Sports Illustrated has put out a piece on the “Biggest gut-punch loss” for each and every franchise, the Pats included.
The game that the author the piece, Doug Farrar, picked one that everyone still remembers to this day – the team losing their chance at perfection as they lost to the Giants in Super Bowl XLII.
New England Patriots: Feb. 3, 2008, Super Bowl XLII—Giants 17, Patriots 14
This wasn’t supposed to be a game. It was supposed to be a coronation. The Patriots were coming into the Super Bowl with an 18–0 record, and had been beating the daylights out of nearly every team they faced through the 2007 season. But the Giants, who held New England to a close win in the regular-season finale, dialed up an excellent game plan that had multiple defensive linemen putting pressure on Tom Brady right in his face, and the team that set the single-season scoring mark was held to two touchdowns. When David Tyree made his famed helmet catch, the outcome seemed to be ordained from on high. In truth, the team that won out-coached the team that lost, which is always a threat to happen, no matter how great one of those teams or coaches may be.