Greatest NEVER to Win a Championship: 2007 New England Patriots

This weeks choice was just one game away from immortality.

James LeBeauby James LeBeau

It's never a given that you will win one game, let alone all of them, but the 2007 New England Patriots found themselves in a position to do just that, before succumbing to the New York Giants in the SuperBowl.

The Patriots, under head coach Bill Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady, are a constant threat to go all the way and are almost always the preseason pick to represent the AFC in the title game. In 2007, however, no prognosticator could have dreamed that this team would do what it did.

This New England team was a seemingly unstoppable offensive juggernaut. They set records for pretty much every major category on the offensive side, including points and TD's. During this year, receiver Wes Welker led the NFL in receptions while Randy Moss set a wideout record for touchdowns caught with 23. QB Tom Brady also set a regular season record with 50 touchdown passes and earned his first NFL MVP award.

This aerial assault overrode any opposition before them in the regular season, allowing the Patriots to become the first team to ever go 16-0 in the regular season. What makes this achievement even more startling and amazing, is that they did it while major controversy was surrounding them. The 2007 Patriots were penalized by the league for taping opponents defensive signals from an unauthorized location in their Week 1 game against the Jets.

The Patriots entered the playoffs as the heavy favorite to win it all and after wins over the Jacksonville Jaguars and the San Diego Chargers, they looked to live up to that promise in SuperBowl XLII. With their first two playoff wins, the team improved to 18-0 and became the first team since 1884 in any of the four major American Sports (Baseball, football, hockey and basketball) to win the first 18 games of their season.

On the cusp of a perfect season and becoming known as the greatest team in the history of the sport, the Patriots fell to the Giants 17-14 in a game where their powerful offense was held in check by the guts, and the luck, of the New York Giants.

With the loss, the Patriots finished the season 18-1 and will forever be known as one of the greatest teams never to win a championship, and the 1972 Dolphins, the only NFL team to go a season and postseason undefeated, breathed a heavy sigh of relief.

 

Photo Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS