Re: Pats Still Fooling Everyone?
posted at 2/11/2014 10:15 PM EST
The Patriots have started the playoffs with a January Foxboro home game for an incredible 10 out of the last 11 years, and that eleventh year they went 11 and 5. Seven out of these eleven years they got at least to the AFC Championship Game. That's the constant Belichick/Brady threat and it should be equally applicable to 2014. No one else in the history of the NFL ever has posed such a long-term threat, not even Vince Lombardi's Packers.
If any one of the other 31 teams is way up this year, next year they might possibly plunge faster than the Houston Gravity. Examples: Seattle is wonderfully set up, and maybe San Francisco, except both rely on running quarterbacks that could go down and out with one big hit. Denver could collapse due to the great ages of both Spare Parts Peyton and Wes Pupils Fixed and Dilated Welker. Stuff often happens with older players.
New England only has two older players, Brady and Wilfork, and both players have been relatively injury-free during their playing careers so far. That's a good sign. The rest of the core of the Patriots team is pretty young. A few bit players are old castoffs and they'll just get replaced in midseason if they're injured.
This season was awful to the Pats except they kept eking out those victories somehow. Wilfork and Kelly both went down and backup Armond Armstead never materialized, so the Patriots put up some cardboard cutouts at defensive tackle for a while and burned through a few JAGs. After Mayo and Spikes went out too, rookie Jamie Collins got thrown into action and he was ok. Welker made his cut, Gronk went on IR and Hernandez went off to visit the zoo, so the Patriots went and got some more of those cardboard cutout receivers in the draft. Next year, at least Wilfork, Kelly, Mayo, Spikes and Gronk should be back, so 12-4 or better continues to be a possibility.
No, I don't think that 8 to 1 is unreasonable. It's a Patriots thing.