Seven Patriots plays among 31-100 of NFL Top 100 list
The Patriots are well represented among the first 70 of NFL's countdown of Top 100 plays. As part of the league's 100th anniversary, the NFL will count down its 100 greatest across five categories on NFL Network episodes over the next 10 weeks: Plays (Sept. 13 & Sept. 20), Games (Sept. 27 & Oct. 4), Characters (Oct. 11 & Oct. 18), Game-Changers (Oct. 25 & Nov. 1) and Teams (Nov. 8 & Nov. 15).
The list was selected by a panel of 50 voters (the same panel that votes for the NFL Awards and the All-Pro team), including our own Tom E. Curran, who listed his Top 20 plays earlier this summer, here. Voters were given a ballot of 100 plays and asked to rank 50.
Seven plays involving the Pats dot the list of plays 100-31, most will make New England fans want to hide their eyes, but all are unforgettable. Plays 30-1 will be revealed next Friday. There's likely a better batch of Patriots plays (Julian Edelman's catch in Super Bowl 51? Malcolm Butler's pick in Super Bowl 49?) in the Top 30.
Let's look at where the Patriots ended up on the first part of the greatest plays countdown.
NO. 85 BEN WATSON CHASE DOWN OF CHAMP BAILEY
the never-give-up play from the Patriots tight end came in the first playoff loss of the Belichick-Brady Era and prevented a coast-to-coast touchdown by Bailey on his end zone pick in a divisional playoff game in Denver in January 2006.
84. RANDY MOSS' ONE-HANDED CATCH OVER DARRELLE REVIS
This spectacular one-handed, 34-yard TD grab by Moss from Tom Brady, with Revis defending, came in New England's 28-14 loss to the Jets in New Jersey on Sept. 19, 2010
79. THE FRIDGE'S RUSHING TD IN SUPER BOWL XX
William "The Refrigerator" Perry scored a rushing touchdown against the Pats, Walter Payton didn't. If you're keeping score, it was 46-10 Bears that day and now, in Super Bowl titles, it's New England 6, Chicago 1.
59. BARRY SANDERS' TD RUN IN 1994
The Detroit Lions Hall of Fame running back victimized a lot of teams, but none more spectacularly than the Patriots at the Pontiac Silverdome on Sept. 25, 1994.
42. THE MIAMI MIRACLE
Rob Gronkowski as a safety, guarding the end zone on the Dolphins desperation, last-second kickoff return last season? Not good. A Miami victory snatched from the jaws of defeat. The end result of last season? Much better for the Patriots.
31. MANNING TO MANNINGHAM, SUPER BOWL SB XLVI
After the David Tyree catch in SB42 (unfortunately, that's also likely coming up in plays 30-1), nothing symbolizes the Giants' Super Bowl mastery of the Patriots more than Eli's perfect 38-yard strike and Manningham'sspectacular catch that started New York's winning drive in SB46.