#1) New England vs. Cincinnati (Week 5, 2014 season)
Six days prior to this matchup, the Patriots had gotten blown out on Monday Night Football by the Chiefs, and Tom Brady was benched late in the game for Jimmy Garoppolo. Trent Dilfer famously said at the time, “We saw a weak team, the New England Patriots. Let’s face it: They’re not good anymore.”
Coach Bill Belichick was asked that week if Tom Brady would remain the team’s quarterback, to which he scoffed. Belichick was asked a series of other questions to which he continuously (legendarily now) responded, “We’re onto Cincinnati.”
The Bengals were 3-0, the Patriots were 2-2, and it felt as if the sky was falling in New England.
Tom Brady and the Patriots roared on Sunday Night Football though, blowing out the Bengals. Brady eclipsed 50,000 yards in his career by hitting Rob Gronkowski, and New England eventually won 43-17.
Brady was back.
Without this dominant performance, without a win, without the resurgence of Tom Brady, who knows if the Patriots’ last three Super Bowl victories would have even occurred. This was possibly the greatest pendulum swing in Brady’s career, and he answered the bell, showing he had a lot left in the tank.
Thank you, Tom Brady.
Forever a Patriot. Forever a Fan.