UPDATE: Typically updates go at the bottom of an article, but this was just too interesting. My semi-rant below against the diminishing validity and relevancy of the sport and officiating, was confirmed.
For those fans who did their research during the long drawn out season of Spygate, they know all too well that the NFL covered up and lied during that whole witch-hunt, how integral the Jets were in that, the charge that was led by Bill Polian who was President of the Competition Committee, Roger Goodell, and others who were in the positions of power to bring to a frenzy 'much-ado-about-nothing'.
BB had been the target of their attacks for years before that... there was the PI 'emphasis' that was directly tied to BB and the Pats which changed the way the NFL was played after 2004 and was of the most benefit to none other than Manning and the Colts (Polian's team).
There was Mangini's Benidict Arnold like departure to NY, complete with the Patriots' scouting reports on other NFL teams, scouting reports on players in the coming drafts, the playbook, etc. there was the tampering done by the Jets with D. Branch, which of course the NFL cleared them of. There was the Handshake-gate where the talking heads spent weeks talking about what a poor sportsman BB was for not shaking Mangini's hand after the game... and so on.
This is nothing new, the NFL will go out of its way to slap down BB and the Pats, they have proven this before. And its no surprise that this latest example emanated once more with the Jets. And once more, the NFL has twisted (emphasized) or re-worded a particular rule in order to do so.
Normally I would HATE to see the Patriots lose to the Jets.
But there was something about this loss, the game was irrelevant, the Jets are irrelevant, the game was decided by a bogus call that decided the outcome... and every such game decided by such officiating makes the NFL just a little bit more irrelevant in my life, as well as makes a mockery of the game.
The NFL is becoming more and more of a circus every year, and less and less a game played by the toughest, grittiest, most warrior like men in sports. Its about Prima donna athletes and post game highlights, pre game concerts and Peyton Manning records... the Grid Iron has become the Gurly Girl Show.
NFLNetwork talking heads and ESPN pundits have spent years now trying to sell us on the fact that the game has changed... that its a passing league now. [Note by Marima, 10/22/13 3:38 PM EDT ] Political reference removed.
One example of this, the Patriots, who couldn't pass consistently to save their lives the past seven weeks, not like they used to, not like they needed to, to be a high powered offense capable of hanging more than 30 points on a team on any given Sunday. But they were still winning, and still looking like a strong team... until this Sunday.
So what changed?
Gronk was back, why wasn't this their most solid victory of the season?
Their Defense has been gutted. The loss of Wilfork (and Kelly), Mayo and Talib is the equivalent of throwing this Defense back to 2009... its a Defense that wasn't going to stop the Jets... or anyone else. You don't lose the three best players you have on Defense, the most irreplaceable players you have on Defense, and keep chugging along as if everything is the same.
With those 3 (4) guys, the Patriots had a top 5 Defense (in all the stats that matter)... without them, I doubt they are in the top 20. Instead of being able to hold teams under 20 points a game now... they will be lucky to keep them around 30.
The only undefeated team in the NFL today is the Kansas City Chiefs. KC has a QB that is closer to being pedestrian than all-world. They have an Offense that has yet to put up even 30 points on one opponent... not once... despite facing doormat teams like the Jaguars and Raiders.
Yet the are undefeated.
Because they currently have the most dominant defense in the NFL. The one creating the most turn-overs, the most sacks, and allowing the fewest points.
The team with the best record in the NFL today... is the best not because they have a Manning at QB, or are able to hang 50 points on an opponent. The team with the most wins, is merely functional on offense, but they dominate on Defense.
And at the end of every year... this truth usually comes to light in the playoffs. It's not the team with the high flying offense, the record breaking QB that is guaranteed a SB victory. It's almost always the team that has two things going for it... it is healthy at the right time... and it is playing exceptional Defense.
I can think of a few teams in the last ten or fifteen years that won the SB with a 'pedestrian' offense who's biggest claim to fame was not turning the ball over during their playoff run... but I can't think of one team that won with a 'pedestrian' performing Defense.
As for the Jets... and their 'win'.
They play the Bengals next week, and the Saints after that. Come talk to me if they can win even one of those two games, and maybe I'll consider it as evidence that they might not end up at the bottom of the AFC East when its all said and done.