard rose.

Then of course, you know the story from there. Gostkowski misses the extra point in Denver, the Patriots are forced to go for two with the clock winding down in the fourth, and they wind up losing by two to the eventual Super Bowl champions. Was it Gostkowski’s fault for the loss? Of course not, but he was certainly shared the blame with the Patriots offensive line.

So back to the 2016 season.

When it came to extra points, Gostkowski had both his regular season and regular season plus postseason extra point streaks snapped at different parts of the 2016 calendar year (523 in Denver and 497 straight against Pittsburgh respectively). The 2016 season was also the first time since 2011, Gostkowski didn’t lead the NFL in scoring.

Between losing both his streaks, not leading the league in scoring, and missing extra points in both the 2015 and 2016 AFC Championship games, followed by another in Super Bowl LI, the idea that Gostkowski was on the decline or lost all confidence gained even more momentum going into 2017.

In the 2017 preseason, Gostkowski struggled at times again, but told NESN’s Zack Cox how he remains focused following misses.

“I can only remember a couple of the kicks I have made,” Gostkowski said. “But I remember almost every one that I’ve missed. Kicking is like a love-hate relationship. You lose weeks of sleep over a bad game, and a bad game can be one missed kick. So the ones you make, you just try to build on the confidence with it, and the ones you miss, you just try to get it out of your head as quick as possible and try to make the next one.”

“It really is a challenge, because you become a perfectionist. You expect perfection, and it’s kind of tough when you don’t live up to those expectations. But that’s the way you show mental toughness, by getting back up, going out there and trying to do it right the next time. No one makes every single kick, you’ve just got to limit the runs of missing a ton. The challenge of the weather in New England, playing outdoors in the cold — there’s a lot of things you’ve got to work on on a daily basis.”

Within the organization, there was never any indication Gostkowski’s job was at risk and head coach Bill Belichick never did bring in another kicker to “compete”.   The team remained committed and patient with “Ghost” heading into 2017 training camp.

After the second game of the 2017 preseason opener against the Chicago Bears where Gostkowski missed a 56 yarder, making it three in his last five attempts, Belichick defended his kicker, saying on a conference call “I’m confident that he’s one of the best kickers in the league.”

“As it relates to Steve specifically, I think he’s had a good camp,” Belichick said. “He’s worked hard and he’s in good condition. He’s kicked the ball well and hit the ball very solidly and consistently. I know that he’ll continue to work hard to do everything that he can, and so will the other people involved in the operation – snapping and holding, however that turns out.”

So far in 2017, the patience has paid off, Gostkowski’s performance through the first four games reflects the Pro Bowl kicker of 2013-15, he’s converted a perfect eight for eight on field goal attempts to go along with 11 of 12 extra points.

Over his 11 season, 172 game career, Gostkowski is making 87.4% of his field goals and 99.1% of his extra points.

On Sunday, Gostkowski added another team record to his resume with a 58 yard field goal that set a career high and Gillette Stadium record for longest in team history.

The kick surpassed Gostkowski’s previous career high of 57 yards versus the Dallas Cowboys in 2015, and moved him out of a tie with Adam Vinatieri to gain sole possession of the record.

https://twitter.com/CMyersABC6/status/914559711076331521

It remains to be seen how Gostkowski’s season plays out over the next 12 games into the postseason, and whether or not he can achieve that elite level again, but as it stands, the kicking position still remains the least concerning position on the New England Patriots after the quarterback in 2017.

What Is Wrong With Stephen Gostkowski? Absolutely Nothing.

Robert Alvarez
October 4, 2016 at 9:17 pm ET

On Sunday afternoon versus the Buffalo Bills, New England Patriots were shutout at home for the first time since November 28th, 1993. It was an overall ugly showing by the Patriots offense who struggled mightily with rookie quarterback Jacoby Brissett under center.

Early in the third quarter, it appeared the Patriots finally had a shot at cracking the scoreboard when Stephen Gostkowski came in to attempt a 48 yard field goal.

Wide Right.

In the moment, it appeared to just not be the Patriots day, but the missed field goal also left some fans wondering and concerned if something was wrong with their usually reliable kicker. It was the second missed field goal of the season for Gostkowski while also coming off a rather rough preseason performance. To top it all off, many are still haunted by the missed extra point in the AFC Championship back in January.

So the question remained a conversation piece following the game, is there something wrong with Stephen “Ghost” Gostkowski?

