I’m live-blogging the game today at Bleacher Report.
Frenz and I are back on the podcast train this morning at 11am. We will be talking about the NFL professional football team known as the Patriots of New England (as you probably guessed).
After a brutal night last night and a brutal game today, the victory salvages what was almost an all-time worst Thanksgiving weekend.
My takeaways piece from a mind-boggling win over the Broncos. There were just so many storylines, it’s hard putting it all into context. Brady-Manning, Welker, the defense, the turnovers, it’s so much…
But the big picture? When the Pats are on, they’re just about unbeatable. The problem is getting and keeping the on for an entire game.
I pretty much moved on from the end of the Panthers’ game as soon as the refs picked up the flag. I know it’s still heavily in the news rotation, but as I said yesterday, I don’t want NFL games to be decided by penalties, and regardless if it was or wasn’t the right call, it was the call they made and it was not going to change.
I’ve said it many times, the Pats don’t often lose and when they do it’s by less than one score. They’ve lost 15 games since 2010 and their average margin of defeat is less than a touchdown (6.67 points).
Strangely three losses in the last two seasons have come on controversial calls at the end of the game. This includes both the Carolina and Jets games this season, and last year’s regular season loss to the Ravens on a field goal that was questionable.
This brings me to the Broncos who are flying high and the toast of the NFL after beating the Chiefs last week. They feature a high powered offense that is at times unstoppable, and are drawing comparisons to the 2007 Patriots.
But here’s the thing - the 2007 Patriots were a perfect storm, and as much as the results and point totals might look similar, the Broncos are not that team.
The biggest reason? Anger.
After the Spygate charade, the 2007 Patriots were angry and wanted to embarrass teams. Unfortunately for them, you can only run on anger for so long and they lost steam at the end of the season. They were still talented enough to get to the Super Bowl and have the lead late in the game, but they couldn’t close it out.
Still, a team that feels unfairly treated and miscast by the media can use that as motivation.
Could this year’s bad luck and bad calls that have gone against the Pats reignite some of that kind of anger in 2013? The Pats still seem pretty pissed off today and if they can harness some of that energy into the game this weekend, a game where they’ll hear all week how great the Broncos are and all about Peyton Manning and Wes Welker, they might play with an edge like we saw from the 2007 team, a team that was so focused and so locked in, they were unbeatable for five months straight.
By Sunday I’d expect this Patriots team to be pretty sick of it all.
The 2013 Broncos are a fantastic team, but they are not the pissed off 2007 Patriots who were looking to destroy anyone in their path. If the 2013 Patriots can take on some of that “us against the world” mantra into the last couple months of the season, they might just make a little more noise than anyone expects.
Here are my takeaways. No time to cry about it, let’s just find some healthy cornerbacks and give Peyton Manning hell!!