Song of the post: Drunk Last Night by the Eli Young Band
I apologize for this being the first Pats only football post of the season. It’s bye week and that’s unacceptable. In my defense I was here, there and everywhere on Sundays and Breaking Bad was quite addicting.
Also the on-field product was making me want to yak. This week, albeit the mopping of the Steelers was rather ugly. Now, clearly the team is hurt and many of the players are new and new to the system. Brady has been trying to find which receivers are reliable and which (cough.. Josh Boyce) are invisible. The defense who could be top 5 in the league when healthy, have not been healthy or shown their best. Wilfork, Mayo, Talib, Kelly, and most recently Gregory and Ninkovich are the biggest and best on that side of the ball; and on the injury list.
Most teams with all of their losses on personnel would call off the dogs and kick their feet back. Not while Belichick is running the helm. He has done a masterful job this year from defusing the Tebow circus, deflecting the Hernandez hype, grunting at reporters and winning football games this year. Despite the loss of players he has coached this team up and won games the real Patriot way.
’07-’12 it was about blowing out teams while the defense was being rebuilt piece by piece. Right as all things were clicking, Welker decided he’d rather get high and eat Papa John’s with Peyton. Hernandez thought he was playing GTA V and Gronk got hurt. Then they had to win the ways from ’01-’06; close games won with gritty offense and clamping defense.
Now a shade more than halfway through the season the Patriots have done just that.
With a fluke loss at the Meadowlands, or the Jets new stadium rather, and an embarrassment from a very dangerous Cincinnati team, they have been great; winning with some flare for the dramatic and defense. Against the Steelers the Patriots should’ve had the game wrapped up after the first possession in the third; but a fumble changed the game.
Then some great QB work by the best, Tom Brady they took off with the game, took it to Pittsburgh better than the Bruins did last spring.
Looking ahead the Panthers could be a hidden threat. Cam Newton and their defense has been wondrous as of late. Then come in the Broncos a huge game that could show our dominance and potentially (unofficially) clinch a bye in the playoffs. From there the toughest team would be the Ravens, and even then they don’t have Ed Reed or Ray Lewis so Brady can really open his eyes and have some fun there.
The Texans and Dolphins are teams that will slowly fall into the abyss of the NFL. Unless Case Keenum shows something amazing. However, the Dolphins with this huge controversy should be done for the year; a locker room split perhaps and not much fight as we assumed.
I expect the Patriots to finish 13-3 with a bye if they’re lucky, but probably 12-4 with the AFC East division clinched. Time will tell, and unfortunately I will be away for the end of the season and playoffs. Hopefully they’ll be in the Super Bowl when I’ll be able to watch.
+I like goofy Tom Brady