I keep telling myself, "breathe, just breathe. And stop holding your head in your hands." Maybe I've pinched myself a dozen times. I don't know; I'm too tired to tell. With the possible season ending injury to Tom Brady, there's a dramatic shift in the winds both in New England and throughout the AFC. The balance of power is no longer securely ensconced in Foxborough, MA. I don't think opposing teams are celebrating Brady's injury, but I do believe there's a collective, "Now we have more of a chance for a good season than we did at 1 PM on Sunday."
By now, most of us are aware all roads lead to an ACL (Anterior Cruciate Ligament) injury of some sort. The degree of the injury is not known, at least to the media and public, but will be confirmed by an MRI today. Use this diagram; it should open up a new window which will be good to have during our discussions. the ACL connects the femur (thigh bone) to the tibia (shin bone) and is torn during sudden dislocation, torsion, or hyperextension of the knee, according to Wikipedia.org.
Our season has just changed dramatically. We've been concentrating so much attention on Tom's feet that this hit us like a truck. Ironman Tom Brady out for the season? No way. He's started 128 games!! But, here we are, contemplating a 2008 without wonderboy, without the NFL's 2007 MVP. That's the way it is folks. #12 will, most likely, not be anchoring the team for this season. Can lightning strike twice? Can a Patriots backup QB take the reins yet again and lead this team to the promised land? Time will tell. Matt Cassel did a fine job yesterday, but, no offense to Chiefs fans, it was KC. Still, Cassel has the support of his teammates and according to Matt Light, it's business as usual:
"I think he's taken a lot of fire, especially in this preseason. I felt like his job as a backup quarterback is to understand everything we do on offense and be able to step in there and perform at a high level. That's what's expected of him and that's what he did."
When Chris Simms finishes up his "look see" today, we'll get more info, but I would predict Simms will take on the role of backup until he learns the playbook. At that point, Belichick will need to decide whether or not a former starting QB with only a few weeks or months in the system warrants the starting spot over a career backup who's been at it for 4 years. As with all of this, only time will tell.
I owe you a game recap, but, to be honest, I've been rather sleepless trying to keep up with the injury reports on our boy Tom. And I'm just too worn out right now to dig through the stats. Hopefully, I'll have it for you tonight.
To put this into some kind of perspective, it pales in comparison to the "real" problems of the day like our brave men and women dying on foreign soil or the countless storm victims on our coasts, not to mention the tragedies around the globe. It pales in comparison, but that thought doesn't remove the sting. Tom, I wish you the best in your recovery and Matt Cassel? Make us proud.