Talk of Patriots going undefeated? Not in New England


The media is at it again… whipping up a story to create artificial talking points when the reality is so much different. This week, with the Patriots not playing, the tale in national outlets has been about how everyone in New England is talking about an undefeated season. And… well…


Just… yeah…


Because in New England, no one is talking about it.

Let’s get a foundation into place first.

For any professional football team to go undefeated… regular season or complete through the playoffs season… is unreal. It’s only happened twice for a regular season since the first Super Bowl, and only once was topped off with a championship.

When you discuss the Patriots… and their fans… a run at that legendary milestone ended in such a fashion that a 3-0 start is not going to trigger any serious discussion on the matter. Honestly, when you head to the Super Bowl with an 18-0 record and then lose the championship, you tend to have at least a small amount of realistic perspective when it comes to a blistering 3-0.

Right out of the gate… yeah… no… there are no New England fans banging drums and secure of some inevitable conclusion. They may mention it in a “sure, it would be nice” way, but no one really believes it’s going to happen.

No. Not at all.

Of course, everyone seems to believe that this year is different… and New England fans want to believe that this year will be different… and that Tom Brady and his cast of supporters (read: teammates, coaching staff and ownership) are on a tour to thoroughly embarrass the NFL this season. And further, that this world domination tour will involve an MVP for Tom Brady, a Super Bowl MVP for Tom Brady, an undefeated season and a Super Bowl championship.

(And I admit, all of the fans of the team do believe such a scenario would be nice.)

While I would love to believe that there is some extra motivation to be found… another gear, so to speak… it’s a bit difficult to really grasp that. Sure, I think everyone wearing a New England uniform would love to blast every opponent and then thank Roger Goodell for the trophy.

The funny thing is… reporters need to report… television shows need content… and poking the bear with a stick sometimes raises the ratings. So, here we are, in a bye week, and the undefeated Brady throttles everyone for satisfaction story ratchets up a notch.

It’s more than the past though that adds to why no one in New England is talking about it.

For one, it’s superstition. And I’ll admit, a part of this is built on the past. Last February, when the Seahawks completed that unreal pass to close in on a potential go-ahead touchdown, the cry of New England fans was unanimous: “Holy crap, not again!” It hasn’t just been an undefeated season taken away by miraculous and unbelievable catches… it’s been multiple championships lost to unbelievable catches, and unbelievable catches have been made late in the last three Super Bowl games they’ve played.

And when you carry that superstition on one more step, in the same way you don’t mention a no hitter during the game, no self-respecting Patriots fan is going to believe an undefeated season is possible until they’re up by three touchdowns in the final five seconds of the Super Bowl with possession of the football and no timeouts remaining for the opponent.

Next up, check out the schedule. Week five brings up the first game against an NFC opponent… Dallas. Now, granted, the Cowboys are hurting. Still… decent team. And the rest of the NFC opponents include Washington, New York and Philadelphia. None of those teams promise to be easy victories.

In their division, they still have two games against the Jets and one against the Bills, each of which could be difficult. They do not tend to play well on the road against the Dolphins, and the home game with Miami is during a short week.

And then… there’s the little matter of Denver.

Will they be favored in most, if not just about all, of their remaining games? Yes. They will. Still…

Even if 16-0 is accomplished… we bring on potential rematches with the Steelers, Colts and Broncos, along with the Bengals, as possible AFC playoff opponents. And then, you know, there’s the little matter of a group like the Packers waiting at the very end.

The Patriots have a very good team, and there are a lot of reasons to think this is a special season. As long as they haven’t lost, an undefeated season remains a possibility. But considering the obstacles in the way, and the painful lessons of recent years, there is no one in New England with an understanding of what is necessary that yet believes it’s sure thing worthy of talking about.

Instead, we all just like thinking it could happen, and tease ourselves with that.

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