Monday, November 26, 2007

The Foxborough Juggernaut
Earlier on the blog I made a comment on the risible attempt by the Washington Redskins to take on the New England Patriots. After laughing my way through that game, I've been trying to make it a point to watch the Pats play this year since this team will go down in Niffle history as one of the greatest teams ever. Tom Brady will be spoken of with Elway-like reverence when he is finished winning Super Bowls.
Which means I have to say that last night's Eagles-Patriots game rather surprised me. The Pats' mere three-point win was as shocking as the confident, muscular play of the Iggles. I was of the opinion that having gotten past the Colts earlier, New England was ready to roll through the rest of their schedule. But I forget sometimes that there are games that sneak up on a team. The Eagles had every reason to be sky-high for the game having just taken a game flat away from the Redskins (that sound you hear is my distant laughter) and really, nothing to lose in laying every drop of testosterone and every cc of steroids on the line for the game. And they did a helluva job. The Patriots, on the other hand, really had no reason to be jacked up for the game. They have been just crushing opponents and the Eagles haven't shown themselves to be terribly fearsome competition.
The fact that the Pats didn't let a game slip that easily could have been stolen from them shows just what a gutty team they are. I think once Tom Brady realized that the game was at risk, there was no way he was going to let it go.
And, I think, therein lies the story of the New England Patriots this year. Any team that goes up against them had better be prepared to bring it hard. Because the Pats and their almost pathologically truculent coach are setting out to make this team a team that will be talked about with awe in the history of the game. They've won Super Bowls; that's not a goal to energize a championship team, strange to say. But to go undefeated, to set scoring records by multiple dozens of points (possibly even a hundred give or take), to set touchdown records for Brady and possibly for Randy Moss as well - now there's something to make the team leap onto the gridiron and batter their opponents into submission.
They only scored 31 points against the Eagles. Expect scores in the 50s against any team that can't gut it up like Philly did. Let's see if other teams can raise their level to meet the Pats because the Pats are not about to play down their opponents. They may go undefeated into the next season if injuries to key players don't take them down. It's beautiful and almost scary to watch.
And by the way, Red Sox win the World Series, Pats look to run away with the NFL crown and the Celtics have put together the best team they've had in years. Boston should be a happy, happy sports town these days.

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