BOSTON (CBS) — You’ll have to wait another day for Patriots football this week, but it’s usually worth the wait to watch your team on Monday night football.
Sure, it makes for a long day on Monday as you anticipate kickoff throughout your workday. And then there’s that extra long Tuesday where you’re battling fatigue after missing out on a good night’s sleep (given most games don’t end until close to midnight), but there’s still an aura that goes with your team taking the field on the national stage and closing out a glorious week of football for the world to see.
Unless they lose of course, and then you’re just a grumpy human being for the next few days. Luckily in the Patriots’ case since Bill Belichick has taken over, they’ve come out victorious more times than not with a 15-6 record on Monday nights.
The Patriots will take on the Kansas City Chiefs, who they are a perfect 3-0 against when featured on Monday Night Football. But before we look ahead to that matchup, let’s look back on some very memorable Monday night games in New England’s history — in no particular order:
September 12, 2011: Patriots Open Season With 38-24 Win Over Dolphins
Miami has never been a kind place to Tom Brady, but he’s never been better than in the 2011 season-opener against the Dolphins. Brady completed 32-of-48 pass attempts for 517 yards and four touchdowns, including a 99-yard touchdown pass to Wes Welker.
October 4, 2010: Patrick Chung Goes Off In 41-14 Win In Miami
We head back to Miami for another career day for a member of the New England Patriots.
Patrick Chung has had an interesting NFL career, but he had his best game ever on Monday night football against the Dolphins in Miami. Chung blocked two punts and had a pick-six in the Patriots’ 41-14 win over Miami in 2010.
December 6, 2010: Patriots Rout Jets 45-3
The Patriots avenged a Week 2 loss to Rex Ryan and the Jets with a 45-3 rout on Monday Night Football. Brady threw four touchdowns while Mark Sanchez was picked off three times.
It’s just a shame they couldn’t save some of that offense for their divisional round playoff loss to the Jets a few months later.
October 20, 2008: Cassel, Moss Lead Patriots To 41-7 Win Over Broncos
Matt Cassel shined in the Monday night spotlight as he threw three touchdowns, including two to Randy Moss, in New England’s rout of the Broncos. The Patriots were also a force on the ground with their backs combining for 257 yards, including a career high 138 yards for Sammy Morris.
The defense forced five turnovers and the Patriots had a 34-0 lead before the Broncos found the end zone. But the win came at a cost, as Morris and safety Rodney Harrison were both lost to knee injuries. For Harrison, it was the end of his incredible 15-year career.
November 3, 2003: Belichick Outsmarts Shanahan In Wild Win Against Broncos
Bill Belichick looked like a real genius after this one, even in that red hoodie.
With the Patriots down 24-23 late in the fourth quarter and the ball at their own one-yard line, Belichick called for an intentional safety. It gave the Broncos two points, but gave the Patriots better field position for the free kick. Ken Walter pinned Denver at their own 15, the Patriots defense forced a three-and-out (with the help of a Denver holding penalty), and got the ball back to Tom Brady with just over two minutes left at their own 42.
Brady then orchestrated one of those patented Tom Brady two-minute drills, finding the end zone six plays later with a beautiful touchdown pass to David Givens in the corner of the end zone to put New England on top 30-26.
An Asante Samuel interception sealed it for the Patriots, who would close the season with their second Super Bowl win in three years.
November 21, 2011: Gronk Flips Out In Another Blowout Of KC
He’s known for his vicious spikes after touchdowns, but how about some props for a mid-air somersault by Rob Gronkowski in New England’s 34-3 blowout win over the Chiefs in 2011.
Gronk scored two touchdowns as the Patriots improved to 7-2 on the season. And of course, he delivered a spike after wobbling around briefly following his flip.
September 14, 2009: Pats Survive With Two Touchdown Comeback Against Buffalo
The Patriots have had numerous blowouts on Monday nights, but they also staged one of the more impressive comebacks to open the 2009 season.
In Brady’s comeback after missing the 2008 season, he put together an even better two-minute drill than the one in Denver in 2003. He threw two touchdowns in 1:16 late in the fourth quarter as the Patriots came back to beat the Buffalo Bills 25-24.
Brady looked human in the win, but was a super human in the closing minutes. He hit Benjamin Watson with 2:10 left — going to gentle Ben again for the two point conversion — to cap off an 81-yard drive that pulled the Pats within five. Then Leodis McKelvin fumbled the ensuing kickoff for Buffalo, meaning Brady and Co. would only have 31 yards to cover to find the end zone again.
And find the end zone they did, as Brady hooked up with Watson again for a 16-yard score to give the Patriots a 25-24 victory.
“That’s not how we drew it up, but I’ll take it,” Brady said following the game.
Don’t lie, Tom. That’s exactly how you drew it up.
November 18, 2013: Panthers Beat Patriots After Controversial No-Call To End Game
While all those wins were fun, the Patriots did lose their last appearance on Monday Night Football, and in controversial fashion.
Sometimes the Monday night tilts don’t live up to all the hype, but last year’s Patriots-Panthers showdown certainly did — even amid the controversy.
The Patriots trailed for most of the contest, but took a 20-17 lead with 6:36 left in the game. The defense couldn’t hold off the Panthers attack though, as Cam Newton finished an 83-yard drive by hitting Ted Ginn Jr. for a touchdown with 59 seconds left.
Brady and the Patriots then drove all the way to the Carolina 18, but he was picked off looking for Rob Gronkowski in the end zone as time expired. The officials threw a flag on the play, and it looked like Luke Kuechly would be flagged for pass interference — which is usually the case when you give the target a big bear hug:
But the officials got together and concluded that Brady’s pass was uncatchable, so they picked up the flag in the end zone and the game was over. A livid Tom Brady let the officials know his feelings as he walked off the field, as the Patriots dropped to 7-3 with the loss.
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