Remember when the world was supposed to end back in 2012? Yeah, that was something to forget.
There was also something else worthy of being forgotten that year.
What was it, you may ask?
It was the Tom Brady-led Patriots’ first-ever losing record after three games.
You read that correctly. Since taking over for Drew Bledsoe just two games into the 2001 season, Tom Brady has only lost two of the first three games once. It’s yet another incredible Brady statistic.
Fast forward to 2017. This unpredictable NFL season almost saw history repeat itself.
The Patriots are 8-0 at home against rookie quarterbacks. Rookie quarterback Deshaun Watson storms into town and proceeds to run all over a struggling Patriot defense. Watson has put his team ahead 33-28 with just over two minutes left on the clock. Backed up to their own 15 yard line because of a David Andrews holding penalty, the Pats have no easy task in front of them. The Houston front seven had been terrorizing Brady all day.
It’s second and 20 now. Brady throws a bullet to Rob Gronkowski over the middle for a quick eight yards. This brings the clock down to the two minute warning. The next play, Brady hits Gronk again who goes on to break two tackles and barrel his way across the Patriots 38 yard line for the first down. A quick comeback route by Brandin Cooks brings the Pats over the 50, all the way down to the Houston 44. However, it wouldn’t be a Patriots game without a little bit of drama.
The next play, Brady is creamed by Marcus Gilchrist coming in hot off a safety blitz and the ball pops loose. Luckily, David Andrews comes to the rescue and makes up for his holding call that set them back 10 yards a few plays earlier. Obviously rattled from the near drive-killing strip sack, Brady makes an ill-advised throw deep towards a double covered Cooks in the end zone. Thankfully, the Pats catch a break as Texans safety Corey Moore does his best Jesse James impression and drops the game clinching catch right as his body crosses the goal line.
The following two plays were as close as you can get to having an aneurysm while watching football. First, Brady drops a floater right into Danny Amendola’s bread basket with defenders flanking him on either side. The team hurries to the line and catches the Texans off guard. Cooks takes advantage of the situation and finds himself the smallest of opening in the left hand corner of the end zone behind the front pylon. Then, Brady makes one of the best throws of his career.
Now, there is no disrespect intended here, but Sean Davis getting ‘Gronk’d’ five plays in a row can’t even compare to this miraculous drive. It was the classic two-minute drill run by the best to ever do it. It had its ups and down and had everybody on the edge of their seats. And that touchdown catch? It was arguably the play of the year. Brady got absolutely leveled by a defensive lineman right as he uncorked the perfect throw to barely fit it past the outstretched hands of our new favorite Texan, Corey Moore. Cooks’ toe tap was a thing of beauty and had his doubters rushing out to buy his jersey the next day.
Here’s hoping for not seeing any more nail biters like this one in the playoffs.
–Nick Perfetuo is a Staff Writer for Full Press Coverage Sports Media. He covers the New England Patriots. Follow him on Twitter @nickperf33