Last season, the Patriots had a mark of 14-2. Tom Brady had the NFL MVP by unanimous decision. It was even announced by Michael Buffer! But, no ring to speak of. In fact since the dreaded season of 2007 ended, the New England Patriots have not won any significant hardware. 3 playoff losses in 4 seasons. And a team that is increasingly relying too much on Tom Brady to fix almost every problem. I have stated before that the Patriots need to rise to the occasion when it counts. They need to play their best ball when the time for it is needed. That time isn't now.
For me the most disturbing aspect of the Patriots loss isn't the team. Its the fan base. When the team wins people are having sugary visions of the next game being a cake walk. And Tom Brady throwing another 99 yard touchdown pass to Dan Connelly this time. When the team loses, some fans are ready to jump off buildings because the season is over. And the defense is horrible. And Bill has lost his mojo as a defensive genius. Blah, blah, woof, woof, yadda, yadda, yadda. It is only week 4 right? It isn't week 12 or 15 right? So that does mean that the team still does have a chance to put together a fairly good season, right? And that is overrated too. More after the jump.
The team lost to the Bills Sunday. It wasn't pretty. And the fans want answers. Mike Riess is driving me crazy again with his assessments. And the fans are acting as if the world is on fire. After 1 loss. Would a 10-6 or 11-5 season be so bad? Would it be terrible if for once the team had a mediocre regular season, but still made the playoffs? I will admit the level of excellence the team has set is impressive. Winning 3 Super Bowls in 4 seasons has a nice ring to it. And having a solid head coach and quarterback tandem is important. But they haven't been able to win since then. And for a number of reason.
The point I'm trying to make is that the Patriots have had regular season success. On paper it looks good going in. But in the end, it means little if you don't win the whole thing. The playoffs are different animal all together. A guy with his leg falling off will play because he wants a championship. He wants that feeling of actually being the best and rising to the occasion. In the last four seasons the Patriots have done jack in the playoffs and guys are upset because they lost to the Bills? Now don't get me wrong, I give credit to Buffalo for winning the game. They did a good job scheming and capitalizing on the mistakes that the Patriots made. But to be upset over one loss in the way it comes across is mind boggling.
I'm not saying that there aren't issues to correct. I am saying that this isn't the best the team can play. They have yet to play team ball. We have yet to see a healthy defense. And there are guys sitting on the bench who I believe can have a huge impact that haven't really played yet. I mean really been apart of the game plan on a large scale. Bill often says one game at a time. And that the team that the Patriots are playing that week is a good team. He approaches each team like that team is better than his team. I take the same mentality. I can't speak for any other fan because I go about my love the way I do. But I will say that some of what I have been reading has been very troubling to me. Because some of you do not sound like fans who understand that this team is going to be scrutinized by the playoffs not the season.
I realize that I have fired the first shot in even writing this post. And I am opening myself up to a ton of scrutiny. But because of the way I see this team, I am confident in saying that New England must determine what New England does. I really don't care what the Jets, Bills, or Dolphins do if they aren't playing the Patriots right now. They really don't matter at this point. New England needs to take care of their business. And that business is Oakland this week. As always I encourage response, constructive criticisms, and well thought out points. Thanks.