By: Ian Logue
After scoring over 30 points during their first four games and blowing their opponents away, there is already plenty of buzz beginning about a potential undefeated season for the New England Patriots.
All I have to say is this. Stop it. It’s ridiculous, and until they beat one of the elite teams it’s a scenario that shouldn’t even be discussed.
I mean come on, they’ve beaten four 1-3 football teams. If they blow out the Cowboys and Colts it may be cause to get a little excited, but until that happens they haven’t done anything yet. As a matter of fact, this Sunday’s game against the Cleveland Browns has every element of the classic “trap game”. The Browns have gone from team that looked like it was fading into oblivion, to a team that is averaging 34 points per game over the last three contests. This is a “do or die” year for Browns head coach Romeo Crennel, and as we’ve seen players tend to rally around their head coach when times get tough. So far it looks like things may be finally coming together for the Browns, and with a short week of preparation it will be critical for New England to avoid a let down.
So far I think it’s safe to say that overall in the National Football League, it’s been an odd season. It’s amazing to look around the league and seeing all the clubs that fans are accustomed to seeing success struggling, while other teams who were at the bottom of the standings last season are flourishing this year. But again, we’re only four games in. Realistically, who knows where things will be 12 weeks from now?
Let’s face it, everyone has seen their fair share of unbeaten teams get knocked down, we’ve even seen many more with great regular season records who have gotten bounced out of the first round of the postseason. And let’s face it, it’s been a long time since the Patriots have won anything. Since they last won Super Bowl XXXIX, Patriots fans have seen two playoff losses, one to the Denver Broncos in 2005 in the AFC Divisional round, and the other last season at the hands of the Indianapolis Colts during the AFC Championship game.
So the motivation of winning is obviously there as they have plenty to prove. But anyone in that locker room thinking about an unbeaten season at four games in should have their head examined, and Belichick would probably be the first to make that point. All the more reason why until they’re heading into the final game of the season at 15-0, there’s no point in talking about it, at least not realistically.
Let’s wait and see if they can beat Indianapolis first before we get too excited. Because I don’t know about the rest of you, but I think I can honestly say I hate the Colts more than I hate the Yankees. It’s bad enough that Peyton Manning can’t turn down any endorsement opportunity and that we have to watch commercial after commercial for whatever product he’s decided to attach his name to. But seeing New England lose to Indianapolis twice last year drove me crazy, and I’m looking forward to the rematch.
So let’s cut the unbeaten talk. It’s barely October, and there is plenty of football left to be played. Talk to me the week they’re getting ready to face the Giants at the Meadowlands. If they’re 15-0 I’ll be happy to get on the bandwagon for an undefeated regular season. Otherwise talk to me about whoever they’re playing this week.
NORV OUT IN SAN DIEGO?
I think this may be the first time in quite a while you see a head coach get fired mid season. Norv Turner has been absolutely atrocious so far as head coach in San Diego, and the lack of confidence in the coaching staff is apparently beginning to appear in the locker room. Tony Dungy had a reputation of being terrible in the postseason but a great regular season coach, and finally got over the hump last year and lead Indianapolis to a Championship. Apparently the Chargers front offense thought they were smarter than everyone else and went ahead and fired Marty Schottenheimer instead of giving him another shot. I wouldn’t be the least bit surprise if they fire Norv before the seasons over, especially if they are well below .500 by midseason.
JENKINS CALLS OUT TEAM
Things are getting pretty ugly in Carolina after Panthers defensive lineman Chris Jenkins called out his football team on Sunday after they lost to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Panthers are now 2-2 on the season, but are without quarterback Jake Delhomme who is battling an elbow injury and as a result are headed in the wrong direction. Apparently Jenkins isn’t ready to give up on the season, and feels that his team needs to show more “heart” on the field to get through the adversity they’re now faced with.
“This is our issue as a team: As a team collectively, we have no heart. We have no energy. We have no drive,” Jenkins told reporters after the loss. “Football is about pride and passion. I’m going to repeat that again. Football is about pride and passion. The pride and the passion that you have for this game makes you want to win.”
Well said. But with David Carr as their back-up the Panthers may be in for a long season.
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