12 most shockingly embarrassing on-field moments in Patriots’ history
The New England Patriots’ franchise is one of the most revered organizations in the NFL, but it has also fallen victim to some truly shocking and embarrassing moments on the football field.
Fortunately, Patriots fans have the bragging rights of six Super Bowl victories to keep the haters at bay.
But there have obviously been moments during the coach Bill Belichick era and beyond that would be better off forgotten. Sadly, some of those moments happened last season with the Patriots falling off a cliff offensively and missing the playoffs.
In no particular order, we’re going to get into some of the 12 most shockingly embarrassing on-field moments throughout the Patriots’ franchise history. Be sure and follow Patriots Wire on Facebook and Twitter to let us know of any other moments you feel like deserve to be on this list.
Super Bowl XX blowout loss vs Bears
The defense for the 1986 Bears team was more impenetrable than Gringotts.
So few expected the Patriots to actually win Super XX. Not only did the Patriots lose on the big stage, they got blown off the field in a 46-10 loss. Imagine making it all the way to a championship game just to have the season end like that.
It proved that The Super Bowl Shuffle hadn't been recorded in vain.#OTD in 1986, the 1985 @ChicagoBears capped off one of the most dominant and memorable seasons of all-time by routing the Patriots, 46-10, to win Super Bowl XX.
📹: @NFL pic.twitter.com/wR2k9jlfBl
— Pro Football Hall of Fame (@ProFootballHOF) January 26, 2023
The lateral heard 'round the world
If “Shaqtin’ a Fool” was an NFL segment, the embarrassing lateral turnover in the Patriots’ 2022 loss to the Las Vegas Raiders would be at the top of the list for Shaquille O’Neil, Charles Barkley and Kenny Smith to roast relentlessly.
The worst part is the fact that none of it was even necessary. The Patriots could have simply downed the ball and taken the game into overtime. But Rhamondre Stevenson played hot potato with Jakobi Meyers, who proceeded to throw the game away.
What just happened?? The @Raiders win on the final play!! #NEvsLV pic.twitter.com/cmKNUuab1k
— NFL (@NFL) December 19, 2022
Two-for-one special in Buffalo
In a must-win game against the rival Buffalo Bills in the 2022 regular season finale, the Patriots gave up a touchdown on the opening kickoff to returner Nyheim Hines. Good luck beating the Josh Allen-led Bills when you’re handing out freebies before the game even starts.
The @BuffaloBills return the opening kick. You couldn't write this script.
📺: #NEvsBUF on CBS
📱: Stream on NFL+ https://t.co/Zuxd3911Wt pic.twitter.com/8SexEVXpTN
— NFL (@NFL) January 8, 2023
To add insult to injury, the Patriots gave up another touchdown on a kick return in the same game, which resulted in them losing and missing the playoffs for a second time in three seasons.
By the end of the game, Nyheim Hines should have changed his name to “Duncan” Hines because he was slipping tackles like he was “Sweetness”, the late, great Walter Payton.
NYHEIM HINES' SECOND KICK RETURN TD OF THE DAY.
📺: #NEvsBUF on CBS
📱: Stream on NFL+ https://t.co/Zuxd3911Wt pic.twitter.com/hrsxcc29Hv
— NFL (@NFL) January 8, 2023
The Miami Miracle
One of the most embarrassing losses in Patriots’ history is without a doubt the “Miami Miracle” in the 2018 season.
How did it even happen?
The Dolphins were completely out of it, and someway, somehow, they mustered up an impossible lateral sequence to score a game-winning touchdown.
Seeing legendary tight end Rob Gronkowski flail on a missed tackle at the end was a gut punch for a Patriots fan base wondering one thing in that fateful moment: Why was he even out there?
Three years ago today… The Miami Miracle 🙌@MiamiDolphins | @KDx32 | #FinsUp pic.twitter.com/h6QRQ1cZS4
— NFL (@NFL) December 9, 2021
Benching of Malcolm Butler leads to shocking Super Bowl LII loss.
Bill Belichick benched Malcolm Butler, who was the Patriots’ starting cornerback across from Stephon Gilmore at the time, and watched his team get carved up like filet mignon by Philadelphia Eagles’ backup quarterback Nick Foles at Super Bowl LII.
The loss came in a game where Tom Brady put on a superhuman performance by throwing for 505 yards and three touchdowns against an elite Eagles defense. An argument could be made the Patriots would be seven-time Super Bowl champs if Belichick started Butler.
Nick Foles = #SBLII MVP! 👏👏👏 #FlyEaglesFly pic.twitter.com/heZhwGFGUL
— NFL (@NFL) February 5, 2018
Destruction of the almost perfect season
Nothing cuts deeper for a Patriots’ fan than the mere mention of Super Bowl XLII.
It’s hurts so bad that it feels like it happened only yesterday. Eli Manning was seemingly given the strength of the gods in the waning moments of the fourth quarter to avoid a sack on a crucial third down, and he heaved up a prayer ball that somehow stuck to David Tyree’s helmet.
The Giants went on to punch the ball into the end zone and muster a defensive stand in a 17-14 victory.
15 years ago today, Eli Manning and the Giants took down the Patriots in Super Bowl XLII.
