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…
in New England, no one is talking about it.
get a foundation into place first.
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.
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.
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.
Not at all.
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.
I admit, all of the fans of the team do believe such a scenario
would be nice.)
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.
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.
more than the past though that adds to why no one in New England
is talking about it.
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.
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.
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.
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.
then… there’s the little matter of Denver.
they be favored in most, if not just about all, of their remaining
games? Yes. They will. Still…
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.
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
we all just like thinking it could happen, and tease ourselves