Tuesday, October 2, 2007
Patriots roll to 4-0, still on cruise control
The conditions seemed right for an upset. A very talented team playing below it's potential at home with a chance to silence all their critics by beating the highly touted Patriots. The feature back Laurence Maroney would be on the sidelines for this game. I would have been surprised by a Bengals win, but not blown over. The Patriots aren't the type to let that happen though. They're smart, well coached veterans with ice water in their veins who've heard enough "Any given Sunday" speeches in their careers to know not to look past any team in their way. This is why the Patriots get the 16-0 talk instead of the 4-0 Cowboys, 4-0 Packers and even the 4-0 defending champions the Colts.
The Patriots have lived up to expectations by being the only modern NFL team to win all of it's first four games by greater than a 20 point margin. Randy Moss has been better than advertised and the defense has looked rock solid even without Richard Seymour and Rodney Harrison. Carson Palmer, Chad "Ocho-Cinco" Johnson and TJ Houshmandzadeh for all of their star power could only muster a measly 13 points against the Patriots defense
There is one point of concern however. The Patriots opponents so far have been soft. All four of their opponents are 1-3 after week four. The one "good" team they've played, San Diego, reached a new low last Sunday with an embarrassing loss to the lowly Chiefs and fell to 1-3. Maybe Marty always choked in the playoffs and that wasn't good enough for San Diego, but at least he got there, something current Chargers head coach Norv Turner is having trouble with.
Next week's matchup brings our old friend Romeo Crennel back to Foxboro with his Cleveland Browns. The Browns have managed a respectable 2-2 but have been inconsistent after being blown out by Pittsburgh to start the season and edged out by the Raiders in week 3. Their wins include an impressive win over the Ravens this week and the 51-45 fireworks display with the Bengals in week 2. Romeo is the Patriots former defensive coordinator and no doubt will have some insight into cracking the Patriots defense.