Through four regular season games in 2016 Gostkowksi is 6 for 8 on field goal attempts (75%) to go along with a perfect extra point record at 9 for 9. In his career, he has made 87% of his field goals, but through four games this season it’s his lowest output since the 2010 season (76%), which was lost for injury after eight games.

While Yes, Gostkowski has already matched his regular season total misses from 2014 (2) and just one off 2015 (3), he has already won a Special Teams Player of the Week Award this season following his assistance during the Patriots opening week one win against the Cardinals. In that game he was a perfect 3/3 with field goals of 47, 32 and even, a 53 yarder.

For an unfair comparison and a testament to the success of Gostkowski, through the first four games in 2015, he was a perfect 10 for 10 on field goal attempts and also had an impressive 57 yard field goal against made the Dallas Cowboys in week four.

Here’s a side by side look at the first four games each of the last two seasons.

2015:                                                      2016: 

Week 1: None attempted                       Week 1: 3/3  (47,53,32)

Week 2: 4/4   (46,21,50,25)                  Week 2: 1/2  (34, Missed 39)

Week 3:  3/3  (46,20,46)                       Week 3: 2/2  (25,24)

Week 4: 3/3   (49,57,34)                        Week 4: 0/1  (Missed 48)

Total 10/10                                          Total 6/8

While Gostkowski lacks the perfection beginning in 2016, it’s important to note the two Gostkowski field goals of over 50 yards in 2015 could have very easily gone either way. (The 57-yard game-winning field goal was a career high)

The 2015 Patriots offense as a whole through those four games also scored an average of 37 points per game with Brady, while only about 20 per game with Garoppolo/Brissett in 2016, rendering less extra point chances and more needs for Gostkowski this year.

Another comparison lies in the 2016 preseason; those numbers were very similar to the first four games of the current regular season.

Gostkowski started off great in but then struggled in the third preseason game against the Carolina Panthers, but was 5/5 in the other three games combined.

2016 Preseason:                                                 2016:

Week 1: (38,45)                                                         Week 1: 3/3  (47,53,32)

Week 2: (21, 29 44)                                                  Week 2: 1/2  (34, Missed 39)

Week 3: (30,25, Missed 30, Missed 52)               Week 3: 2/2  (25,24)

Week 4: (32)                                                              Week 4: 0/1  (Missed 48)

Total: 8/10                                                            Total 6/8

Through eight combined games in 2016, none of the numbers show an eye-popping decline or injury, but the random blips in the life of an NFL kicker who is in his tenth NFL season. Gostkowski hasn’t shown any real signs of losing his accuracy but it will certainly be interesting to watch if he gets on another hot streak over the rest of the season. While it’s hard to really say four games in that he “hasn’t been the same since Denver”, think about this for a final perspective: Adam Vinatieri, at age 43 and 11 years older than Gostkowski, missed five field goals in the 2013 season (35/40), and in the three years combined since, is 63/66 on field goal attempts.

For now, as Tom Brady returns and the offense regains its normal preparations.  Nothing to worry New England. Stephen Gostkowski will be just fine.

OPINION: Even In Defeat, Stephen Gostkowski Continues To Prove His Worth

Robert Alvarez
December 2, 2015 at 7:36 am ET

When the New England Patriots elected to replace Stephen Gostkowski’s franchise tag with a four-year, $17.2 million deal back in July, the franchise committed themselves to a luxury not many NFL teams can say they have these days, a reliable and clutch kicker.

If you were to include Gostkowski’s tenure with Adam Vinateri’s time in New England, the sustained success at the position covers almost three decades and seven super bowl runs. In an NFL season where kickers are struggling to adapt to the new 33 yard extra point distance, Gostkowski remains perfect, with an NFL record streak that grows each week. He is arguably the best kicker in the NFL, and a Pro Bowl selection all but certain in 2015.

He finally missed his first field goal attempt all season last week against the Buffalo Bills (From 54 yards), but rebounded by drilling a 47 yarder to force overtime in Denver snow that showed shades of the Snow Bowl in 2001. He never says much, his press conference following the New York Giants win was the first time he went to the podium all season, but he is the ideal poster child for Head Coach Bill Belichick’s “Do Your Job” motto. “That’s the guy you want out there” Belichick said following that game.

Back to Sunday night, Goskowski again was called upon to do his job, to try and continue a game that was slipping away from the Patriots, a team that looked shell-shocked following Gronkowski being carted off. With the wind at his back, “Ghost” (a nickname given to him by teammates) stepped up to the line, likely sang the mystery song (he refuses to share) in his head, and helped breathe life back into his team with a beautiful boot right down the middle. As the late Stuart Scott would say, “he’s as cool as the other side of the pillow.” On a night where it felt like nothing went the Patriots way, the moment will be largely forgotten, but Gostkowski’s growing contributions to the success of the Patriots over the years will never be.

