New England Patriots Most Memorable Snow Games
New England Patriots Most Memorable Snow Games
A winter storm has reached the northeast and is blanketing New England with snow. The roads are closed and everyone is being directed to stay indoors. So with that news and the fact that it’s officially the offseason it seems like a good time to countdown the most memorable snow games in New England Patriots history.
The Patriots have had their fair share of snow games and some of those snow games are the some of the most memorable moments in franchise history. Some of these games were memorable because of the importance of the game while others were memorable for other reasons such as fan interaction. Whether it’s the games themselves or the environments in which they were played, for some reason snow games have tended to be very memorable for Patriots fans.
An honorable mention goes to Lonnie Paxton in Super Bowl XXXVI. In the divisional playoff game against the Oakland Raiders Paxton celebrated by making a snow angel in the end zone. Three weeks later he famously made a snow angel in the end zone of the Louisiana Superdome following Adam Vinatieri’s 23-yard game winning field goal. That doesn’t qualify for this list because that game was played indoors but the action does merit mention.
5. 2003 AFC Championship Game
The least amount of snow on this list occurred during this game. This game offered the first playoff matchup between Tom Brady and Peyton Manning as the New England Patriots hosted the Indianapolis Colts. It was a stellar day for the Patriots defense as Ty Law picked Manning three times and Jarvis Green recorded three sacks. The win sent the Patriots to their second Super Bowl in three years as they defeated the Colts 24-14.
4. Patriots Roll Over Titans
An unusual mid-October storm blanketed New England in 2009 but that didn’t stop the Patriots offense. Tom Brady threw for five touchdowns in the second quarter which was the most by any player since 1950. With 619 yards the Patriots set a franchise record for yards in a game. The Patriots ended the day rolling over the Titans 59-0 making it a very memorable snowy day.
3. Snowy Celebration
Number three on this list is not what happened on the field but what happened in the stands. In December of 2003 a snow storm hit the area forcing fans to dig their way into their seats. The Patriots beat the Miami Dolphins on this day 12-0 with the only touchdown coming from a five-yard interception return by Tedy Bruschi. As Gary Glitter’s anthem Rock and Roll Part Two echoed throughout the stadium, fans threw handfuls of snow into the air making one of the most memorable scenes at a football game in recent history.
2. Snowplow Game
A day of driving rain was followed by heavy snowfall in this controversial game. Prior to this game a rule had been established which allowed officials to call a timeout in order to use a snowplow to clear field markers. With the game tied at 0-0 in the fourth quarter the Patriots were ready to line up for a 33-yard field goal. Patriots head coach Ron Meyer directed the snowplow operator Mark Henderson, who was on a work-release program from prison, to drive the snowplow across the field clearing a spot for the kick. It worked as John Smith stepped up and drilled the game winning field goal. The Dolphins were outraged at this and soon after the league prohibited the use of snowplows during NFL games. But not on this day which has this game remembered as the “Snowplow Game”.
1. Snow Bowl or Tuck Rule Game
In the final game to be played at Foxborough Stadium, the New England Patriots and Oakland Raiders played maybe the most famous game in the stadium. The Patriots trailed late in the game 13-10 but were driving when the world became very familiar with a little known rule. As Tom Brady was about to throw a pass, he decided to bring the ball back in. Just then a defender knocked it loose and the ball was recovered by the Raiders ending the game. But on review the referee explained for the first time the “tuck rule” which states that if the ball is moving downward it is an incomplete pass even if the quarterback is in the process of tucking the ball back in. The incomplete pass allowed Adam Vinatieri to kick the a 45-yard game tying field goal. Another field goal in overtime sent the Patriots to the AFC championship in Pittsburgh where they would reach the third Super Bowl and eventually win their first Super Bowl in franchise history.
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