This Just In: Pats Still Scary
Perhaps you were worried that the bye week, and the Colts game, might have taken some of the starch out of the New England Patriots. Maybe you thought that a hot Buffalo team, all hopped up to be playing a Sunday Night game, would pose something of a problem for the Pats.
Nothing, it appears, can stop this team. Not Buffalo, not Vegas, not even a walking miracle like Kevin Everett. We’d love to add to the mountains of analysis that will surely follow today and tomorrow, but when the only questions of the night revolve around blowout decorum, what else can you say?
In case you popped in your DVD of Season Four of The Wire at halftime, the Pats went for it twice on fourth down, instead of kicking field goals. The Bills sounded resigned, but not angry, and it should also be noted that the second-half game plan mainly consisted of off tackle runs by the third-and-fourth string running backs.
“Sure, it gets to you,” Bills free safety George Wilson said. “There was a situation like this against the Redskins a few weeks ago and some spoke up. I’m not going to do that. This is a 60-minute game and if they want to go for it on fourth down you’ve got to strap it up and stop it. This ain’t no pity party. In this league there is no remorse.”
The Patriots can wrap up the division with a win next week against the Eagles, and a loss by Buffalo at Jacksonville. They have, essentially, a three-game lead on the Colts for homefield advantage, and oh by the way, a likely top five pick in next year’s draft thanks to the offensively-challenged 49ers. 16-0 looks like a real possibility.
It’s clear that now they are playing for history. Michael Felger had a ridiculous stat in Herald column this morning:
Bill Belichick’s team has now outscored opponents 411-157 this year, which works out to a 25.4 point differential. Not only is it more than double what the second-best mark is (Pittsburgh at 12.4 points); not only is it more than double what the Patriots [team stats] record is (11.0 in 2004); it’s the best mark in the history of professional football.
We’re not talking post-merger pro football. We’re talking since they wore leather helmets and no facemasks.