Tue, 26 May 2020

Do Your Bracket, Round 2: Vote for the Best Game in Patriots History

New England Patriots
03 Apr 2020, 19:34 GMT+10

The first round is complete and went off without much of the craziness that normally accompanies the real March Madness tournament with just two true "upsets" coming to pass. Both came in the Pre-Kraft Region as the 12 seed (1986 Hail Mary at the Rams) took down the 5 seed (the AFC East clincher over the Bills in 1978) and the 11 seed (MNF win in Miami in 1986) beat the 6 seed (the 56-3 win over the Jets in 1979).

Otherwise, it was pretty much all chalk. A trio of 9 seeds took down 8 seeds while every other matchup was one by the higher seed. That means things should start to get interesting at this point with some real contenders going against each other in every region.

Some of the best matchups figure to take place in the Dynasty Regions with some epic 4-5 battles setting the table. Conference title games against Super Bowls and division round showdowns highlight the slate. Things should be tight, and every vote counts so have some fun and let us know why you picked your favorite games.

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BREAKING DOWN THE MATCHUPS

PRE-KRAFT REGION

The No. 1 seed in the Pre-Kraft Region is the 1985 AFC title game win in Miami, which not only snapped an 18-game losing streak in the Orange Bowl but also advanced New England to its first of 11 Super Bowl appearances. The Squish the Fish Patriots take on the 9 seed, the Patriots 48-17 win over the Raiders earlier that season, a game that saw the Patriots wallop the eventual Super Bowl champs.

The 12 seed, the 1986 win over the Rams when Tony Eason hit Irving Fryar with a Hail Mary touchdown pass in the end zone as time expired, goes against the 4 seed, the infamous Snow Plow game in 1982 when John Smith's field goal provided the only points in a win over Miami in Foxborough.

The bottom half of the bracket features the 11 seed, a Monday night win in Miami in 1986, a game won on a late Steve Grogan-to-Stanley Morgan touchdown pass going against the 3 seed, the 1985 wild card win at the Meadowlands against the Jets.

The final game of the region features the 7 seed, a 1976 win on the road against two-time defending Super Bowl champion Pittsburgh taking on the 2 seed, the 1985 divisional round win at Los Angeles over the Raiders.

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DYNASTY I REGION

We open up the Dynasty I Region with the 1 seed featuring the Patriots first title in Super Bowl XXXVI over the Rams against the 9 seed, the 2004 divisional round win over Indianapolis in the snow at Gillette Stadium.

The 2001 AFC title game win in Pittsburgh that saw Drew Bledsoe come off the bench earned the 5 seed and takes on the 4 seed, the Patriots Super Bowl XXXIX win over Philadelphia.

At the bottom of the bracket is the 2004 AFC Championship win at Pittsburgh as the 6 seed. That game will oppose the 3 seed, which is one of the most famous games in team history, the 2001 divisional round win over Oakland, better known as the Snow Bowl game.

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The final matchup has the 7 seed, the 2003 AFC title game win in Foxborough over Indy going against the 2 seed, the Super Bowl XXXVIII win over Carolina.

BLEDSOE REGION

The Bledsoe Region has the 1 seed, the 1996 divisional round win over Pittsburgh in the fog, when Curtis Martin carried the Patriots to their first-ever home postseason win, going against the 9 seed, Bledsoe's last-second miracle with a broken finger when his TD pass to Ben Coates with no time left beat the Bills in Foxborough.

The 5 seed is Tuna Bowl I, the return of Bill Parcells to Foxborough. The memorable OT affair was won by the Patriots, but not after several swings of emotion along the way. That takes on the 4 seed, a miracle comeback at the Meadowlands, this one from 22-0 down to beat the Giants in the regular-season finale to clinch a bye.

Moving down the bracket, the 6 seed, the 1998 late comeback over Miami with Bledsoe hitting Shawn Jefferson for a touchdown in the closing seconds despite working with a broken finger, taking on the 3 seed, which is arguably Bledsoe's signature win, the 1994 overtime victory over Minnesota in which he threw for 426 yards and three touchdowns while attempting an NFL-record 70 passes.

The final matchup has the 1994 finale in Chicago that clinched a playoff spot as the 7 seed going against the 2 seed, the 1996 AFC title game win over Jacksonville that advanced the Patriots to Super Bowl XXXI.

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DYNASTY II REGION

The 1 seed in the Dynasty II Region is the Super Bowl XLIX comeback win over Seattle. That game goes against the 8 seed, which is the rally against Denver when the Patriots overcame a 24-0 halftime deficit to win in overtime.

The 5-4 game has the 2017 AFC Championship win over Jacksonville when Danny Amendola's touchdown catch completed a late comeback going against the 4 seed, the 2014 divisional round win over Baltimore, featuring two 14-point comebacks and a handful of special "ineligible receiver" formations.

On the bottom half we have the 6 seed, the 2011 AFC title game win over Baltimore when Billy Cundiff missed a 32-yard field goal that would have sent it to overtime, taking on the 3 seed, the 2018 AFC title game overtime win in Kansas City.

The final matchup has the 7 seed, the Super Bowl LIII win over the Rams against the 2 seed, the Patriots overtime win over Atlanta to complete the comeback from a 28-3 deficit in Super Bowl LI.

VOTE NOW!

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