[ad_1]

The last time Tom Brady threw a pass at Gillette Stadium he was watching former teammate Logan Ryan celebrate in the end zone as the then-Titans cornerback picked him off and returned it back for a score. Not only did that ice the game for Tennessee in their Wild-Card playoff matchup with New England back during the 2019 season, but that proved to be the end for Brady as a member of the Patriots. Later that offseason, the quarterback would sign with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and put an end to the two-decade run of dominance he had while in Foxborough. 

Roughly 19 months later and Brady is back in town. His Bucs — fresh off a Super Bowl LV win in 2020 — are set to take on the Patriots in Week 4 for “Sunday Night Football” and it’ll be Brady’s first visit to Gillette Stadium since departing the franchise. 

Of course, this return will be just the latest in a long list of memorable moments the quarterback has enjoyed in Foxborough. Before he takes the field for this highly-anticipated matchup against his former team and former head coach in Bill Belichick, we’ve collected up some of the very best of Brady’s 20 years with the Patriots, specifically in Foxborough. 

10. Juking Brian Urlacher 

If we’re talking about some of the top singular plays from Tom Brady’s tenure with the Patriots and specifically at Gillette Stadium, it won’t take New Englanders too long before they bring up his juke on Bears legend Brian Urlacher. Are there about 10,000 more meaningful plays during Brady’s carer? Absolutely. That said, this was may be the most unexpected highlight he’s given the Foxborough Faithful, which is why it’s held near and dear to Patriots fans. 

Brady has never been considered a mobile quarterback like Lamar Jackson, Michael Vick, and others. On a third-and-9 play during a Week 12 matchup with Chicago in 2006, however, he turned on the wheels, went up the gut and was able to shake a Hall of Fame linebacker loose for a first down. Brady’s emphatic scream following the play only added to its legend. 

9. First start, first win over Peyton Manning

Of course, Tom Brady’s tenure predates Gillette Stadium, so this list of top Foxborough moments will stretch into the final year of Foxboro Stadium in 2001. After Bledsoe suffered that devastating hit by Mo Lewis that sent him to the hospital, Brady got the first start of his career the following week in New England. While this wouldn’t be like many of the future Brady vs. Peyton Manning duels we’d get over the coming years, the young quarterback not only earned the first win of his career, but he got a leg up in head-to-head showdowns with his famous rival. In this win, the defense was really the story as Brady completed just 13 of his 23 passes for 168 yards. Meanwhile, the defense forced Manning into three interceptions, while the Patriots running game gashed the Indy front-seven. Antowain Smith and Kevin Faulk combined for 238 yards from scrimmage and three scores. 

Again, this wasn’t the best Foxborough would see from Brady, but it was the first of many victories. 

8. Breaking QB wins record in 2016

In an early December matchup over the Los Angeles Rams, Tom Brady — a then two-time MVP and four-time Super Bowl champion — would add to reputation of being the greatest winner in NFL history. After New England secured the 26-10 victory against Los Angeles, Brady claimed his 201st win, becoming the all-time winningest quarterback in league history. Brady had previously been tied with Peyton Manning for the record, but that win now set him apart from his longtime rival. 

In the win, Brady completed 33 of his 46 passes for 269 yards and a touchdown. 

7. Comeback vs. Bills to begin ’09 season

This is an underrated Brady moment. The quarterback was coming into the year after suffering a torn ACL that completely erased his 2008 season. In his first appearance since the injury, Brady came out of the gate a bit rusty, but then got loose as the game progressed. New England trailed by 11 points with just over five minutes remaining in the game and pulled off an improbable comeback. In just a 1:16 span late in the fourth quarter, the quarterback would throw two touchdowns to rally the Patriots back to beat the Buffalo Bills, 25-24. Brady was aided by Buffalo’s Leodis McKelvin fumbling on a kickoff return after New England brought the game within five points, but the quarterback showed immediately that he still had a knack for pulling out an improbable win post-injury. Brady finished his night completing 39 of his 53 passes for 378 yards, two touchdowns and a pick. 

6. Comeback over Manning, Broncos in 2013

Unlike that previously mentioned matchup between Brady and Manning, this head-to-head in 2013 was a duel for the ages. In Week 12 of the 2013 season on “Sunday Night Football,” Brady and the Patriots were able to mount a 24-point comeback over Manning’s Broncos. At the half, New England trailed 24-0, but came out of the break on fire as they would go on a miraculous 31-0 run and force overtime. On his second possession of OT, Brady drove the Patriots offense down to the Denver 13 where Stephen Gostkowski would net the game-winning field goal. 

This was the biggest comeback of Brady’s career — later usurped by Super Bowl LI — and the quarterback also became just the fifth player in NFL history to pass for 350 career touchdowns, which occurred during the frenzy. 

