Back in the glorious oh-my-god-this-is-it-wait-actually-we’re-winning-the-whole-thing 2014 season, the Chicago Bears were victim No. 4 of the “We’re on to Cincinnati” MarioKart Super Star rampage that ultimately ended up in arguably the most electric Super Bowl of all time. During that Bears game, this happened. And it ruled.
The Patriots hung 21 points on the Chicago Bears in less time than it takes to microwave a Hot Pocket: 57 seconds, to be exact.
Touchdown Gronk, touchdown LaFell, touchdown Ninkovich. Not a typo.
That escalated quickly!
It was 38-7 at the half, with a final score of 51-23. For as much as we all love and cherish the nail-biters that make us sweat like Key & Peele when your girl’s wondering why the browser history is always cleared, there’s a lot to be said for a good old fashioned “We came, we saw, we kicked its ass!” that’s never close and the score makes you wonder if NFL scoreboards can hit triple digits.
Which, not coincidentally, is exactly what the Patriots have done two games into the 2019 season. Maybe someone will score a touchdown against them next weekend. Or maybe not! Or maybe the weekend after that. Then again, also maybe not.
And according to new dad Kyle Van Noy, if the starters are still playing when the game is clearly in hand and most teams would have the second-stringers in, well, the goal is domination, plain and simple.
“It’s football,” Van Noy told Curran. ”We’re trying to dominate the opponent. We only get 16 chances.
”People think that’s a lot, but it’s really not. You get to showcase your talents and all the hard work you put in in the offseason, so you want to be able to play as many snaps as you can, because you never know when your last is.
”And with the mindset that we have here, we’re trying to dominate.”
Mmmmmm. Domination. Not only a great Pantera song, but also a great way to spend your Sundays!
Aside from the obvious joys of smashing your enemies, KVN’s point about showcasing all the hard work you put in all offseason is a great one that gets overlooked a lot. Play your cards right, and you could land yourself that lucrative second contract/extension like undrafted cornerback Jonathan Jones just did and, well, Van Noy himself did back in 2017. Being that the rookie wage scale generally has guys that aren’t first-round picks making somewhere between a few hundred thousand to roughly a million a year for their first few years, that second deal’s where a lot of guys go from “Hey, I can afford a house!” to the chance to really set themselves and their families up for life. So, yeah, that’s important.
And also, let’s be real: Not only is hanging a boatload of points on the board while skunking your opponent always fun, it’s also something the Patriots have taken a particular joy in since, well, the glory days of the first three Super Bowls (which is still an absurd sentence to be able to write). You probably remember TB12 last year on a few occasions last year finally popping off on everyone that thought the offense was washed:
"I'm too old...you're too slow...we got nothin'"— New England Patriots (@Patriots) January 21, 2019
"Unreal, bro." pic.twitter.com/7b2V9q6K6M
And being that the only scandal we’re dealing with at the moment is more than a few people being upset that Antonio Brown is still in town, what would this be without 2007 alums Ellis Hobbs and Rosevelt Colvin summing up what it’s like to put your critics in the ground?
Hobbs: Bill just said, “Every time we step on the field, prove you’re the best.” We weren’t showing any weakness. There is no sportsmanship. We’re going to keep putting points on the board. We didn’t care. With Spygate, we had to over-satisfy.
Colvin: People thought Bill was giving Tom all the answers. So it was a matter of, we’re not just going to stick it to you, we’re going to stick it to you a little more than we usually have. We’re going to prove a point, and prove it hard.
Brady: When we won Super Bowls, we were a defensive football team. Our offense was average most of the time. … In that situation in 2007, for the first time our offense could support our defense. And it was a nice feeling.
Trust us, it still is, Tom. It still is.