18 wins and 1 Giant loss.pic.twitter.com/VhJgFIkQqd
— Giants Videos (@SNYGiants) February 3, 2023
Losing one game in an entire season isn’t nearly as bad as Brady laughing at the mention of the Giants holding the Patriots’ offense to 17 points.
Tom Brady’s classic reaction to @plaxicoburress’ prediction that the Giants would win Super Bowl XLII, 23-17.
13 years ago tonight, Brady wasn’t laughing anymore.
— Ralph Vacchiano (@RalphVacchiano) February 3, 2021
The meltdown in Indy
Does anyone remember the time Peyton Manning Tom Brady’d Tom Brady?
That’s probably on the short list of things to forget during Brady’s legendary run with the Patriots. Brady and company were ahead 21-6 at halftime in the 2006 AFC Championship game against the Indianapolis Colts, before Manning stormed back out on the field and forced one of the worst playoff meltdowns ever for a Belichick-coached team.
Peyton Manning had never gone to the Super Bowl…until he put together a drive to beat Tom Brady and the Patriots.
Watch this classic @Colts win in the 2006 AFC Championship tonight at 8 PM ET on @CBSSportsNet. pic.twitter.com/Yzg2y9587S
— NFL on CBS 🏈 (@NFLonCBS) April 19, 2020
2003 season-opening shutout loss to Buffalo
The Patriots were the reigning Super Bowl champions on the road against a Buffalo Bills team expected to get rolled on in the 2003 regular season opener.
Well, the exact opposite happened with the Patriots getting crushed like a bug on a windshield.
By the end of the game, Patriots fans were begging someone to turn on the wipers just to get the blowout over with and move on to the next week. It was a hard reality check for New England, who fell in defeat to their AFC East rivals in a surprising 31-0 loss.
In the 2003 season opener, the Bills dominated the New England Patriots with a 31-0 win 🦬
One of the game's most memorable moments was when defensive tackle Sam Adams intercepted a Tom Brady pass during a zone blitz call, showcasing his agility and quick thinking. Adams then… pic.twitter.com/K9I9XtknLk
— Let’s Talk NFL 🏈 (@TalkFootball34) February 25, 2023
Miami's wild cat spectacle
There’s a reason why the Patriots defense is so good at defending the wildcat formation. It’s because they were absolutely gashed by it in a run-in with the Miami Dolphins in 2008.
Running back Ronnie Brown did whatever he wanted to the Patriots in a game where they looked completely helpless. He ran for 113 yards and four touchdowns, while also chalking up a passing touchdown as well.
Ricky Williams also had a big game with 98 yards on 16 carries in the 38-13 victory.
.@ronnie23brown had a game for the ages when the @MiamiDolphins introduced the Wildcat Offense. (via @nflthrowback)
🐬 4 rushing TDs
🐬 1 passing TD
🐬 38-13 win in Foxborough pic.twitter.com/VaXGrJEzvr
— NFL (@NFL) May 22, 2020
The buzz saw at Arrowhead
Monday Night Football doesn’t get much uglier than this.
The Patriots got pounded like a drum at Arrowhead Stadium in a 41-14 loss back in 2014. Brady couldn’t get anything going with the offense, and the defense had an epic collapse. The Patriots were beaten and battered like they were the stars in a “Rocky” movie without the happy ending.
The #Chiefs beat the #Patriots, 41-14.
READ: http://t.co/zAMYdtQ4Oa pic.twitter.com/dkOGGJffO3
— Kansas City Chiefs (@Chiefs) September 30, 2014
The Philly Special
Brady threw for 505 yards and three touchdowns against the Philadelphia Eagles at Super Bowl LII, but the only thing haters seem to remember is the legendary quarterback’s mishap when lining up at receiver on an attempted trick play.
Despite being wide open, Brady dropped a beautiful pass thrown by receiver Danny Amendola, completely nixing a play that would have put the Patriots in scoring position.
Tom Brady is still bothered by Super Bowl loss to the Eagles
And that dropped pass
“I get reminded of that play every time I see an Eagles fan”
“It’s the Eagles that I cringe, not the Falcons”
From @SIRIUSXM pic.twitter.com/NJ1PK8hAPK
— John Clark (@JClarkNBCS) January 12, 2022
If that wasn’t bad enough, the Eagles responded with the same play to Nick Foles and connected on a touchdown later in the same quarter.
Philly Special. #TBT#FlyEaglesFly pic.twitter.com/aBiK6NxKoH
— Philadelphia Eagles (@Eagles) April 12, 2018
Dirty plays by Mac Jones?
Is Mac Jones a dirty player?
I’ll leave that one up for you to decide, but this compilation of “dirty plays” over the course of his NFL career didn’t help matters. Former NFL receiver Torrey Smith even went as far as comparing Jones to Milwaukee Bucks guard Grayson Allen.
Questionable or downright controversial things have a tendency to happen when Jones is on the field. He ended up being fined for a low block hit on Cincinnati Bengals cornerback Eli Apple in a 2022 regular season meeting.
Mac Jones is a dirty player – Compilation video from 4 different incidents from his two-year career. pic.twitter.com/LFDUugodvA
— Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) December 25, 2022