Monday, October 22, 2007
Like taking candy from a.......terrible football team...
Coming into this game I was under the distinct impression that this was a classic trap game. Normally, for a trap game the underdog has to be underrated, the favored team is overconfident and is caught off guard by the underdog. Normally there has to be some sort of semi-relevant statistic that gives the factual basis for this concern.
For this game the fact that I kept on thinking of was 0-21 @ Miami losing to the Dolphins last year. What I forgot, however, is that these are the '07 Patriots and they are the 0-7 Dolphins. It's pretty hard to underrate an 0-6 team like the Dolphins and even harder to underrate an 0-7 team. As for the Patriots, clearly Tom Brady hasn't forgotten the embarrassing blemish on last season's record and seemed to be out for blood as he spread the ball around and racked up 5 TD passes IN THE FIRST HALF!!!!! Coming back from the locker room with a 5 touchdown lead much of the Miami crowd decided to beat the traffic and the Patriots were playing as though they had bigger fish to fry and couldn't wait for this game to be over. By the time the 4th Quarter rolled around, Bill felt it was time to take it easy on them and threw Matt Cassel out there to eat up some clock. Of course Matt quickly threw an interception that was returned for a Touchdown. The Patriots sideline immediately went into crisis mode as the Dolphins were now only a mere 21 points behind in the 4th Quarter. Bill had Tom Brady get suited up again and ran him out there to put another 7 on the board and put the lead a much safer 28 points away.
When asked about running up the score on the Dolphins by bringing Tom Brady back into the game, Bill denied this vehemently.
"I did it because of the score," Belichick said. "One more turnover, and then it's a 14-point game in the middle of the fourth quarter."
This was a game only in the academic sense, game usually implies the possibility of failure, this was a slaughter. The Dolphins can now race against St. Louis Rams for worst record in the league and 1st pick overall in next year's draft. The Patriots on the other hand have bigger goals. Think they gave Don Shula in the stands and his undefeated 1972 Dolphins squad something to worry about?
Next week the Patriots will take on the Redskins with it's very well earned 4-2 record at Gillette Stadium. The 'skins have had a tough schedule and are one of the elite teams in the NFC and in a tough division with Dallas and the Giants. They're a good football team, but probably not good enough to beat the Patriots, but then again who is?
Elsewhere in the League: I think Jacksonville has a real shot against the Colts on MNF. The Broncos caught the Steelers with their pants down and pulled out a last second 50 yard field goal for the win. The Steelers have some real talent on their roster that gives them the tools to compete with the best teams in the league, but they seem to have some trouble with consistency. Buffalo pulled off an upset against the Ravens and now solidly possess the #2 spot in the AFC East at 2-4. In related news, the Patriots magic number is down to 6, they could potentially clinch their division by week 11.