 

 

Patriots – Giants By the Numbers

Steve Balestrieri
November 14, 2015 at 7:56 am ET

The Patriots go out on the road to play the New York Giants in the New Jersey Meadowlands on Sunday afternoon at 4:25 p.m. They’ll be looking to go 9-0 for just the second time in franchise history.

The game will be nationally televised by CBS with their top announcing crew of Jim Nantz and Phil Simms on the call. The Giants have won the last three meetings against New England including two in Super Bowls, but few players remain on either team from those matchups.

The last time the teams met in the Meadowlands was the season finale of the 2007 season when the Patriots pulled out a 38-35 win as Tom Brady set a then NFL record with his 50th TD pass and Randy Moss set a WR receiving record of his 23rd touchdown reception.

Here is a fun look at some of the numbers that may be interesting this week before the Patriots take on the G-Men and a few that could change on Sunday.

2: Number of field goals needed by Stephen Gostkowski to break the franchise record of 263 by Adam Vinatieri. Gostkowski sits at 262 and could break the record this week.

4: Number of interceptions by Logan Ryan this season after he picked off Kirk Cousins last week in Foxboro. Since the 2013 season, Ryan’s 11 interceptions are second most in the NFL behind Richard Sherman’s 12.

11: Winning streak of the Patriots dating back to last season. The second longest winning streak in Patriots history (18), was broken by the Giants in SB XLII

15: With one more victory this season, this will mark the 15th straight winning season under Bill Belichick. The only other coach to have at least 10 straight winning seasons since the 1970 merger was Tom Landry with 16.

29: The career high carries by LaGarrette Blount last Sunday against Washington.  Blount gained 129 yards in the win over the Redskins.

31: Number of straight quarters that the Patriots have scored in dating back to the first quarter of the opener against Pittsburgh. If the team scores in the first quarter against the Giants it will set a new NFL record of 32.

362: The Patriots home record with Rob Gronkowski in the lineup. The big man has been a dominant player for the Patriots, especially with home cooking.

37: Yards rushing the Patriots allowed against the Redskins last week on 15 carries. After holding Miami to 15 yards rushing the week before the Pats defense allowed Washington only 2.5 yards per carry.

41-1: Patriots record when a member of the team rushes for more than 100 yards since the 2000 season.

43: Number of touchdown passes Tom Brady has thrown on Monday Night Football in just 19 games. He trails only Dan Marino (74), and Brett Favre (69), who each appeared in 38 games on Monday nights.

44-10:  The Patriots regular season record versus the NFC East since 2002.

48-4:  With the win over Washington last week, the Patriots dominance at home continues with a 48-4 record in their last 52 home games.

81-42:  The Patriots regular season road record since 2002, the best in the NFL.

88: The number of points by Stephen Gostkowski in 2015. He’s on pace to score 176 this year which would be an NFL record. The franchise record is 158 which he set during the 2013 season.

100-13: The Patriots record since 2002 when not throwing an interception in a game.

168: Regular season wins by Tom Brady; his regular season record stands at 168-47. That is the most wins by a quarterback for one team in league history.

Thanks to the Patriots media staff  as well as PatsFans’ Ian Logue for compiling some of these stat based numbers this week.

Follow me on Twitter @SteveB7SFG or email me at [email protected]

Listen to our Patriots 4th and 2 podcast on blog talk radio as the writers Russ Goldman, Derek Havens and I from PatsFans.com discuss the latest Patriots news Wednesdays at 12 noon.

Stephen Gostkowski hits franchise record 26th consecutive field goal

Robert Alvarez
October 30, 2015 at 9:46 am ET

When Stephen Gostkowski’s New England Patriots career first began in 2006, many fans and media members alike remained skeptical and worried about the huge shoes Gostkowski had to fill following the departure of Super Bowl hero Adam Vinatieri to the rival Indianapolis Colts.

Fast forward nine seasons into his career, Gostkowski is now breaking records of his predecessor and re-writing the Patriots history books.

On Thursday night, Gostkowski made a 36-yard field goal that was his 26th consecutive in a row, breaking the previous record of 25 straight by the aforementioned Vinatieri.

