The Pats won and the Ravens lost. And let me go over what everyone has been arguing about and clear it up for everyone.
1. Officiating: The officiating wasn’t good. For the Patriots. Although the Ravens had more penalties, they were playing aggressive but somewhat reckless defense. The last call of the game is legit and actually not as fair to the Pats as it was to the Ravens. Watson had the ball in the vicinity of the pass and was knocked down prior to the ball passing him. It should’ve been defensive P-Int, but it was only called holding. It was called on Moss’s slant route, which I can see why it is something that was so close to the 5-yard mark that it was a ludicrous call. But its the mistake you play if you play a receiver that hard on his route. Especially if he’s trying to get out into the clear and you grab him, holding is ALWAYS called in that situation.
This can’t be a tick-tack call if a guy is held during his passing route and the ball is in his vicinity. Pushed, roughed up, maybe. I am sorry but it is the usual call 95% of the time. Either way, something should’ve been called, because at least one route was interfered with during the play.
I hate that term “Let the guys play”. If a guy comes out with a shovel, do you let him play? No, because its ILLEGAL, and the officials’ job is to call illegal plays. Maybe they didn’t call it before, but if you don’t get caught one time, you can’t blame the ref because you get caught another.
If I walk outside holding my balls in my hand for four hours and walk into town, and on the last minute of the 4th hour a cop accuses me of being lewd, I can’t reply with “But officer, I have been holding my balls in my hand all day and you didn’t say shit! Let me breathe!” I would be hauled off to jail because it is illegal. You hold Moss and don’t get caught, you deserve a medal. You got caught at the end, well that is what happens when you play him.
2. Golden Boy: Tom Brady is NOW the poster boy for the NFL, but he never was considered as good as other quarterbacks by talent (McNabb, Manning) nor was he exposed a lot ( He has done 3 or 4 national interviews and 2! 2 commercials ( one with his entire offensive line) in his Career! How many has Peyton Manning done? Here is an internet search to even show that his status in football as great player is rarely mentioned until recently; only his good looks and celebrity status gets him a bunch of pages (Jason “Mediocre” Seahorn got the same hype!))
He should’ve been the golden boy when he was decent (not great stats, not counting the clutchness yet) and had NO WRs to throw to. None. Name me three in his career that did well after they left the Pats. And don’t say they’re old, cause I can name at least 5 under 30 (Hey Givens!).
Also let’s place his late-season clutch ability against the league’s perceived talent this guy has: The last 7 MVPs since 2001 (2003 had Co-MVPs), Tom Brady won 0, and other QB’s won 4 (5 since Manning won 2). Yet he beat three of those MVPs in the playoffs, Manning both years he won his trophies. Both. Not including the Steelers routes in 2001 & 2004 when they were FAVORITES over the Patriots (Pats playing Bledsoe in 2001, but proving the point of favorite QB which was Kordell Stewart (ha) over both. We were 3+ favs in 2004, but no one outside NE expected us to win that game. Look at how much hype (and OH YES COMMERCIALS) Big Ben was in.).
So you can attribute his clutch talents in correlation to SB Wins (and his regular season trophy amount inversely related) since he rarely had any consistent offensive player that shed some of the pressure off (Branch maybe, Dillon for two years). You could also place the staff (including the residue of offensive knowledge left by Weiss) that has allowed Brady to function around mediocre talent.
Remember that Manning always had his Harrison & just recently lost James. Big Ben had Plax coming up and still has Ward and Parker and has always had talent on both sides to keep him safe. Brady has never had these kind of weapons until recently. And his defense, although some great players have come up within the system, have also seen the likes of Troy Brown. A wide receiver. Add in that Richard Seymour and Ty Law (straight Pro-Bowlers) had missed Playoff and Superbowl runs during the dynasty as well.
Well, Brady does have his Belichick. Yea.
Considering the comparisons of teams, talent, & Sb wins, why can’t he be the Golden Boy now? He has 41 TDs and 6 Int. If he gets back on track, he will have a season NO OTHER QB HAS EVER HAD. EVER. And maybe have another ring to boot.
