Patriots are responsible for most heartbreaking losses for six NFL franchises, ESPN says

ESPN says Patriots are responsible for most heartbreaking losses of six NFL teams Originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

Call them Tom Brady and the Heartbreakers.

In honor of the New England Patriots’ game against the Atlanta Falcons on Thursday Night Football and all the 28-3 references that will entail, ESPN released a list of the 32 most heartbreaking losses in the NFL franchise in their history. .

Unsurprisingly, Atlanta’s infamous collapse after taking a 28-3 Super Bowl LI lead against New England has been named the most heartbreaking for the Falcons. But that was far from the only loss on the list with Brady and Bill Belichick’s fingerprints all over them.

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In all, the most heartbreaking loss for six franchises has been suffered by the Patriots since Brady’s first season as a starter in 2001.

In addition to the Falcons, the Los Angeles (St. Louis) Rams, Carolina Panthers, Baltimore Ravens, Seattle Seahawks and Jacksonville Jaguars all suffered their most heartbreaking losses at the hands of the Patriots, according to ESPN.

For the Rams, their loss to the Patriots in Super Bowl XXXVI – as a 14-point favorites, the Super Bowl’s biggest since the AFL-NFL merger – sent the franchise into a free fall from which it took more than a decade and a half to show signs of recovery. St. Louis lost the game, 20-17, after Brady devised a workout that led to Adam Vinatieri’s 48-yard field goal when time ran out, after which the Rams posted only a only winning season in Missouri before returning to Los Angeles in 2016.

By the time the Rams were back in Super Bowl, in 2018 … Brady and the Patriots were still around, denying them yet again in Super Bowl LIII.

The Patriots also sent other franchises into extended falls with heartbreaking losses. Malcolm Butler’s interception to seal Super Bowl XLIX against the Seahawks, 28-24, denied Seattle a second straight championship, and though the Seahawks have only missed the playoffs once since the call. Pete Carroll’s controversial game, they have yet to move past the NFC division. tower.

New England’s 24-20 win over Jacksonville in the 2017 AFC Championship game saw the Jaguars take a 10-point lead in the fourth quarter, a pair of touchdowns from Brady to Danny Amendola in the fourth quarter. – as well as a picturesque break of pass by Stephon Gilmore – sending Jacksonville to his demise. The Jaguars have gone 14-43 since that game.

Carolina’s most heartbreaking loss came at the hands of New England, ESPN said, during Super Bowl XXXVIII. The Panthers tied the Patriots late in the fourth quarter, but after John Kasay kicked off the ensuing, Brady had little ground to work with to set Vinatieri up for another game and a 32-29 victory. Carolina didn’t return to the Super Bowl for 12 seasons, when she lost to the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl 50.

According to ESPN, Baltimore’s most heartbreaking loss also came against New England, in the 2011 AFC Championship game. The Ravens failed to enjoy one of Brady’s worst playoff games. , losing 23-20 when kicker Billy Cundiff hit a 32-yard field goal in the last minute. To Baltimore’s credit, he returned straight to Foxboro for the AFC championship game the following season and won, en route to a Super Bowl XLVII title.

As for the most heartbreaking loss for the Patriots themselves? Surprisingly, it wasn’t the game that cost them perfection in Super Bowl XLII against the New York Giants, nor the rematch four seasons later. Rather, it was the 24-21 loss to the Oakland Raiders in the 1976 AFC Division playoffs, in which New England held a late lead before a controversial passer call extended what s ‘turned out to be a winning race for Oakland.

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