Given the nickname “Ghost” by many of his teammates for the quiet but important contributions he has made over the years, Gostkowski has developed into one of the NFL’s most premiere placekickers, making three Pro Bowl appearances and is the Patriots all-time leading scorer, also ahead of Vinatieri.

According to ESPN Boston’s Mike Reiss, “Entering Thursday night, he had connected on 87.5 percent of his regular-season field goal attempts, the best percentage in team history.”

Gostkowski also broke the NFL record for most extra points made earlier this season, besting Matt Stovers mark of 422 in a row.

However his most entertaining kick of the night, was this 52 yard field goal that tied the franchise record, watch how it curves below.

 

Patriots – By the Numbers, Fun Facts Before the TNF Matchup

Steve Balestrieri
October 29, 2015 at 9:19 am ET

The Patriots have to play their second game in five days against the Dolphins on Thursday Night Football and will be looking to start 7-0 and open up a big lead in the AFC East.

So with a short week with little prep time for the team as well as media members we put together some interesting numbers before the game this week. Thanks to the Patriots media staff for putting these out.

6: Number of straight division titles won by the Patriots during their current streak. They can tie the 1973-79 Rams with a seventh straight division title in 2015. The Patriots have won 11 of 12 straight AFC East crowns. The only year 2008, they finished tied for the lead but lost on a tie breaker. That was the year Tom Brady missed 15 games.

8: Tom Brady’s record on Thursday Night Football. Brady has already won a Thursday night matchup this season in the opening night win over Pittsburgh.

12: Wins by Brady against the Dolphins at home; his record vs Miami in New England is a stellar 12-1. His only loss was a 2005 season finale loss where he was removed after the first quarter.

18: Wins by Brady against Miami; overall his record vs the Dolphins is a solid 18-8.

23: The magic number; when scoring 23+ points the Patriots have won 28 straight games. The team was 14-0 in 2014 and overall under Bill Belichick the team is 166-12 when scoring 23 points or more. (Thanks to  WEEI’s Ryan Hannable for that stat)

24: Number of straight field goals by Stephen Gostkowski, one shy of the franchise record set by Adam Vinatieri (11/96 – 11/97). The NFL record is 42 set by Mike Vanderjagt.

28: Home wins by the Patriots in the month of October since 2000, their home record is a stellar 28-4 under Bill Belichick in October and are an NFL best 48-16 in the month.

29: The number of winning seasons by the Patriots since the 1970 merger of the AFL/NFL; third most in the league behind Pittsburgh (32) and Dallas (30).

69: Wins by the Patriots in the division since 2001. The Patriots record of 69-19 shows the dominance they’ve held in the Belichick era. No other team is over .500.

77: Number of regular season straight wins when leading at halftime for the Patriots. It speaks volumes about the preparedness of Belichick’s teams that they put a stamp on things when in the lead. BTW fact; the last time a Belichick team lost when leading at halftime? Against the Miami Dolphins on December 24,2000.

87.5: Stephen Gostkowski’s career field goal percentage, best in Patriots franchise history. Second place goes to Adam Vinatieri with 81.9.

94.6: Gostkowski’s field goal percentage of 2014 where he went 35 of 37. Since the beginning of 2014, he’s been a remarkable 50 of 52 when attempting a field goal.

166: Regular season wins by Tom Brady; his regular season record of 166-47 needs to be looked at closely here. Kerry Byrne from the Boston Herald and CHFF posted this to Facebook on Wednesday night:

The brilliant Joe Montana widely regarded as the greatest QB in history. I won’t argue. Joe Montana’s Hall of Fame career record is a very impressive 117-47. If the great Joe Montana played three more NFL seasons, and went undefeated in every single one of them (48-0), his career record would be 165-47. Tom Brady’s career record right now is 166-47.

219: The number of rushing touchdowns by the Patriots since 2003, the most in the NFL. The next closest team is San Diego far behind with 198. So while we hear that the New England offense is always passing and passing only, they score more on the ground than anyone.

229: The number of tackles by Patriots linebacker Clayton Weishuhn in 1983 a franchise record. Weishuhn was one of my personal favorite players to watch before injuries knocked him out of the game. He and Steve Nelson were quite the tandem inside with Andre Tippett providing the outside edge rushing presence.

Weishuhn’s record seems safe for this season, to put it in perspective, the Patriots leading tackler this season is Dont’a Hightower with 36, is on pace for about 100 tackles in 2015.

435: The number of straight PATs that Gostowski has kicked an NFL record that increases with each one he booms thru. He had a close call on Sunday as he had one that doinked off the upright and went thru. His last miss was in the season finale of 2006 on Dec. 31 which was his rookie season.

