It is my considered opinion after much thought and analysis that:
The upcoming edition of the 2006 Patriots is the Deepest, Strongest, most talented, and Best Team from top to bottom, on Offense and Defense, all the way through the Practice Squad, of any Patriots Team in history.
I consider it better it most respects to the Team that won twenty-one straight and established the all time NFL record for most consecutive victories.
I would not be surprised if this edition duplicated or exceeded that feat over the next two years.
Why do I offer such an egregious opinion?
There just are no, even non-glaring, weaknessess. The one we all perceive is Willie McG's position, but TBC has claimed it apparently; and BB is signing vet LBs to compete with Izzo and Davis for ST positions, rather than addressing it, so he is sanquine about it to all appearances. Kickers come and go. We signed a former NFL star to replace an NFL star, and also college's best, too, for good measure. So do WRs, and we have upgraded that position even without Jackson, IMO. look at the TEs and how many teams have two franchise backs. There is gravy to go artound.
Except for grevous injury, to Tom Brady, I really expect no losses, and more than one loss is improbable given thier schedule. They have eight games against teams competing for the 2007 first draft pick. The other half season? Since they play only two real winning clubs on the road, and a good team plays .500 ball in such circumstances, is the reason I say that.
I do not respect either Jax or Cincy, the two road games that are in question, so I really expect a sweep. Neither club is complete. Cincy's defense is suspect and Jax needs another year of building. Other "'winning opponents" are even more flawed or outright flukes. Chicago and Minnesota come to mind. The strongest of the AFC flawed teams, we face in Foxboro. Indy's time has come... and gone; and Denver's has never arrived except at Mile High.
The Pats will have HFA throughout the playoffs with such a record, so I anticipate a Superbowl invitation after getting by the Steelers.
The NFC just does not have any really good clubs. Its best would not be in the top half dozen of the AFC's strongest Teams. Another victory.
Nice to see my good 'ol optimism wearing off on somebody!
While such a statement is a bit premature, I do agree.
I believe we all just need to close our eyes, and try (shouldn't be too hard!) to remember these moments...
...Rodney showing blitz on the edge, ready to send the QB home with nightmares of a cold, flurry-filled Razor...
...Brady tearing apart a defense with potential receiving targets coming from every which direction, then celebrating in the endzone with a jump and hug or casual high-five...
...Peyton Manning, well, being Peyton Manning...
...Deion Branch tumbling into the endzone of a dead-quiet Hienz Field...
...Bethel Johnson (gasp!) darting through Colts before breaking for the daylight of the endzone carpet of the RCA Dome...
...Corey Dillon stiff-arming linebacker after linebacker after safety on his way to the corner of the endzone...
...Peyton Manning, well, being Peyton Manning...
...Rosevelt Colvin spinning and twisting a QB to the turf during their dreadful visit to the Razor...
...Tedy Bruschi reading the QB like a book to pick off the pass and slide into the snowy endzone, with a typical Bru celebration...
...Mike Vrabel strip-sacking Jake Delhomme under the Reliant Stadium roof...
...Geno and 'Sante lowering the shoulder to smash footstep-hearing receivers to the cold turf...
...Peyton Manning, well, being Peyton Manning...
...Troy Brown being dragged while crossing into the endzone with BB flinging his headset towards the heavens in celebration...
Guys, the team is still here. Let's not forget how some players are needed to complete the puzzle and create this championship mystique.
I'm not sure that we can really call the LB and DB areas none issues until we see them as such on the field.
