Is it just me, or do you get the feeling that this NFL season is already over? That the New England Patriots are the main event and everything else that goes on is just background noise.
Through seven weeks of the season, the Patriots are 7-0, having scored 279 points and given up just 120. Their average margin of victory is 22.9 points per game and they have beaten every opponent by at least 17 points.
Through seven weeks of the season Tom Brady’s stats are: 2,125 yards, 27 TDs, 2 INTs, and an absurd 137.9 passer rating.
Benefitting most from this spectacular performance is Randy Moss whose numbers — 44 catches for 732 yards and 10 TDs — are somehow better than those of the star receiver on my Madden team.
And this is all through seven games. Seven! Randy Moss is on pace for a ridiculous 22 TDs.
Through seven weeks of the season the Patriots are just flat out ridiculous while the AFC East is flat out embarrassing.
Not only do the remaining three teams have three wins combined, no team other than the Buffalo Bills seems to be making any sort of progress over the course of the year.
The Patriots have already clinched their division but this isn’t news. In fact, the division was clinched before the season even started.
Well, ok, to be fair it was clinched after the first game of the season when New England showed against the New York Jets that Randy Moss would be the player of 1998-2004 rather than the 2005-2006 version, and that Tom
Brady would be…well a freak of nature. Tom Brady is playing the quarterback position about as perfectly as it can be played. Period. There is seriously nothing to critique in his play. The decisions he makes, how he manages the game, the throws he makes — perfect is the lone word that comes to mind that seems to accurately describe his performance.
At this point the only way the Patriots can be stopped is if an opposing team’s linebacker or defensive lineman decides to take one — not just for his team but for the entire league — and gives Tom Brady the most punishing hit he’s ever had in his career.
Which would be shocking in itself. Hardly hit at all, Brady is the type of player that even when he is hit, it looks like he is being given the “grandmother” treatment.
Whether defenders are afraid to damage his good-looks (coming from People magazine, not me) or perhaps receive a penalty or even a fine for touching Tom Brady, something is preventing him from being hit the same way that other QBs in the league are hit.
While QBs all around the league are dropping like flies and guys like Trent Dilfer, Vinny Testaverde and Sage Rosenfels are taking starting snaps in real live NFL games (amazing, isn’t it?), Tom Brady stands resolutely in the pocket every Sunday, never having to move more than five feet to his left or right nor nursing more than a sore throwing arm (you would too if you were averaging 300 yards and four TDs a game).
To be honest, it’s not even close to fair. Tom Brady is so good he should be forced to retire at the completion of this season and the collecting of his fourth Super Bowl ring.
It’s the only way to level the playing field.
In an age when the name of the game in the NFL is parity, I say FedEx Brady his Hall-of-Fame Canton blazer priority and cut him a check for the remainder of his contract plus 50% ASAP. Tell him thank you, but we’ve seen enough.’
Let him finish his thirties lying on the beach, drinking Coronas, with Gisele Bundchen on his side.
Alright, so that isn’t going to happen nor should it, but something needs to be done to stop this monstrosity.
The only way I can see the Patriots being beaten is a perfect storm of five events coming together at the exact same time — on a Sunday afternoon or Monday evening, sometime this fall.
First off, the opposing team needs to have an excellent secondary. I don’t mean four really good players, I mean five really good players at least. Offhand I can think of maybe five teams that fit that description — Denver, Washington, Seattle, Tampa Bay and Carolina. Next, the opposing team needs to have a good running game. Of those five, really just two meet that qualification — Denver and Washington. Next, the team needs a quarterback that won’t fold under the pressure, a defense that doesn’t have many holes and a coaching staff that can prepare the perfect gameplan to expose the miniscule weaknesses that New England has.
Of the two remaining teams, the best candidate is the Washington Redskins who just happen to be New England’s next opponent.
Washington has the stiff scoring defense, allowing under 15 points per game. They have the Hall-of-Fame coach and the ability to construct the perfect gameplan but (and this is the difference between the Patriots and most everybody else) they don’t have the quarterback that you can matter-of-factly say will not buckle under the weight of a game of this magnitude.
Is it possible that Jason Campbell could play lights out? Yes, it is. But then on the other hand it’s possible that our federal government will one day realize how to respond effectively to a natural disaster situation.
I’m just saying I wouldn’t bet the house on Campbell just as I wouldn’t on the Bush administration.
Not to mention that the Redskins aren’t the healthiest of teams at the mo’. That crucial element of a stellar secondary is banged up. Their offensive line is going on nine deep now and their starting running back isn’t necessarily 100 percent.
However, if there is one team that on paper matches up the best with the Patriots, to me it’s the Washington Redskins. Whether they get it done this weekend and derail the unstoppable freight train that is the New England Patriots of 2007, remains to be discovered.
For fans sake and the sake of all the other 31 teams in the league, let’s hope they do.