Monday, December 15, 2014

It's been 14 years since an AFC East team finished with a better record than the Patriots

The New England Patriots clinched another AFC East title yesterday.  Here are some things you've probably heard already:

- It's their sixth straight division championship, 11th in 12 years, and 12th in 14 years.
- They've had a winning record for 14 straight seasons (the Pats are the only NFL team to finish over .500 every year this millennium).

What isn't mentioned enough is how the Patriots did in those other two non-division-title-winning seasons:

- In 2008 the Pats went 11-5 (without Tom Brady) and tied for the division lead with Miami.  But New England lost on tiebreakers, and became the first NFL team to ever go 11-5 and not make the playoffs.
- In 2002 the Patriots were 9-7, putting them in a three-way tie atop the division with the Dolphins and Jets.  New York won it on tiebreakers.

The last time the Patriots didn't end the season with the most (or tied for the most) wins in the AFC East was 14 years ago, in 2000.  This season also marks the 11th consecutive division championship won by a healthy Brady.

What makes the above photo from Sunday so great is the fact that one of the key plays in New England's 41-13 victory over Miami was a 17-yard run by Brady:

Back in late October Brady said he was going to become more mobile--and he has.

According to Mike Reiss of ESPN Boston, the 17-yard scamper was the third-longest of Brady's career and the longest since 2007.  There's also this:

UPDATE: I've been informed that Brady did have the longest run in a game at least once before--a 15-yard rush vs. the Jets on December 22, 2002.

Here are the previous versions of this piece from each of the last three years (as far back as goes): 2013, 2012, 2011


  1. Brady has had the longest rush in a game before. It happened on December 22, 2002 against the Jets.

    1. You're right, thanks!


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