Pats Preview: Week 7

Some NFL analysts study trends. Others study stats. Our man, Gonz, does neither. But that won’t stop him from breaking down each week’s Patriots’ game. His picks are for amusement purposes only, since last year he dropped a small fortune to the world’s worst bookie.

You probably haven’t noticed, but I’ve been a bit snarky when discussing your New England Patriots and how their season measures up historically. (Sarcasm is my biggest flaw.) But here, now, I’m going to do something I haven’t done since I was a wee lad: I’m going to apologize.

I’m sorry.

There. I said it.

New England is every bit as formidable as you, dear readers, have been telling me. (By the way, I’m being serious; it’s sometimes hard to tell.) Last weekend’s 48-27 whuppin’ of the Cowboys, on their turf, opened my eyes. CBS studio host James Brown helped, too.

Brown, once one of Harvard’s all-time great basketball players (though that’s an admittedly short list), now anchors The NFL Today for the Tiffany Network. Like the rest of us, Brown is awed by what he’s seen out of the Pats this season.

“The Patriots are one incredibly tough team,” Brown says. “And while I’m careful to give the Indianapolis Colts the credit they deserve — because they haven’t been dethroned, and they are still the defending champs — the Pats are, without a doubt, the beast in the league. Everyone has to go through New England.”

A few weeks ago, I would have said that’s ludicrous. Not now. Not with Tom Brady on pace to break Peyton Manning’s single-season touchdown record. Not with Bill Belichick’s boys ranked first in the NFL in total offense and second in total defense. I haven’t seen these kinds of numbers since I was the neighborhood champion in Super Tecmo Bowl.

The question, at this point, isn’t whether or not they can win the division. It’s can they get home-field advantage throughout the playoffs and, as a corollary, can they finish the season without a loss?

“I think it is exceedingly difficult to run the table,” Brown says. “Are they capable of it? Yes. Will they do it? I’m not clairvoyant, but it’s awfully hard to do because you talk about parity, the league has it. I think they can make it the next few weeks without one. And I can’t wait for that game between Indianapolis and the Patriots.”

Neither can we, J.B.

In the interim, Pats fans will have to make do with watching their team beat up on the hapless Miami Dolphins this weekend.

The Pick: The streak continues. New England 42, Miami 10.