Sunday, October 30, 2005

I've just puzzled something out...

I just realized that the Patriots are just not that good a team this year, and there's virtually no chance that they will repeat as Super Bowl winners. Now I can just relax for the rest of the season.

The old Patriots would have used Tedy Bruschi's return tonight as a reason to just steamroll the hapless Bills. Last years' team would have won by something like a 42-3 score and made it look even easier. Now, with the main offensive and defensive signal callers gone, it's a little more difficult to keep things in order. This year, the injury bug has finally caught up with them. Playing two rookies on Tom Brady's blind side is getting him sacked more, forcing fumbles more, and causing Brady to suffer the occasional burst of Happy Feet - the same affliction that bedeviled his predecessor. Losing the reliable David Patten to free agency and losing much of Troy Brown to age has hurt the receiving corps, Corey Dillon isn't as effective with the revamped line and the vaunted tight ends they have are ineffective as receivers because they've had to primarily worry about staying in to block.

The defense has been shredded by injury. Ty Law is gone, a Jet now, Ty Poole is lost to an ankle injury, and Rodney Harrison was more important than anyone even realized. Besides that, both Richard Seymour and Jarvis Green have been hampered by injuries. Bruschi may be back, but that doesn't go far enough to patch the holes. And so far, the new faces on the defense have been a major disappointment. I thought Starks was supposed to be a shut-down cornerback?

Special teams has also been mistake-prone, giving up way too many big gains on returns, and the whole team has been penalty-prone. Just an off-year. As I type this (with about 6 minutes left), The Pats are making a run at things. Rosey Colvin just made a big play on defense, The Pats now just took the lead back on 2 plays after the turnover, and they may actually beat the Bills today. Good for them. But they should have decimated them - and this is a bad Bills team. They're still my beloved Pats, but if I'm right and they don't win their third in a row, I sure as heck won't be bitter about it.

Just make the right moves for next year, and all will be well...

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