He never was given this much attention, and up to this day, he never wants it. All he talks about is football. Name me a commercial he’s been in. Or how many times you talked about him being an MVP ( maybe one year). Or when did he mention is girlfriend(s)? Oh yes, he never mentioned them. Yahoo! News did. And because of fashion & entertainment, not the gridiron.
3) They’re vulnerable. They always have been, and the league knows this. The fans know this. It is one reason why they are rarely picked to win the superbowl:
2001: Analyst on ESPN picked them to be 7-9 period (straight quote from Salisbury)
2002: Considered a fluke and the season showed. Pick to be 11-5 and went 9-7
2003: Picked to be a contender and end up losing to Titans or Colts. We showed both who was boss.
2004: Picked to win and did it.
2005: Colts picked to win. Pittsburg came through. If you want to talk about LUCK OR DESTINY, The Pats lost to a Broncos team that scored 17 points for combined drive total ( yes, total) of 23 Yards. 23 Yards. 17 Points. Look it up.
2006: Colts picked again and finally come through in Playoffs.
Don’t get me wrong; the Pats gained respect over the years but it was subtle and never had the star players besides Brady, Dillon, Seymour & Law (4-6 great players vs. 3 SuperBowls? Not a great ratio if you tell me) to place them in any recognized form other than the team that “Does it” when it counts and has a mastermind coach to follow it. What usually stays in the mind of the normal fans is that they always end up winning the big one. But during the season, it is usually a different story until the records show their power.
The Patriots (Including Playoffs) from 2001-2004 were favorites in only 29 of their 54 games (12 of their 19 in 2003. They were favorites in all of their games in 2004. And in 2005-06, they were 27 for 37. Combining all of those games and they were favorite to win 75 of 110 games (68%). They go on to win 74% of their games over this time span. The craziest thing is that over 70% of these favorites occur the last 8 ( + Playoffs= Less than half a season) games those seasons. Meaning the first eight games everyone thinks the Patriots are a good team? Not with 30% of the time being favorites. Only from 2004-2006, with 2004’s 100% rating as the only time the Patriots were considered invincible by the league.
Ps: You take the 100% rating in 2004 out of the equation, and the Patriots were considered as powerful as a Superbowl contender as the Buffalo Bills.
Tuck rule? Yea, that was a bad call. Ty Law roughing up Harrison in 2003? Overlooked. But think about how many times the calls have gone against the Patriots ( Eagles 2004, Broncos 2005) in huge games that could’ve or have cost them their season? I can count a few, and a majority we still won so no one whines.
The videogate premise only exemplifies what fans ( and even some in the NFL) have felt about the Patriots since the beggining of their dynasty: That they were never good enough to win any of those games, and this had to be the ONLY reason that they won, because all of their teams were mediocre.
What if the Bulls were caught listening in on opponents coaching staff in the 90’s? There would’ve been hell to pay, but how could you place this illegal procedure as their formula for success? With Jordan? And Pippen? and Horace? Rodman’s rebounding? C’mon the team is FANTASTIC!
Yet the Patriots were never considered fantastic. Now the league hates them simultaneously as 1) Finally picking up VERY GOOD PLAYERS that NO ONE WANTED ( Adalius, no, but the other name you know…) and 2) Getting the recognition of being legitimately #1. Not only being #1,not only proving it week-to-week, but now being more unstoppable than they were when no one knew who the HELL WAS ON THEIR TEAM!
This game nonetheless shows that even the best team can be knocked off any given day. But this team is #1 this year, and Brady (for now) should be the Golden Boy he was never referred to as before. Except for his looks, but last time I checked he isn’t going to the Hall Of Fame for Best Attractiveness. Oh and Ps: He was 198th pick. That number came out of my ass, but the true number is really goddamn far from where Peyton Manning, Donovan McNabb, Eli Manning, Phillip Rivers, & Drew Brees were at.