I have seen a few commentators talking about which team is ultimately the Best team ever for a single season. To my mind it is WITHOUT question that the Bears are the best single season team...thus far. They DOMINATED their season. AND then they CRUSHED ALL of their playoff opponents. I think it will still be a tough call even when the Pats finish off the Giants. However I never hear the following observations mentioned in this discussion.
1. I contend that the main reason the Bears Dominated so much that year was the fact they ran a defense that was revolutionary at the time, the 4-6 defense. It wasn't the personel that Dominated, it was the fact teams couldn't figure out how do effectively scheme a defense they hadn't encounted before. Granted the personel was very good, but the fact remains that after that totally dominating season, they didn't win another playoff game until '88 and NEVER again got to an NFCCG.... until last year.
Over the next 2 years the league simply caught up with newness of the defense and because the players themselves weren't that dominating, they came back down to earth, and though they had some decent years (11-5), they were never again a "special" in any way. This is shown later when Ryan took his 4-6 to Philly as the head coach and while he got to the playoffs in 3 of his 5 years there, he NEVER won a playoff game.
2. Now days technology allows all the "quality control" people to break down
teams in so much detail that it doesn't take an off season to start to catch up with any team that creates a scheme that gives them an advantage. You can bet that within a few games, teams will start to catch up with any new innovations.
I just mention this because the question of the 85 Bears and the 07 Pats WILL come up after this next game. So when you get into that argument and some Bears fan starts throwing you all those defensive Stats at you, you will have something to come back with that will make him at least think a little.
Myth 1....And speaking about arguements, one of the loudest arguements that I keep hearing from those analysts that want to make the case for the Giants, is that the Pats can be run on. WHY DO THEY KEEP SAYING THAT??? It just isn't so.
Somehow that myth got started back in the Philly game despite the fact the Eagles managed a whopping 52 yds on the ground
a Right after that was a game when the Pats running defense DID suck, the 162yds by the Ravens. Then when the Steelers posted 157 of mostly garbage time running yardage the Myth REALLY got legs.
HOWEVER in the last 5 games the Pats HAVE NOT allowed a SINGLE 100 yd rusher, they haven't even allowed a single opponent a COMBINED total of 100 yds by their RBs. Jets -67, Miami 97 (alot of it in garbage time) NYG - 67, Jax-66 (2nd best running attack iin the league), and SD- 99 of which 32 of those yds came on 2 runs against the "prevent" defense at the end of the 1st half. BOTTOM LINE: The Pats run defense has been every bit as good as the Giants...if not better over the last month, but somehow that message hasn't gotten to the folks at ESPN, Fox, NFLN, etc.
The other big myth has beem the play of Manning. While he obviously has greatly improved his play, the fact is that INCLUDING his miracle game against the Pats he hasn't thrown for more than 260 yds in the last 4 games. In fact in 2 of those games he didn't make it to 200 passing yds.
Now I'm not saying he hasn't done a great job at the end of the season, but the fact is his production isn't matching the hype he's receiving. He certainly isn't the kind of QB who is likely be able to match production in good conditions with Tom Brady et al.
The last myth I want to debunk is the over hype about the Giants pass rush. Hey, I think its a great pass rush, but nothing more than a lot of other teams have shown us, and not as good as the Chargers. The fact is that the Giants over the last 4 game have managed to sack the QB exactly 4 times (at least that's what I heard in a report, so I may be off by one) Excuse me, but that stat just doesn't scare me, or make me think that in ideal conditions Tom Brady will be phased by the Giant's pass rush.
Like I said in a priot post, I won't shocked if they get a couple of sacks, nor will I stary sweating if they get 3-4 hits on him as well. All I know that for most of 30+ time that Brady will be dropping back to pass he is going to have all the time he needs to throw the ball...and that ISN'T good news for the Giants. In fact the Giant's pass rush was SOOOOOO intimidating, that Brady only managed to throw for 360+ yds just a month ago.
BTW- that being said, I DO NOT think that the Giants will sit back like the Jags in order to die a slow death rather than a fast one. Look for this. Look for the Giants to overload a side on passing downs. ie putting 4 men to one side of the ball, and only one to the other - To one side it looks like a total blitz, but the defense still is dropping back 6 guys. This kind of blitz has the same zone blitz principles where they try to get numbers in one area, while at the same time get the offense to commit OLmen to block players that aren't rushing. Its a great strategy.
Jim Johnson used this strategy with some success in the Philly game, and their DC is a JJ desciple. In fact, we MIGHT have even seen this in the NYG game. I'll check it out for sure one of the "ten" times the NFLN will show the Pats/Giants game this coming week. In fact I think its on tomorrow
That's it for now folks. Its hard to believe that the hype machine we endured this past week will only increase. But think of it as good news. It will only narrow the spread and make it easier to get back any of the money you lost during the 2-7 stretch over the last 9 weeks.