I completely agree. Just by looking at the schedule, just by looking at our roster, looking at who's coming back, looking at who's coming in and who will have break out seasons, the Lombardi Trophy of 2006 simply has the Pats name all over it. All these analysts can say what they want. Denver? Yes they can win at home, they "destroyed the dynasty" as their fans keep saying, and it really isnt true considering if we win our fourth SB in six years we are still a dynasty. Denver will not win the Superbowl or get to it. Indianapolis? Ok, the Pats did get ragged on for losing three good players, but we also have been harassed by analysts that we arent picking anybody up. We resigned Stephen Neal which is big for our offensive line, and we actually got a solid group of players, not big names, but good enough to give us depth and an excellent special teams. Now back to Indy, who have they signed off the free agents list?? Adam Vinataeri...and ??? Yep thats right they havent signed anyone else. Anybody who wants to give the Pats crap because they havent made a splash in free agency, ought to look at the Colts. They signed a great kicker, a kicker ageing, a kicker who will not guarentee to hit non clutch 40 yard field goals. They are just trying to hold together their 05 team. The Pats have rebuilt the team in many aspects, with all the DB's we signed. Re signing Chad Scott, getting Tebucky Jones and Eric Warfield. Put it this way if we arent devastated by injuries yet again, we will win the Super Bowl.
We've got Brady, the best Quarterback in the league, no doubt in my mind.
Dillon had a rough season last year but he will be determined to prove everybody wrong. He has been training very hard supposedly out in California, he hopefully will not be bugged by nagging injuries, and have a very good offensive line not being constantly flip flopped, he can get 1000 yards this year. Maroney, Faulk, Pass. None of them are bad to go to if Dillon needs a rest.
Branch, Caldwell, Troy Brown, Bethel? Ok that group doesnt sound too great put aside Deion, but we have just got Chad Jackson and who says we dont get a few more wide recievers? Not superstars just solid players to give us more depth. At tight end we just got our third guy, David Thomas is an awesome pass catcher. Watson I definitley believe is going to have a huge season, even a pro bowl season.
Defensively I believe our front seven for this year at least, is AWESOME. We are just looking for one more guy to settle in as Middle Linebacker with Bruschi, maybe at training camp we will find the guy for that spot. Beisel maybe, we'll see. Vrabel and Colvin on the outside?! Seymour, Wilfork and Warren in front of them, man that sounds good!
Defensive backs, lets not complain about it anymore, its looking good as of now. We have depth and I dont believe its possible for us to be devastated by injuries like last year again. I expect Samuel and Hobbs to start at Cornerback. Hobbs looked almost flawless when he started, Samuel improved, and I was glad to see him making big plays towards the end of the season, finally he got it together, made 3 picks in the second half of the season and picked off a pass in both of their playoff games. The pass interference call on him was BS, but there is nothing to do about it now. Ofcourse, I like Randall Gay at nickle back. And having veterans like Chad Scott and Eric Warfield is a nice plus. If anything bad happens, like injuries, I guess Hawkins can step in to help. Safety wise I like what I'm seeing. Rodney returning is a HUGE boost to that secondary, who were so inexperienced last year. Poole, Scott and Starks just got injured so quickly. So a no named Safety went along with Eugene Wilson and Samuel was starting? His safety to help him was changed like four times, Sanders, Stone, Scott, Hawkins. Having Rodney back, just man, it'll hopefully bring Wilson back to how he played in 2004, and helps Samuel as well.
Pats are gun win SB 41. :singing:
Well that settles that. Undefeated for the rest of the decade.
TBC now the clone of McGinest. Okaaaaay..:rolleyes:
I looked at our schedule and came to the same conclsuion. At the absolute very worst, I see the '06 Pats finishing at 12-4. That schedule is the easiest I've seen for the Pats in a while.
The fact that we look so strong on paper convinces me that we'll be ravaged by injuries to 8 or 9 starters. It happens every year. I will never again count on a healthy season. Surely we've learned this by now.
Hence we may go only 14-2.;)
I do think our special teams will really be something this year. Can't remember so many quality STers being added in any offseason.
I love the optimism going on here, though.
Cincinnati is going to be a tough game. Don't kid yourselves.
The last time Denver came to Foxboro they kicked our ass.
We can can count on our division rivals to give us some hard
fought games, too. It won't always be a cruise.
The Pats are looking to be fielding another
championship calabre team that is capable of winning each
of these games.
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