New England Patriots

  • Between the Patriots having just played the Jets and getting ready for their first Thanksgiving game in 10 years, this week has plenty of people getting nostalgic about the Patriots’ last Thanksgiving game, which came 10 years ago today in the Meadowlands against those same Jets. It wasn’t just any Thanksgiving games though, it produced one of the most memorable moments in the modern era of the NFL.

    With 9:10 to go in the second quarter of a 14-0 game, the Jets had a 1st & 10 at their own 31 yard line. What happened next may be the most replayed sports blooper of the last decade.

  • After a miscommunication on an attempted handoff, Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez attempted to take off on his own. As he turned up-field, Patriots defensive tackle Vince Wilfork pushed right guard Brandon Moore back into his running lane, and Sanchez clotheslined himself on Moore’s backside. As he fell he dropped the ball, and safety Steve Gregory picked it up and ran into the end zone. And just like that, the ‘Butt Fumble’ was born. The play would, among many other things, go on to set the record for the longest ever run atop Sports Center’s Not Top 10 list before it was ‘retired.’

    Gil Santos and Scott Zolak were on the call that night for 98.5 The Sports Hub and the Patriots Radio Network. Here’s what it sounded like…

  • While that play certainly gets remembered, some people may forget just how disastrous that whole sequence was for the Jets. It was part of a run that saw the Patriots score three touchdowns in just 53 seconds – with the Butt Fumble coming in the middle.

    Just two snaps earlier the Patriots had recovered yet another Jets fumble, as linebacker Brandon Spikes forced the ball away from running back Shonn Greene on a 4th & 1 in Patriots territory. The Patriots wasted no time making the Jets play for the miscue, as quarterback Tom Brady hit running back Shane Vereen on a wheel route out of the backfield, which he took 83 yards to the house. Again, here’s the call…

  • So the Patriots got that touchdown, and then the Butt Fumble occurred two plays after the ensuing kickoff. A 7-0 game became 21-0 in a flash. But the Patriots’ weren’t done.

    On the kickoff that followed the Butt Fumble touchdown, Jets returner Joe McKnight decided to return the ball from deep in his own end zone. Just shy of the 20 yard line, he took a big hit from safety Devin McCourty, which popped the ball up in the air. It landed right in the arms of a waiting Julian Edelman, who ran unchallenged into the end zone to complete the sequence 56 seconds and eight lines in the box score later. Once again, the call…

  • In less than a minute of game time, the game had become a laughing stock. The Patriots would actually score once more in that quarter with Brady hitting Edelman for a 56-yard touchdown up the seam on their next offensive drive – which was really their first of the second quarter.

    The Patriots ran as many offensive plays (5) as they scored total touchdowns in the quarter, setting a franchise record for the most points in a single quarter with 35. They were up 35-3 at the half, as future Patriots kicker Nick Folk hit a 32 yard field goal on the final play before heading to the locker room.

    In the end, the Patriots came away with a 49-19 win. You can watch the full highlights here.

    Will there be more memorable plays in store this time around on Thanksgiving? Tune into 98.5 The Sports Hub and the Patriots Radio Network for the call Thursday night, beginning with Patriots Pregame at 5:30 p.m. ET.

  • Another memorable moment from (after) that game

  • Alex Barth is a writer and digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Looking for a podcast guest? Let him know on Twitter @RealAlexBarth or via email at abarth@985TheSportsHub.com.