5. 2017 AFC Championship 

In the midst of yet another Super Bowl appearance in 2017, Brady and the Patriots had the Jacksonville Jaguars rolling into Gillette Stadium for the AFC Championship. There was a question as to whether or not Brady would even be able to suit up in this game after severely slicing his throwing hand in practice leading up to the contest. He was able to shake it off, however, and complete 26 of his 38 throws on the night for 290 yards and two touchdowns. New England trailed by double digits heading into the fourth quarter, but that’s where Brady really turned it on. Over that final quarter of play, he completed nine of his 14 attempts for 138 yards and two touchdowns to help the Patriots advance to yet another Super Bowl. Doing that all with a banged up hand makes it even more unfathomable. 

4. Six touchdowns vs. Titans in ’09

Sometimes you forget just how filthy Tom Brady is. The quarterback makes winning almost look so routine that your eyes can glaze over. However, he then can have your eyes pop out of your skull with performances for the ages, like this six-touchdown throttle of the Tennessee Titans in 2009. In his first season back since suffering the torn ACL, Brady would enter a snowy Gillette Stadium — rocking the throwback Pat Patriot red uniforms — and toss six touchdowns, , which was one shy of the NFL record for a game. Five of those passing touchdowns would come in the second quarter alone. 

Randy Moss was on the receiving end of three of those touchdowns as he accounted for eight receptions for 129 yards. Meanwhile, Wes Welker accounted for 10 catches for 150 yards and two touchdowns. On top of those six scores, Brady finished the game completing 29 of his 34 passes for 380 yards.

The 2009 season wouldn’t be the most fruitful campaign for New England (10-6 record and bounced by the Ravens on Wild-Card Weekend), but this was one of the most dominating games Tom Brady has ever put together. 

3. Game-winning touchdown vs. Saints in 2013

Maybe my personal favorite Tom Brady moment (excluding Super Bowls). Yet again, Brady was able to pull a rabbit out of his hat and with an interesting cast of characters. Wes Welker had left the team the previous offseason and Rob Gronkowski was injured, leaving him with Julian Edelman, Danny Amendola, Aaron Dobson and Kenbrell Thompkins as his receivers. After the Saints were able to take a 27-23 lead with just over two minutes left, Brady went to work. 

The quarterback slung the football all across the field, even connecting with freshly-signed receiver Austin Collie on a massive fourth-and-4 attempt at the Saints 26-yard line. Brady then spiked the ball a the New Orleans 17 to stop the clock with 11 seconds remaining. On the very next play, Brady dropped back and delivered a sideline strike to Thompkins to give the Patriots the 30-27 lead with just five seconds left. 

This was an all-time Brady moment, but it was also one of the greatest nights in Boston sports history. A few hours later, David Ortiz would hit a grand slam in Game 2 of the ALCS against the Detroit Tigers. The Red Sox were trailing 5-1 at the time, but that knock tied the game and helped propel Boston to the 6-5 victory and avoid going down an 0-2 deficit. This was the Golden Era of Boston sports in a vacuum and — as was the case for the majority of it — the tone was set by Brady. 

2. Mo Lewis hit 

What started it all. 

On Sept. 23, 2001, then-Patriots starter Drew Bledsoe took a third-and-10 snap in the fourth quarter of their matchup with the Jets and scrambled up the right sideline of Foxboro Stadium. He was then met by New York defender Mo Lewis, who delivered a crushing hit. This was an extremely scary moment for Bledsoe, who suffered a sheared blood vessel in his chest and nearly lost his life because of it. Fortunately, he would recover, but that hit knocked the Patriots into the Tom Brady era. The second-year quarterback would eventually come in for Bledsoe, start the following week, lead the team to its first-ever Super Bowl title and the rest is history. 

1. Tuck Rule Game 

This was one of the first truly magical moments of Tom Brady’s Patriots career. In the final game at Foxboro Stadium, New England was taking on the Oakland Raiders in the Divisional Round during a nor’easter. Despite the snowy conditions, Brady completed 32 of his 52 passes for 312 yards, one pick and rushed for a touchdown. Of course, Brady did have some luck on his side due to the Tuck Rule that was enforced in the midst of this game, which kept New England’s hopes of moving on to the AFC Championship alive with a 16-13 win over the Raiders. Still, this was one of the first signs that Brady wasn’t just a good quarterback, but someone who could prove to be extremely special (Adam Vinatieri did alright in this game, if I do say so myself). 

2021 Tom Brady jerseys now available

Can Tom Brady win his eighth Super Bowl at age 44? If you’re a Brady fan, it’s time to get a new jersey featuring No. 12. Shop red, pewter, and gray jerseys, t-shirts, hoodies, and more here.

We may receive a commission for purchases made through these links. 



[ad_2]

Source link