December 27, 2003

A beautiful streak.: Patriots routed the Bills today at Gillette to end the season 14-2, with a 12 game winning streak, undefeated at home. Now they head into the playoffs with homefield advantage. And as a sidenote, I hate watching Bledsoe's game this year.

posted by jerseygirl to football at 03:54 PM - 17 comments

Got to give props to Brady and Company, they had the whole game working today. Talk about your no-name winners!

posted by billsaysthis at 04:32 PM on December 27, 2003

This is the worst day ever. Yeah, I'm a Bills fan, and I find that the Cowboys have finally been eclipsed as the most nauseating franchise in all sports, by the Pats. If I had to look at Tom Brady's stupid grin and Bill Belichick's stupid scowl one more time....! (Of course, those are better than Bills' coach Gregg Williams's constant deer-in-the-headlights, "I can't believe this is happening!" expression.) Bledsoe has been horrible, but then, so has the coaching and the offensive line, and even the defense -- though good -- has shown big-time holes, such as the complete inability to force turnovers. I'm still not ready to give up on Bledsoe, but the idea that the Bills will win on the strength of his arm -- an idea that Gregg Williams and Kevin Gilbride seem incapable of disbelieving -- is clearly faulty. Oh well, at least I can hope that the recent trend in the AFC in which only three top seeds since 1992 have gone to the Super Bowl still holds!

posted by Jaquandor at 06:28 PM on December 27, 2003

I'm just glad to see at least one of our Boston sports teams can get still put together a winning streak.

posted by Samsonov14 at 08:00 PM on December 27, 2003

Why does it have to be the one Boston sports team I absolutely can't root for?

posted by tieguy at 08:38 PM on December 27, 2003

The only thing good (from a Bills fan point of view) is that they got absolutely smoked today. It should pretty much guarantee SOME sort of shake up in the front office (GM or coach or both) for next year. I did like how the book-end games of the season had the same scores but different results (and feelings).

posted by grum@work at 08:44 PM on December 27, 2003

Yeah grummie, the 31-0 Bills over Pats game to start the season and the 31-0 Pats over Bills to end it. The beginning of the season looked bleak, but the Patriots surprised everyone. It's pretty exciting. Bledsoe kills me. I can't understand how he got to where he is. It's like dating a really hot person for a long while, breaking up amicably and seeing them at a party a few years later and they now look like Nick Nolte's mugshot. Inexplicable! I'm just really impressed with the team, and especially the coaching. and I have some weird crush on Tedy Bruschi now.

posted by jerseygirl at 11:57 PM on December 27, 2003

I don't even like the Bills (formerly hated them back in the early 90s) but that game was painful to watch - almost like watching my Giants - just predictably awful. Everything that could go wrong did, I saw every bad move by Bledsoe coming, I called the pick in the end zone to end the scoring threat, it all just happened exactly as it should have - completely in the Pats favor. Sort of like the whole season for them. The Pats are one of those teams where you just can't understand why they're so good. I can't figure it out, but they're awesome. 14-2 is phenomenal in this age of parody (now - if they make the SB, they're doomed to finish out of the playoffs next year - that's what, 7 of the last 8 that didn't make it back the next year? 6 of 8? Not sure...) I think they can take out the Chefs but probably not the Colts. But Peyton and Dungy have yet to prove they can win in the playoffs. I think their idiot kicker's words last year may finally provide the motivation they need though.... but I won't be rooting for them either. Actually I don't know who I'll be rooting for. Aside from the Titans and their ugly ass uniforms, I pretty much despise every playoff team, unless the Bungles can get in... Oh, and the Pack. Can't root against Favre. But they don't have what it'll take...

posted by Bernreuther at 12:56 AM on December 28, 2003

jg, It's not a weird crush, you've gotta love anyone named after beer. They showed some highlight of him today where he got blocked, ran around one end, missed the tackle on the runner (who cut back), fell, got up, ran around the other end and made the tackle. He's an inspiration to us short wanna be jocks everywhere (he's listed at 6'1", not even close, more like 5'10" or 11). Don't know if they do it at Gillette, but was always great to hear BREWWW-SKIIIII echoing through Arizona Stadium. Maybe you could get them to start doing that, if they aren't.

posted by pivo at 05:53 AM on December 28, 2003

the Pats took out the Colts just a couple weeks ago. Manning threw like 4 or 5 interceptions in that game I believe. That, coupled with the Patriots post-season experience and Belichick, I think they can take down the Colts again. It will be a while before the next game, so I am back to Brady Watching around the neighborhood. He likes going to Panera Bread.

