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For 12/16/2007

Perfect Season - Goal or Byproduct?

Last week I just couldn't get it together. I wrote a few different articles and scrapped them all. I think the reason for this is that while I was happy for the wins in weeks 12 and 13, I was still a bit dissatisfied and couldn't figure out the right words to describe it. But, after seeing what happened on Sunday against the Steelers and how the Pats could perform after a couple days rest I figured it out:

I can't take anymore talk about a "Perfect Season."

I've stopped listening to sports radio during the week, and all but stopped reading the news. It seems that all anyone can write about is "The Perfect Season" or "Brady/Moss Records." Which brings me to the title of this week's article. This year, if not in the history of the league, the Pats are by far the most dominant force in the NFL and I believe that it should be written in the record books as such. But come on, enough about the "Perfect Season." Let it be a byproduct of the overall performance of the team this season as opposed to it being their goal. At the end of the day, it's the goal of every team to win each game and bring home the Lombardi Trophy, so who wouldn't want a "Perfect Season." One of the best plays by Bill Belichick this year is how he puts more focus on only the next game than the press seems to put on the "Perfect Season."

It's also clear that there's increased pressure that impacts the team. A couple days of rest proved that. We all know that the Pats for some reason are the least respected team in the league; we've gone through that before. But now they are also the team everyone else wants to see lose. I can understand other teams wanting to knock down the King of the Hill, that's human nature. What is driving me crazy, however, is watching games and having to listen to commentary about how much people are looking to see the Pats lose only to hear them do a 180 in the last few minutes of the game. I've actually started listening to the game on Sirius Radio while watching on television to get some good New England focused commentary. There's a time delay, but it's worth it to not have to listen to Jaworski or Simms.

That's the last you'll hear from me on the "Perfect Season." On to the next game.

The Jets. We all want the Pats to hand the Jets a crushing and spirit killing defeat, and a 27 point spread is definitely a good start. The Jets have already commented that they are not letting the spread affect them, but you have to wonder what the real effect is. Offensively, the Pats are ranked 1st in Passing, 13th in Rushing to the Jets 11th and 30th defensively. Defensively, the Pats are 7th against the Pass and 13th against the Rush to the Jets 23rd and 19th offensively. Read into those stats what you want, but it looks good for the Pats. There's a big storm planned for New England starting Sunday morning so depending on the weather, the game plan could swing either way. The Jets are already saying that their plan is to stick to Moss like glue, but if the weather is nasty it's going to be a short game and Welker will be working hard. This could be the way to go given his below average touches against the Steelers… He should be well rested. Maroney and Faulk will wind up seeing quite a bit of action as well. If it's clear and crisp, we'll be looking for the long throws.

Either way, the Pats have been too dedicated to Bill Belichick this year to suffer a loss to the Jets, so they'll be fighting tooth and nail for a win if they have to.

Go Pats!