September 23rd, 2001 is a date that a lot of Patriots fans will never forget. The opponent was the New York Jets and the place was Foxboro Stadium. Drew Bledsoe was leading the charge for the Patriots as they were down 10-3 late in the fourth quarter. Bledsoe scrambled right, trying to get a first down in the process. What happened next is what nobody saw coming!
Mo Lewis came up and knocked Bledsoe out of the game. What we didn’t see coming is that Bledsoe would be knocked out of the Patriots starting quarterback job for good. A kid by the name of Tom Brady came in and took over. Brady finished that regular season with an 11-3 record. He also helped the Patriots upset the Rams in Super Bowl XXXVI for their first title in franchise history.
Since That Season?
Tom Brady has been the best thing to happen for the Patriots. Since 2001, the Patriots have won the division every year with the exceptions of 2002 and 2008. He has brought the Patriots to nine Super Bowls, winning six of them in the process. Drew Bledsoe meanwhile really never recovered after that season. He made pit stops in Buffalo and in Dallas before hanging up his spikes after the 2006 season. He did reach the Pro Bowl in 2002 with the Bills and is now inducted into the Patriots Hall of Fame. This Patriots organization has been the model for consistency since 2001. The opposition hates us and that’s the way we like it!
Imagine if Bledsoe doesn’t get knocked out in that game back in 2001? Who knows where the Patriots organization would be today. We are truly likely as Patriots fan to enjoy constant success year after year. As far as Tom Brady is concerned, he better be sending Mo Lewis a Christmas card and 100 bucks every year for essentially kick-starting his career. Thank you Drew Bledsoe for helping the Patriots organization during the hard years. But if it weren’t for Bledsoe going down, we might never have found out how good Tom Brady really is in the NFL today. Everybody has to start somewhere, right?
-Alan Nahigian (@BigAl2793)