The New England Patriots game against the New York Jets in Foxboro was the turning point in their season – so it goes to figure that the Image of the year would come from this game…
…and Patriots Team Photographer David Silverman snapped this winning image as defensive end Rob Ninkovich hit Jets’ quarterback Mark Sanchez with upward thrust, knocking the ball loose. Ninkovich fell on the ball as well – and since the play came in overtime with the Patriots leading by 3 points, the play also ended the game.
Voting for the award was open to fans only and took place on various social media sites – 41photographs from 6 different photographers were on display for fans to choose from, but the voting wasn’t even close as Patriots fans recognized both the quality of the photography and the intensity and magnitude of the moment:
“It was a stirring victory for New England, the kind that digs a team out of a funk, the kind that rights the ship, the kind that gets them on track. Use whichever worn out cliche you’d like, or make up one of your own. The Patriots’ gritty, determined victory on Sunday evening is the stuff that turns a season around.
They needed this type of game. They needed to stick with a game plan for a full 60 minutes. They needed to face this type of adversity, they need to hear the fans getting on their backs – they needed to fall behind their most hated rival so that Brady could could engineer this comeback”
“The Patriots’ defense showed up in crunch time as well, as Dont’a Hightower sacked Jets’ quarterback Mark Sanchez on 3rd and 7 from the Patriots’ 25 yard line, forcing a Jets’ field goal attempt. Had New York converted that 3rd down, they could have run down the clock and there would have been no time left for Brady to work his magic.
New England sacked Sanchez again on their next possession in overtime, this time with Rob Ninkovich and Jermaine Cunningham going high/low on Sanchez, forcing a fumble that Ninkovich recovered to seal the win.”
Congratulations to David Silverman for receiving the first ever Hippie Award for excellence in photo journalism with the Patriots’ Image of the year.