I'll admit to having had a mild coronary whan #12 went down. Watching that hit by Bernard Pollard and the subsequent rolling around on the ground gave me shivers. But, you never know, right? I was thinking (hoping maybe?), as was Moss, that Brady would emerge from that tunnel, trotting onto the field to lead his team to victory, just like he had for the previous 7 seasons. As the news rolled in and many of our fellow SBNation bloggers offered their good words, my mood got darker. Having watched Matt Cassel during the preseason, I was VERY concerned. Luckily, he managed to pull out a win against KC and we began digesting the prospect of an IR'd Tom Brady. Jeez, it's STILL hard to type that.
A few months later, we find ourselves at 5-3, tied for the division with Buffalo and NY. Oh, and don't forget a 4-4 Miami nipping at everyone's heels after a 1-15 season. Crazy, pretty darn crazy. Just think about this for a second - How utterly ridiculous is the 2008 NFL season up to this point? Here's a few crazy moments:
- Buffalo looked to take the AFC East by storm. With a 5-1 start, they were poised to be the team to beat. As I was watching them at the beginning of the season, I was practically throwing my hands up. Until... in the last 4 games, the Bills went 1-3, essentially surrendering a comfortable cushion in their division.
- The result of Favre-gate? Brett ends up taking the helm in NY after a gazillion years in Green Bay, sending potential starter Chad Pennington to division rival Miami. A grizzled vet grabs the reins, learning a new system, and leads his new team to a 3 way tie. Folks, this is a fairly monumental feat: QBs have to know their playbook better than anyone on the field. You can almost see Favre getting more comfortable in the system.
- Now, we have our Patriots. The right side of the offensive line, with Yates and LeVoir, has been struggling, but getting better. Cassel has yet to develop a long ball with Moss. We reached into the practice squad for "Law Firm" as our primary RB and are using Faulk more than usual. Onfield secondary "coach" Rodney Harrison is IR'd for the season. Who's next? Bruschi? Shhh... finding some wood to knock on. The CB sitiation looks like a war zone. Oh, Don't let me forget to mention, with all of these injuries and churn, we were an Adam Vinatieri 52 yarder, a David Thomas unnecessary roughness penalty, a dropped Jabar Gaffney reception away from besting Indy...IN THEIR HOUSE!!
As our links guru says, Keep the Faith! Here's why I have faith - Belichick. He knows when players are hot or cold, when they're ready to step up (BenJarvus Green-Ellis) or sit down (Jonathan Wilhite). The running game is hot, hotter than it's ever been. And that's without Maroney, Morris, and Jordan. My belief? BB is "resting" Morris and Jordan for a sprint to the finish line. Cassel's long ball with Moss is close; that perfect floater to Gaffney against Indy got me all lathered up about it. As soon as Matt can put the ball where Randy has to REACH for it, look out. Putting it in his bread basket only allows wily DBs to reach in and knock it out (remember the Chargers game?).
5-3, 5-3, 5-3, 4-4. Wow, what a nutty season this has been.