I could not believe what I was hearing this week from NFL analysts on the boob tube. ESPN's NFL Live guys were talking about the Patriots possibly not making the playoffs after the loss to the Chargers. Are you kidding me? Have they been watching this team the past 2 seasons? As long as Tom Brady is still at QB then this team has to be the Super Bowl favorite. I don't care if they barely squeak into the playoffs (squeak?, it won't even be close, look who's in their division), put your money on Brady and Co. The fact is, there are a lot of people who are sick of the Patriots or who absolutely hate them (raising my hand). This leads many to look for any excuse to write them off. This is a huge mistake. This is the greatest clutch team in history. Not the greatest team, but the best team consistently when the game is on the line. Adam Vinateri is money in the bank and Tom Brady is on par with Joe Montana (it's not blasphemy if it's true) for the greatest clutch QB in history. And comparing him to last year's MVP Payton Manning is not even an issue right now. He reads the defense as well as Manning and he is quicker to make the decision that the deep man is not open (this is where Manning still struggles. He wants to make that deep pass so desperately that he either throws a bad pass or waits too long to get it to the safety valve man.) . Thus, when the game is on the line, Brady makes the right passes. He doesn't force things very often (and when he does, he is so accurate that he gets away with it) and finds the areas where the defense is soft. Trust me, it pains me to give this team and Brady this much credit. I can't stand them or him. They are like the New York Yankees (it kills Boston fans to have these two teams lumped together) for many NFL fans out there: They always win and there is nothing anyone can do about it (although the league has done their best this season--Note the Patriots and Colt's schedule. This league would kill for a Colts/Falcons Super Bowl. It's the commisoner's wet dream).
Everyone needs to calm down and accept that the Patriots aren't going anywhere as long as Brady is at the helm and Vinateri is kicking for them. I will continue to root against them every week (...trying voodoo dolls this week. Would it be better to stick pins in Brady's doll or just cut the legs off?) but I do so with a fatalistic view.
Anyway, about the Falcons game.....I though Matt Schuab played pretty well in place of Vick. He did dodge a few bullets though. He made several bad passes that the Patriots should have or could have intercepted. He won't get away with those very often. But he plays with poise and doesn't really have that deer in the headlights look. Teams will be looking at him in trade possibilities or when he becomes a free agent. The Falcons are a good team and will be dangerous in the playoffs. It remains to be seen if they can knock the Eagles off when playoff time comes around. It would have been nice to see what the Falcons could have done with Vick yesterday. Even if you have a good scheme against him, he's unpredictable enough that great plans go out the window sometimes. I still would have bet on the Patriots. Did I mention that I'm fatalistic?