The NFL is celebrating its 100th anniversary by counting down its greatest plays, games and players.
Last week, the NFL Network wrapped up its 100 greatest plays countdown that included 12 involving the Patriots. This week, it was a countdown of its greatest games and Nos. 100-31 were revealed. It included three Pats games.
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. The Top 30 games will be revealed next week. Other upcoming countdowns: Characters (Oct. 11 & Oct. 18), Game-Changers (Oct. 25 & Nov. 1) and Teams (Nov. 8 & Nov. 15).
NO. 94: THE SNOWPLOW GAME
The Patriots usually have a home-field advantage in Foxboro - particularly when the weather turns bad. That was never more so apparent than on Dec. 12, 1982, when they beat the Miami Dolphins 3-0 on a snowy field at what was then known as Schaefer Stadium. With 4:45 left in a scoreless game, Patriots coach Ron Meyer motioned to snowplow operator Mark Henderson to clear a spot on the AstroTurf field for kicker John Smith, who booted a 33-yard field goal for the only score. Dolphins Hall of Fame coach Don Shula was furious and appealed to the NFL commissioner Pete Rozelle to overturn the result. Rozelle said Shula had a point but he hadn't overturned a result in 22 years as commissioner and wasn't about to start. Henderson, on a work-release program from a nearby prison, became a hero in New England and the John Deere tractor and plow now sits in the Patriots Hall of Fame.
NO. 37: SUPER BOWL XXXVIII - PATRIOTS 32, PANTHERS 29
After the Patriots and Panthers went scoreless for nearly the first 27 minutes of the game, the offenses erupted from there. Carolina tied it at 29 with 1:05 left, but another game-winning drive by Tom Brady and another game-winning kick by Adam Vinatieri gave New England its second Super Bowl title in February, 2004.
NO. 36: 2018 AFC CHAMPIONSHIP GAME - PATRIOTS 37, CHIEFS 31 (OT)
After the Patriots held the high-scoring Chiefs offense scoreless in the first half, Brady, at 41, outdueled Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes, then 23, in the second half and overtime at a frigid Arrowhead Stadium to lead New England to its sixth Super Bowl. With the Chiefs up 28-24 late in the fourth quarter, an offside penalty by Dee Ford negated a Brady interception that would have put the game away for KC. Brady led a 65-yard drive capped by a TD with 39 seconds left in regulation. Mahomes then led the Chiefs on a drive for a tying field goal to force OT. After the Pats won the coin toss, another Brady TD drive in OT, this one a 75-yard march capped by a Rex Burkhead 2-yard run, finished off another stirring New England victory.
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