Everyone knows the Patriots play better when they are mad. See the Spygate saga of 2007. It produced two of the most lopsided victories in team history.
The New England Patriots opened as 7 1/2-point favorites to beat the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday night. The line has since gone up to double digits thanks in part to the revenge factor. Many believe Patriots coach Bill Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady will show no mercy because the Colts initiated Deflategate.
The Patriots already are tied for the most lopsided victory since the NFL-AFL merger, beating the Titans 59-0 in 2009. (The Los Angeles Rams blanked the Atlanta Falcons 59-0 in 1976.)
Here’s a look at the Pats’ most lopsided victories; Brady was the quarterback in four of five:
Patriots 59, Tennessee Titans 0 (Oct. 18, 2009): Brady built a 45-0 halftime lead and threw six touchdown passes -- five in one quarter -- as the Patriots sent the Titans to an 0-6 record.
Patriots 56, New York Jets 3 (Sept. 9, 1979): Pats QB Steve Grogan threw completed 13 of 18 passes for 315 yards and five touchdowns and Harold Jackson and Stanley Morgan each had more than 100 yards receiving. Jets quarterbacks Richard Todd and Pat Ryan combined for three interceptions.
Patriots 56, Buffalo Bills 10 (Nov. 18, 2007): Nine weeks after the Spygate saga broke, the Patriots were on a mission. They scored TDs on their first seven possessions and got an eighth on a turnover to improve to 10-0.
Patriots 52, Washington Redskins 7 (Oct. 28, 2007): Brady threw for three touchdowns and ran for two more as the Pats improved to 8-0. Linebacker Mike Vrabel caught a touchdown pass and also forced three fumbles by quarterback Jason Campbell that led to 17 points.
Patriots 45, Jets 3: (Dec. 6, 2010): Brady threw for four touchdowns and 326 yards in this Monday Night Football game. It was the Patriots’ 26th straight regular-season home victory.