09-29-2007, 06:14 PM
Join Date: Apr 2007
Re: Pretty good Borges article
Here's the text of the article so we won't run up the hits on the a-hole's web page:
Patriots' rampage could end party for '72 Dolphins
By Ron Borges
Sept. 29, 2007
Nick Buoniconti, Bob Griese and Dick Anderson would be wise not to order the champagne quite yet.
Urban legend has it that when a new season begins, those three and a few other members of the 1972 Dolphins team — the only one to go undefeated since the NFL went to the 12-game schedule in 1947 — put a bottle of bubbly on ice in their refrigerators. When the league’s last undefeated team is beaten, the bitter, old men of Miami allegedly walk to a parking lot and party hearty, popping open the champagne and raising a glass to themselves.
How accurate this legend is has been the subject of some debate, but difficult as it may be to fathom, the party may be over for those cranky, old Dolphins. Their 17-0 record will be under assault this year from Bill Belichick’s Patriots, and they won’t need to spy on anyone to do it. All they need to do is play to their potential, which is considerable, and their zero, like Miami’s, may never go.
To be sure, it’s an uphill trek from 3-0 to 17-0, but the Patriots so dominated two 2006 playoff teams — battering the Jets and the Chargers by identical 38-14 scores — to open the season that it had people wondering what they may be capable of. Well, what they’re capable of is ruining Nick Buoniconti’s party.
New England was overwhelming on offense and crushing on defense against the Jets and the Chargers, looking as much like both an irresistible force and an immovable object as the physical sciences would allow. Weaknesses? They have a few, but then again, too few to mention.
If the 2007 Patriots have a problem, it’s that they won’t face the kind of Jello-soft schedule the ’72 Dolphins did, but at the moment they seem to have no peer and no fear. Consider this: New England destroyed two potential playoff teams already without Pro Bowl DE Richard Seymour and starting S Rodney Harrison. What happens when the whole varsity shows up?
The only thing that mitigates against the Patriots’ chances is a schedule that was rated the third-most difficult in the NFL when the season began. It includes games against the Ravens, Colts, Steelers, Bengals and Cowboys. Of course, it also included games with the Jets and Chargers, who were originally on the list of difficult problems they had to tangle with, and look what happened to them. The Patriots solved them as if they were a review math class, not calculus.
In contrast, Miami played only two teams with a winning record in 1972, and they were both 8-6 (Kansas City and the New York Giants). Obviously, anyone would prefer that Dolphins schedule to the Patriots’, but who would prefer those Dolphins, 17-0 or no 17-0, to today’s Patriots? Nobody with eyes in their heads.
“They’re an awfully, awfully talented football team, and they’re coached well,’’ said Dick Jauron before his Bills came to town to face them last Sunday, losing 38-7. “They’re put together well and they know what they’re doing. They pose a problem for anybody, and certainly they pose a huge obstacle for us.
“The start of their season makes everybody that was predicting them as a Super (Bowl) team look like they’re right. Of course, I’m not sure how far out on a limb they were going, considering their past history as a Super (Bowl) team. They’re an awfully talented team, playing at a high level. As I said, (it will be) an unbelievable challenge for us.’’
Coaches being coaches, such praise at times has to be taken with a grain of salt because coaches can make a game against the Blind Sisters of the Lake sound like they’re facing The Four Horses of the Apocalypse, but when it comes to these Patriots, where is their weakness? Out-of-focus videographer?
One can always talk about depth problems because everyone has them in this era of the salary cap, but how many teams could lose two of their best defensive starters and have a third, CB Asante Samuel, starting without having attended training camp and still hold two playoff teams to two touchdowns each?
How many? Not many, and this year maybe not any except for the Patriots, who finally have given QB Tom Brady real weapons on offense to go with a young but veteran offensive line and a stingy defense that now has three playmakers at linebacker — Adalius Thomas, Rosevelt Colvin and Mike Vrabel — and arguably the best front four (include backup Jarvis Green in that even if New England does play a 3-4 defense most of the time) to go with them.
The end result is a team that has Nick Buoniconti and Co. sweating that, after 35 years, they may have to raise a champagne glass this year not in praise of themselves, but to welcome an addition to the most exclusive club in pro football.