The Patriots opened the 2014 season with a head-turning 33-20 loss to the Dolphins on the road. Tom Brady completed only 29 of his 56 pass attempts and threw just one touchdown. New England was outscored 23-0 in the second half.
2 of 18Adam Bettcher/Getty Images
New England’s defense and special teams played a huge role in their Week 2 win over the Minnesota Vikings, as the Patriots intercepted Matt Cassel four times and returned a blocked field goal for a touchdown.
3 of 18Jim Rogash/Getty Images
In their home opener, the Patriots squeaked past the Oakland Raiders 16-9, marking the third week in a row in which Brady threw only one touchdown pass. DT Vince Wilfork sealed the win with an interception near New England’s goal line in the final minute
4 of 18Charlie Riedel/AP
The Patriots were embarrassed on Monday Night Football in Week 4, losing 41-14 to the Kansas City Chiefs. Brady again only threw for one score (who’s counting anyway?), and was intercepted twice, while Alex Smith threw for three touchdowns and the Chiefs’ running game amassed over 200 yards on the ground.
5 of 18Winslow Townson/SI
Brady and the Patriots bounced back with a 43-17 drubbing of the Cincinnati Bengals. Brady threw for two touchdowns and 292 yards, Rob Gronkowski had 100 yards receiving and a touchdown and the running game piled up 221 yards.
6 of 18Kellen MIcah/Icon Sportswire
The passing game remained fruitful in New England’s next game, a 37-22 win over Buffalo. Brady threw for 361 yards and four touchdowns – two of which went to Brandon LaFell -- to improve to 23-2 against the Bills in his career.
7 of 18Jim Rogash/Getty Images
The Patriots narrowly avoided a loss to the Jets by blocking a 58-yard field goal attempt on the final play of the game. Brady remained hot, throwing three touchdown passes in the win.
8 of 18Jared Wickerham/SI
The Patriots’ offense found their stride in Week 8 en route to a 51-23 win over Chicago. Brady tossed five touchdown passes, and the Pats’ defense added a fumble recovery for a touchdown for good measure.
9 of 18Jim Davis/The Boston Globe via Getty Images
New England continued to steamroll opponents with a 43-21 win over Denver in a rematch of last season’s AFC Championship game. Brady threw for four touchdowns and 333 yards, while Peyton Manning threw for 438 yards and two scores. Manning and Brady combined for 110 pass attempts, while Gronkowski caught nine passes for 105 yards.
10 of 18David E. Klutho/SI
In a prelude to this year’s AFC Championship, the Patriots ran right through the Colts in Indianapolis, presumably with the balls properly inflated. New England dominated on the ground, with Jonas Gray running 37 times for 201 yards and four scores. Brady threw for two more touchdowns in a 42-20 win.
11 of 18Winslow Townson/SI
The Patriots’ defense shined in their next win, a 34-9 shutdown of Detroit. Lions QB Matthew Stafford completed only 18 of his 46 passes and couldn’t find the end zone. LaGarrette Blount ran for 78 yards and two scores after being picked up by New England three days earlier.
12 of 18Christian Petersen/Getty Images
New England suffered their first loss since September on the road at Lambeau Field. The Packers won 26-21 behind 368 yards and two touchdowns from Aaron Rodgers. A Patriots comeback was stifled late, when Stephen Gostkowski missed a 47-yard field goal with under three minutes left and the defense could not get the ball back.
13 of 18Tom Walko/Icon Sportswire
New England’s defense held San Diego scoreless in the second half, locking up a 24-13 victory. Julian Edelman caught eight passes for 141 yards and a score for the Pats, and a field goal put New England ahead for good early in the fourth quarter.
14 of 18Jared Wickerham/Getty Images
New England avenged their first loss of the season with a 41-13 shellacking of Miami, clinching the AFC East in the process. The Patriots slammed the Dolphins with 24 points in the third quarter alone, the highest-scoring third quarter in team history. Gronkowski’s three catches were good for 96 yards and a touchdown.
15 of 18Julio Cortez/AP
The Jets gave the Patriots another scare in Week 16, but New England emerged from the Meadowlands with the 17-16 win after Jonas Gray scored the go-ahead touchdown early in the fourth quarter following a Geno Smith interception. The Jets had an opportunity to retake the lead with a field goal, but Nick Folk’s 52-yard attempt with over five minutes left fell short.
16 of 18Winslow Townson/SI
Resting most of their key players, New England lost to Buffalo 17-9 in a meaningless Week 17 game. Patriots rookie quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo saw his first significant action of the season, completing 10 of his 17 passes for 90 yards.
17 of 18Elise Amendola/AP
AFC Divisional Playoff
In a classic contest between AFC rivals, the Patriots rallied from two 14-point deficits to defeat the Baltimore Ravens. New England trailed 14-0 and 28-14, but outscored Baltimore 21-3 after falling behind by two touchdowns for the second time. Tom Brady threw for three scores, and Edelman threw his own touchdown pass on a trick play. The Ravens’ comeback was dealt a heavy blow when Flacco tossed an interception on the team’s second-to-last drive.
18 of 18Winslow Townson/SI
In a repeat of their regular season matchup, New England thoroughly dominated Indianapolis in the AFC championship game, winning 45-7. The Pats’ defense stifled Andrew Luck, who completed only 12 of 33 passes for 126 yards and no touchdowns. Of course, the game has since gained notoriety when the NFL investigated and confirmed that the Patriots were using illegally deflated balls.
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