Now really, who else could be No.1?
After the start of “spygate” following Week One of the season, which seemingly questioned the validity of New England’s three Super Bowl championships earlier in the decade, the infuriated and super-motivated Patriots unleashed a string of dominance never before seen in the NFL.
The Pats completed the first 16-0 regular season in league history, scoring an NFL record 589 points and outscoring the opposition by 20 points per game (also an NFL record). Tom Brady set the record for TD passes in a season with 50, while newcomer Randy Moss set an NFL record with 23 TD receptions. It was a regular season for the ages.
The Patriots faced off with the Giants in Super Bowl XLII. With the Pats just moments away from “perfection,” Eli Manning somehow escaped a sea of Patriot pass-rushers and committed the cardinal sin of QBs by throwing a pop fly straight down the middle of the field….
David Tyree somehow caught the ball with his helmet…even with Rodney Harrison draped all over him. Then Plaxico Burress caught a game-winning TD with 35 seconds left, which, compared to what had happened just a few seconds earlier, seemed totally routine.
(Don’t forget Asante Samuel’s infamous missed interception on the play right before Tyree’s grab. Game should have been over).
New England’s quest for perfection ended just seconds away from history.
Poor Patriots. 18…and one.