The New England Patriots traded the 29th pick of the NFL draft on Thursday night to the Minnesota Vikings, leaving the team's fans with that usual feeling of emptiness they have become accustomed to on draft night.
It was not all bad for Pats fans on the first night of the draft, though, as former offensive lineman Joe Andruzzi delivered a heartfelt speech on behalf of the city of Boston. Andruzzi was present for the tragic events that took place at this year's Boston Marathon and was famously photographed carrying a woman who had been injured out of harm's way. The picture became a symbol of hope for the city, and it was a great gesture by the Kraft family and the Patriots organization to have him reveal a jersey that said Boston Strong with the city's area code as the number.
So even though fans may have waited for a few hours and got nothing in return in terms of a pick, they were reminded of the class that has defined this franchise for more than a decade.
Seeing Joe Andruzzi brought me back to the success the Patriots have recently enjoyed, especially in the early part of the last decade. And it got me thinking about some of the great games this team has been a part of during the Bill Belichick era.
I've comprised this list based on what I believe to be the best and most memorable games for Pats fans. There will certainly be some debate for sure, especially since I am leaving losses off the list. This is not to say that games such as the 2006 AFC Championship or Super Bowl XLII were not outstanding contests that will go down in the history of NFL lore. I just decided to keep this a positive experience for New Englanders in an attempt to provide some happy thoughts going into the rest of this weekend.
Hopefully this list will conjure up some good feelings for those of you Pats fans who stuck it out on Thursday as well as the rest of the draft.