Monday, December 12, 2005

Optimism and Skepticism

Why we should be optimistic about the New England Patriots:

1) They're playing their best game now at the end of the season. With Corey Dillon, David Givens and Kevin Faulk back in the offensive arsenal, the Patriots offense has taken off. Just take a short look at the stats from yesterday's game. Also, look at how their defense has come together.

2) They should wrap up their playoff spot next week. With either a win or a loss by Miami, the Pats will take their fourth spot in the playoff rotation, with a home game to start off. They will be able to rest their key players (read, heal up their key players) in the final couple of weeks.

3) Once the Patriots are in the playoffs, all bets are off. They have a great record, in the past few years (obviously), and that experience will help them face up against the teams that haven't managed to get over that hump.

Why we should be skeptical of the New England Patriots:

1) Yes, they beat up on the weak sisters in the league, but look at their numbers against the teams who will likely be in the playoffs? They just can't seem to win in the big games.

2) Harrison, Light, Dillon, Faulk, and now Brady are all injured. Harrison and Light(?) won't be coming back. Who knows how badly Tom Brady was hurt in that 3 yard run?

3) Who cares if they beat up on the Bills. Buffalo went up by over 20 points last week, but then let Miami back in. They've obviously given up on this season.

4) Yes, their record in the playoffs is spectacular, but this is not last year, or the year before that. This team just isn't as good as it once was.

What's my opinion? A little bit of both. I'm hoping for some magic to hit in the playoffs, but realistically, if the Pats win their first round in the playoffs, I will consider it a success and look forward to the draft next year.

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2 comments:

bentley92 said...

I think I wrote once before that if the defensive line gets healthier that they might be able to protect our poor defensive backfield. I have changed my thought on that a bit despite the fact we are putting pressure on the quarterback these last couple of games. I think that is purely a function of the teams we are playing. What I think now will protect our entire defense and will possibly help us in the playoffs is the return of Dillon and Faulk. If Dillon is able to get 100 yard games in the playoff and we Faulk remains a great 3 down threat it will keep our defense off the field. Lots of ifs here but if we don’t get down early and if we are able to grind the ball and time away we still might do alright in the playoffs.

Mike said...

"if the defensive line gets healthier that they might be able to protect our poor defensive backfield"
I haven't changed my mind about that. Having a healthy Richard Seymour cannot be underestimated. But I agree that it's hard to test out since they haven't played any decent QB's lately.

Dillon and Faulk being in the line-up will be a huge factor in any playoff games. But offense cannot win you the superbowl (remember the greatest show on turf, or the record breaking offensive show by Indy last year?)

I'm looking forward to seeing what they can do this Saturday. I think it will be a really good preview of what they can do in the playoffs.