By: Kevin Rousseau - Kevin's Articles are Sponsored by
August 26, 2005

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New NFL policy lets players who don’t want to stand for anthem stay in locker room

I'm going to let you in on a little secret when it comes to the art of football column writing.

A good column should be insightful, make you think or perhaps get you riled up.

I've been at this for four seasons now and I'm here to tell you that this 2005 Patriots team is just plain boring.

All it does is keep its head down, convert in all three phases of the game and destroy its competition, usually in embarrassing fashion.

So just how do I stir up the pot with these ingredients?

These guys are a snooze because few things actually go wrong or become controversial with this squad. It's just business as usual for Bill Belichick's team; the latest of example of which was the thrashing of the Packers on Friday night at Lambeau Field.

The third pre-season matchup is frankly the only one of the four games that is worth watching from beginning to end. It's really the only opportunity that we have as observers and fans to compare apples to apples when it comes to just how the team looks.

And against the Packers, this Patriots squad looked about as good as you could have hoped for.

Want a special teams newcomer who might make the squad? I submit to you Ellis Hobbs and his impressive kickoff returns. Or how about a check on the rookie offensive lineman? They didn't look like rookies against the Packer front seven, opening holes for Corey Dillon to blast through on the way into the end zone.

Or perhaps you are wondering if the defense continue to have the knack for making game-changing plays without Tedy Bruschi? Well, on Friday night they made Brett Favre look a lot like what he should be considered.

An overrated quarterback far past his prime.

I'm at a loss as to why the national media continues to fawn over this guy. Does he have polaroids of Joe Theismann in a compromising situation?

He makes poor decisions on a regular basis, is good for a fruit loop play at least once a game and hasn't won a significant game since the first Clinton administration.

Much like how the Dolphins relied too much on Dan Marino in the latter part of his career, the Packers will continue to either succeed or fail (read: fail) on the shoulders of Favre. It is often true that when a franchise player is on a team, the squad relies on him to compose the masterpiece for them. That has been and will continue to be the case in Green Bay.

It's hard not to root for Brett Favre. He is likable, unassuming and a gamer who never mails in a performance.

But that doesn't mean that I have to be convinced that this guy should be considered one of the top five signal callers in the League.

What I am convinced of, however, is the ability of the 2005 Patriots to answer the bell on opening night against the Raiders on September 8th.

It's unrealistic to think that this season is going to go as well as the last two seasons. There are too many new variables for that to happen. I won't bore you with a shopping list of those changes. You know all of them by heart.

All of this adverse change makes it easy to become concerned that the wheels could fall of the bus very quickly for the Patriots. After watching Friday night's cool, methodical performance for the Patriots, I'm not worried anymore. The lugnuts are on there tight.

They're going to be okay this season. Sure, things will be different. What in life stays the same? But when you compare the Patriots third pre-season performance to those of others that you will see on television, it brings a sense of calm to the citizenry of Patriots Nation.

This snoozer of a successful team is a dream for a fan.

But geez, it sure is a grind for a columnist.