1) The AFC South is the best division in football. Ignoring intra-division games (every division is by definition .500 against itself), the AFC South is 11-2. Sounds impressive. Who was that against? Atlanta (3 times) Tampa Bay (2 times) New Orleans (2 times) Carolina Denver (2 times) Kansas City (2 times) Miami So 8 of those 13 games were played against the NFC South...the division where bad teams go to die. Plus a sucky, underachieving Denver team. Plus a sucky, overachieving KC team. Plus a sucky, unachieving Miami team. Yeeesh! 2) The Patriots are a one-dimensional passing team. They sure do seem to be passing a lot on the highlight clips. How do they compare to other teams? Team ATT/G ==== ===== 1 GB 41.2 2 NO 41.2 3 BAL 39.3 4 CIN 37.3 5 STL 36.9 ... 18 NE 33.1 Hmmmmm, maybe the Pats just don't run effectively then. So let's compare them to the Steelers...every sports jockey's favorite smash-mouth team: Team ATT/G YDS/ATT ==== ===== ======= 2 PIT 33.5 4.7 5 NE 32 4.2 The Pats run almost as much. But what about that 1/2 yard difference per attempt? Let's isolate just the primary ballcarriers to filter out the statistical noise: Player(s) ATT/G YDS/ATT ======= ===== ======= Morris/Maroney 20.7 4.6 Parker/Davenport 28.6 4.7 So the Pats run just as much as the Steelers. And they have similar success running with their key backs (ignoring reverses, kneel-downs, etc.). But the Steelers are a strong, confident running team and the Pats are unwilling and unable to run? Seriously? 3) The Pats run up the score on obviously beaten opponents. The Pats are winning by over 3 TDs per game. How could they not be running up the score? Let's look at the Pats' TD drives that started in the 4th quarter and see if they look suspicious: GAME TIME SCORE PASSES RUSHES ==== ==== ===== ====== ====== at Jets 6:02 31-14 2 6 SD 13:25 31-14 6 10 at CIN 9:04 27-13 6 3 CLE 14:10 20-10 6 3 at DAL 14:34 31-24 1 3 at DAL 3:45 41-27 2 5 at MIA 10:30 42-21 3 2 Based on the comebacks we've seen to date, you still have to play with 10 minutes left regardless of the score. The Pats tried to throttle down on the Miami game, but the Dolphins didn't cooperate. The Jets and Dallas TDs might be suspect, but the Pats basically just ran the ball to run out the clock. They just happened to reach the end zone before time ran out. Contrary to what some have reported, the Pats couldn't have run out the Dallas game by taking a knee (Timeout #3 by DAL at 01:48 stopped the clock).