posted by jerseygirl at 10:11 AM on December 28, 2003

Brady must be the best quarterback who is thought of as not very good (outside New England area, of course) in the entire league. All I hear is Donovan, Daunte, McNair, Bulger, Farve but which of those QBs have 14 wins this year and a two year old SB ring? Hell, only Farve has an SB ring at all and his is six years old already.

posted by billsaysthis at 12:30 PM on December 28, 2003

A 14-2 record is excellent, but it's not that uncommon. There have been 14-2 teams pretty often since the parity era began (I generally think it started to take root in 1995 or 1996), and in 1998 there was even a 15-1 team. I do think that the Patriots are the most befuddling 14-2 team I've seen, but they're still pretty damned good. I suspect the Titans and Colts could dethrone them in Foxboro, but not the Chiefs. And a Patriots-Rams Super Bowl could be in the cards, again. As for the Bills, well, some team will have a pretty good defensive coordinator in Gregg Williams next year. He did do a pretty good job in rebuilding the defense in Buffalo. Too bad he didn't accomplish anything else.

posted by Jaquandor at 12:43 PM on December 28, 2003

and I have some weird crush on Tedy Bruschi now. Geez, jg, you too?!? Actually, you can pin this success on three people: 1) Bill Belichick, who is easily the best coach in the NFL. There isn't anyone scares the crap out of an opposing QB and offensive staff the way he does, and Belichick has worked around injuries, a slow start and the possibly crippling release of Lawyer Milloy to make the Pats the top seed. 2) Tom Brady, who isn't the best quarterback in the league, but he might damn well be the best leader. Somehow Brady manages to make things work when they shouldn't, which kind of reminds of this guy in Green Bay ... 3) Rodney Harrison, who was supposed to be over the hill and replacing one of the most popular guys in the locker room. Instead, Harrison is a defensive rock. They still won't win the Super Bowl, though.

posted by wfrazerjr at 04:32 PM on December 28, 2003

Please, everybody, keep running the Pats down. Keep talking about how they're really not any good, how they can't rush and can't do this and can't do that. The dissing doesn't bother them in the least, and the more they get talked down, the better they do. Diana Taurasi said it last year when UConn won the NCAA championship, the year after losing the Fab Four to graduation: "No superstars, just blue collar." It's a good philosophy for a sports team. The Pats really don't have superstars like other teams do, and I think it's good for them. Playoffs in Foxboro. Think snow. This is gonna be fun.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 06:57 PM on December 28, 2003

I saw every bad move by Bledsoe coming, I called the pick in the end zone to end the scoring threat To be fair, Travis Brown threw that pick. Bledsoe has no luck: he was a good QB with no protection in New England and he got run out of town. Now he's a good QB with no protection in Buffalo and they're already turning on him. He's not great and he sucks when he gets happy feet, but you'd have happy feet too if you got run over a dozen times a game. That's my elegy for him anyway. I was sorry to see him leave, but Tom Brady has been amazing to watch. The whole team has been so damn good and the only real mystery from this season is how they lost to the Redskins. wfrazerjr, I'd be interested to know who they wouldn't be favorited against in your mind. I don't think they're a sure thing, but I'm hoping to see how their D matches KC's O and I'd like to see them play the Eagles for the 3rd time this season (unless Favre's father makes more magic for Green Bay). As for the Colts, they do scare me, but I don't think Peyton Manning scares Bill Belichek a whole lot.

posted by yerfatma at 07:35 PM on December 28, 2003

Here's the short and stupid answer (longer version coming Tuesday): I like Baltimore to win the AFC title. Call me nuts, but the way Jamal is running and the D is shutting 'em down, they're the one team I think can stuff the Pats. I'll wait for the inevitable "who's going to win it all" post to explain further.

posted by wfrazerjr at 08:52 PM on December 28, 2003

I don't think anyone scares Belichek a lot.

posted by jerseygirl at 11:34 PM on December 28, 2003

The Pats have a pretty solid run defense; I wouldn't be at all surprised if they can hold Jamal Lewis to a mortal 100 yards or so. And while Baltimore's defense is excellent, the Patriots don't really rely on a superb offense to win. Anthony Wright is not going to make the Pats pay for shutting down the running game and he needs to not throw interceptions. So we'll see.

posted by Bryant at 11:17 AM on December 29, 2003

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