September 21, 2017

50th Anniversary Minute – The 2001 Patriots

By Brendon Rosenau, Patriots Daily Staff

sbxxxviI’ve sat down to write about the 2001 Patriots close to hundred times. No matter how I compose the words, nothing seems to do justice to what exactly this team means to the franchise and to the fan base. This is the ultimate Patriots team. This is the team we never thought we would see. They may not have been the most talented, but they were damn sure the most exciting. Aside from a week one loss, every game seemed to deliver some type of drama or new storyline. I vividly remember watching nearly every game with my father as we simply couldn’t believe that the games the Pats usually lose, they were finding ways to win. All with a second year quarterback we had never heard of while the franchise signal caller waited on the bench.

Instead of going on and on and listing the countless memorable moments, what I have decided to do is open up this special season to the readers. I will get the ball rolling with some of my favorite memories of the year and I invite you all to do the same.

  1. Bryan Cox lays a thundering blow on Indy’s Jerome Pathon in Brady’s first start.
  2. David Patten throws a TD, runs a TD and catches a TD pass in another blowout of the Colts.
  3. Patten again. This time he makes a catch that he likely doesn’t remember in a overtime win at Buffalo.
  4. Drew Bledsoe comes off the bench a throws a TD pass in the playoff against Pittsburgh. A team that had already booked its hotel in New Orleans.
  5. The Patriots come out as a team before the start of the Super Bowl.

I left off some fairly obvious ones. You guys can grab those and please share your favorite memories. Myself and all our loyal readers here at PD are anxiously anticipating your responses.


  • Tom Brady (14 GS) 63.9, 2843, 18-12, 86.5 rating (6th NFL) 11-3 record
  • Antowain Smith 1157, 12 TD (T-2nd)
  • Troy Brown 101 catches (5th), 1199 (10th), 5TD; 2 PR TD (1st), 14.2 average (1st)
  • David Patten 51, 749, 4 TD
  • Adam Vinatieri 113 points (T-9th)
  • Lawyer Milloy 112 tackles, 2 INT for TD (T-1st)
  • Bobby Hamilton 7 sacks
  • Willie McGinest 6 sacks
  • Anthony Pleasant 6sacks
  • Otis Smith 5 INT, 2 INT TD (T-1st)

All Pro
Troy Brown, Lawyer Milloy

Pro Bowl
Tom Brady, Brown, Ty Law, Milloy


  1. Bruce Allen says:

    I remember the win in NY against the Jets that season.

    Trailing 13-0 at halftime, and the immortal Freddie Coleman makes one of his only two career catches – a 46-yard catch and run on third down giving the Patriots a first and goal at the Jets four yard line.

    That win really told us that we had something special building here.

  2. My all-time favorite sports season. Will never be touched again for me.

  3. I always liked Bledsoe. He was the original savior of the franchise and the super bowl against the Packers wouldn’t have happened without him. My favorite drive was when he came in for an injured Brady and drove Pats right down the field against the Steelers and finished it off by throwing the TD pass to Patten. I still get goose bumps every time I watch the highlights on the original “3 Games to Glory” DVD.

  4. My favorite two regular season games were: 1–Brady’s great comeback from 10 points down against San Diego with about 4 minutes left in the 4th quarter to force overtime, which happened to be just about the only game Terry Glenn played in and contributed to the cause that season; and 2–beating the Dolphins in Game #15 at home to wrap up the AFC East–that was the last regular season game ever at the old stadium and Belichick had the team take a lap around to slap hands with the fans after it was over. It was also a game that the Pats led 20-0 at halftime before they let Miami get close in the 4th quarter, finally wrapping it up when a hellacious Tebucky Jones hit against Lamar Smith jarred the ball loose at the Pats’ 4-yard line, after a 4th down completion put Miami in position to have a first and goal situation.

    The playoffs still don’t even seem real. The snow against the Raiders. The Tuck Rule, which idiots from Oakland and certain sectors of the media still can’t accept as the right call; the two special teams TDs in Pittsburgh and Bledsoe’s renaissance (truth be told, he pretty much stunk in the 2nd half of that game, but his TD drive at the end of the half was epic); and of course, the shocking win in the Super Bowl–and I still can’t believe that Mike Martz refused to take what Belichick and Crennel were willing to give him that entire day: Marshall Faulk running the ball.

    Thanks Mike! Now we know why you’re on the NFL Network and not on the sidelines.

  5. Freddie Boom Boom Coleman made three plays that year, the one mentioned above against the Jets, where I was watching going “who the hell was that??!!??” digging through my Pats yearbook and PFW, and then the even better one where he is absolutely destroyed leaping up to grab a futile Miami onsides kick to seal the game, being practically broken it two large pieces, while still holding on to the ball.

  6. Watching the playoff game against the Raiders at The Red Parka pub in North Conway, NH with a bunch of my good friends. I will never forget that night.

  7. MackHerron says:

    2 things – first Bledsoe in tears or near tears at the end of the AFC championship game, always a fan of him despite his declining QB play. Second was the feeling of euphoria when T Jones ran the fumble back in the superbowl and then the letdown when it was called back. I immediately thought McGinness’s name would be up there with Buckner’s. Of course who can forget Madden – “I don’t like what their doing” and then “I like what their doing” on THE drive. Great season, biggest victory in Boston sports history, broke our loserville streak dating back to 86 Celts.

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