By: Kevin Rousseau - Kevin's Articles are Sponsored by
December 24, 2007

Tom Brady, Rob Gronkowski skip OTA
No Brady or Gronk, but plenty of storylines at Patriots OTAs
Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski not at the start of the team's OTA's today
NFL notes: Don't be surprised if Deatrich Wise Jr., Derek Rivers rise up for Patriots
New Patriots DL Danny Shelton preps to hit the hill

"The problem with great art is that it spoils you. For most of the season, Patriots fans have enjoyed pigskin Picassos. Yesterday, the Patriots resemble a paint-by-numbers kit-the end result produced the usual picture of victory, but it was lacking in style or sophistication."-Christopher Gasper in the Boston Globe 12/24/07

If you are like me, you have to be a little concerned that with the exception of the Pittsburgh game, the Patriots haven't put together a complete game since before Thanksgiving. A part of me wants to believe that this is a case of not wanting to show all of their cards to potential playoff teams. Another part of me (the part I'm listening to actually) worries that it is not so easy just to turn it on once the elimination games come to town.

The latest conundrum was Sunday's 28-7 win over the 1-14 Miami Dolphins. After a beautiful first half, the offense started their Christmas break a little early during the second half. Since when is being preoccupied with individual records the Patriot Way? Since when is throwing into triple coverage on deep balls to Randy Moss a good idea when your defense has been on the field the entire third quarter? Personally, I would be more heartened by preparing for the playoffs with a steady dose of Laurence Maroney and Kevin Faulk to grind out the clock. Fortunately, the defense continued their stellar play and the game was never in question despite the interesting play selection on offense.

Like Gasper suggests in his story, I have become accustomed to the lifestyle that I now lead. Heading back to the car last night with my dad, I was blabbing on and on with the junk from a few paragraphs ago. Then I tried to remember the last time we made the walk back to the car after a loss. It took me a minute but then remembered it was the Jets during the regular season over a year ago.

Most touchdown passes in a season, most touchdown receptions in a season, most points in a season are all cute records and make good sports bar material. Unfortunately, leading up to the Giants game those records will be the focus on messageboards and talk radio. I am not discounting their significance at all. It's a joy to be witness to something that hasn't happened before in the 88-year history of the NFL. And there is no doubt I will be cheering when those records fall on Saturday night.

But the one I want you to focus on is the 19 consecutive regular season wins. With a win on Saturday night over the Giants, the Patriots will have broken their own record for most consecutive regular season wins (18). That is the one that truly transcends generations of football players, styles, and tactics. It is impossible to compare the 2007 Patriots to the 1967 Packers or the 1958 New York Giants from a statistical standpoint. But wins are how teams can in fact be measured through generations. With consecutive wins, teams of different eras can indeed be compared to some extent. Breaking the consecutive wins streak on two occasions during this decade will be a testament to the Patriots dominance when fans and historians of the game look back on this era 50 years from now when the Amsterdam Admirals knock on the door of the consecutive win streak in their game against the Yellowknife Igloos.

That team record reflects that Patriot Way. Not ones that could be broken by throwing deep balls into triple coverage.

Idle Zinger thoughts while wondering if it would have been too much to ask the parking lot across the street from Bass Pro Shop to spread a little sand so that I wasn't treated to a slip and slide tailgate yesterday.

Rachel Ray suggests Dunkin Donuts gift certificates make a great gift idea. What she fails to tell you is that it is a good idea to buy one or two $10 cards to have in your hip pocket when your estranged relative shows up unexpectedly at Christmas and decides to try and cause a scene.

It pains me to write this but before you call in to sports radio and rip Andy Pettite, remember that you have to put Rodney Harrison in the same category.

It looks like the 49ers pick will be the eighth overall.