Follow me on Twitter @SteveB7SFG or email me at [email protected]

Listen to our Patriots 4th and 2 podcast on blog talk radio as the writers Russ Goldman, Derek Havens and I from PatsFans.com discuss the latest Patriots news Wednesdays at 12 noon.

New England Patriots Playbook – Sean Glennon, A Great Look at Pats History

Steve Balestrieri
October 17, 2015 at 9:50 am ET

Inside the Huddle for the Greatest Plays in Patriots History should be required reading

Patriots playbook

There are a couple of super new books that will be of great interest for Patriots fans out there and as we get a chance we’ll review them, we will get the word out for some of the best and entertaining reads.

One of the books we’ve been waiting for is Sean Glennon’s newest work, “The New England Patriots Playbook: Inside the Huddle for the Greatest Plays in Patriots History” put out by Triumph Books.

Glennon should be well known to Patriots fans; this is his fourth book on the Patriots and his last one, Tom Brady vs the NFL, The Case for Football’s Greatest Quarterback was an outstanding effort. Glennon is also very active on Twitter and has been quite visible during the latest Brady vs the NFL goings on with the Deflategate fiasco.

Glennon’s latest work takes one on journey back to some of the most memorable plays, both good and bad in Patriots history. It is started off with a forward from Patriots Hall of Fame linebacker Steve Nelson. Nellie recounts some of his biggest memories including the infamous phantom roughing the passer penalty in the 1976 playoff game against the Oakland Raiders, the “Ben Dreith Game”.

Of course everyone knows the Malcolm Butler interception against the Seahawks in last season’s Super Bowl but more youthful Pats fans may not remember Jim Nance’s 65-yard touchdown run against the Bills in 1966 or when the Patriots shocked the back-to-back Super Bowl Champion Dolphins on the opening weekend of 1974 behind 5’5, 170 pound Mack, “Mini-Mack” Herron.

Of course there are numerous plays that take place in the Patriots dynasty of the Bill Belichick era including perhaps the most clutch kick in NFL history, Adam Vinatieri’s 45 yard field goal in a blizzard in the old stadium in January 2002 that tied the game and sent it into overtime. Of course Vinatieri had his memorable kick in the Super Bowl against the Rams that upset the “Greatest Show on Turf”.

Tom Brady’s overtime pass to Troy Brown for an 82-yard touchdown in 2003 put the Patriots in the divisional driver’s seat that they haven’t  vacated over a decade later.  Brown also had the fumble strip of Marlon McCree after McCree’s interception of Tom Brady that led to an improbable Patriots playoff victory over the San Diego Chargers in 2006.

That game led to a wild Patriots celebration at midfield that incensed Bolts running back LaDanian Tomlinson. The Patriots mimicked Shawne Merriman’s “Lights Out” sack dance following the victory. Tomlinson took great exception saying the Patriots “showed no class…maybe it comes from their head coach.” It is fitting that he bandied about the class word…since the Patriots taunted the Bolts with a dance, that San Diego taunted its opponents with all season….hello pot, meet kettle.

Rodney Harrison’s interception to seal the Super Bowl against the Eagles in the Patriots third championship in three years is a personal favorite. Harrison was an integral part of the Super Bowls XXXVIII and XXXIX and brought a level of toughness to the Patriots secondary.

Of course no book on the Patriots successes is complete without a bunch of references to destroying the Colts Super Bowl dreams time after time. The Tom Brady – Peyton Manning rivalry has been notoriously one-sided, even after his move to Denver. But the Colts stories have a nice lead-in to this week’s game in Indy.

There’s even a chapter at the end of the book with all of the heartbreakers that the team has suffered in its 55-year history….and there are many. David Tyree’s Velcro helmet catch, the blowout in the 1985 Super Bowl to the Bears, the infamous 4th & 2 call against the Colts….they’re all here.

There are just too many stories here to list all of them, but die-hard Patriots fans will love this book, it is a guaranteed great gift for the football fan and one that will be thumbed through every time a discussion begins on, “Hey, do you remember when…”

Glennon’s latest book is another touchdown for him as he sets the bar even higher for his next work…it can be found in major bookstores or ordered on-line from Amazon.com here:

Follow me on Twitter @SteveB7SFG or email me at [email protected]

Listen to our Patriots 4th and 2 podcast on blog talk radio as the writers Russ Goldman, Derek Havens and I from PatsFans.com discuss the latest Patriots news Wednesdays at 12 noon.