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For those who don't think a "win is a win", a look back at the 03 Pats...

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by BradyManny, Dec 4, 2006.

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  1. BradyManny

    BradyManny Rookie

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    I said this in another thread but drew very little response, though I think it's a valid point - I feel us Patriot fans became spoiled by the dominance of the 2004 season and have completely unrealistic expectations of how an NFL team should perform week to week.

    "Any given Sunday", as cliched as it has become, is the truth. The true test of a winner is not their margin of victory, but how they are able to grind out victories.

    With the exception of the Jets game, so far, the identity of this Patriots team is very similar to the 2003 team which provided all the heart-pounding close calls that made the season so exciting to watch, yet also so nerve-wracking.

    We rarely blew teams out, and found a lot of victories either just by holding on or coming from behind.

    The 2004 Pats completely spoiled us as fans. Now, if we don't win dominantly, we aren't happy. Yesterday wasn't a great win by any stretch, but it was a win, and just to refresh a few memories, here are a few similar victories from 03, it's been sometime since I've watched the 03 DVD, so I'm going to sit down and do that, but for now, some quick recaps...

    Patriots 17, Giants 6
    http://www.nfl.com/gamecenter/recap/NFL_20031012_NYG@NE
    "The New England Patriots proved that statistics don't win football games -- defense and perseverance does. Outgained 199-29 in a first half in which they had just one first down, the Patriots rallied behind Tom Brady and Kevin Faulk and beat the New York Giants 17-6 on Sunday."
    Scary stat of the game -
    Brady: 8/21 for 112 yards


    Patriots 19, Dolphins 13

    http://www.nfl.com/gamecenter/recap/NFL_20031019_NE@MIA
    "The New England Patriots needed two missed field goals and their longest pass play of the season to finally win in the Miami heat...The Dolphins (4-2) had two chances to win the game. But Olindo Mare missed a pair of field-goal attempts on the infield dirt. The NFL's second most accurate kicker of all time had one blocked near the end of regulation and missed one wide right in overtime -- both on dirt."
    Scary stat of the game -
    Patriots: 59 net yards rushing


    Patriots 9, Browns 3

    http://www.nfl.com/gamecenter/recap/NFL_20031026_CLE@NE
    "The Patriots won without a touchdown because Couch and Holcomb struggled. Couch went 7 for 11 for 40 yards, while Holcomb was 15 for 25 for 115 yards."


    Patriots 30, Broncos 26

    http://www.nfl.com/gamecenter/recap/NFL_20031103_NE@DEN
    "It came after coach Bill Belichick's call for a deliberate safety with his team, trailing 24-23, backed up on their own 1 on fourth down with 2:49 left."


    Patriots 12, Cowboys 0

    http://www.nfl.com/gamecenter/recap/NFL_20031116_DAL@NE
    "The Patriots, helped by two long passes by a mostly ineffective Tom Brady and 10 penalties against the Cowboys, had enough offense to win their sixth consecutive game and give Belichick a 3-2 career record over Parcells."
    Brady: 15/34 for 212 yards


    Patriots 23, Texans 20
    http://www.nfl.com/gamecenter/recap/NFL_20031123_NE@HOU
    "For all his misfortune, Adam Vinatieri wasn't going to let New England 's winning streak end with a tie. He rebounded from a miss off the right upright in regulation and a block early in overtime to hit a 28-yarder with 41 seconds. The Patriots escaped Houston with a 23-20 victory, extending their winning streak to seven and establishing their best 11-game start at 9-2."
    Brady: 2 INTs & a fumble loss
    Fans will remember this as the single ugliest win of all in the 21 game streak

    Patriots 38, Colts 34

    http://www.nfl.com/gamecenter/recap/NFL_20031130_NE@IND
    "McGinest's game-saving tackle typified the Patriots' charmed season....
    But Manning valiantly rallied the Colts from a 21-point deficit for the second time this season. He converted Brady's first interception into a 13-yard touchdown pass to Reggie Wayne. Three plays later, Brady was picked off again. On the next play, Manning threw a 26-yard strike to Marvin Harrison to make it 31-24 with 14 seconds left in the third quarter. "
    Once again, another ugly game (particularly the 2nd half) we pulled out simply because we were tougher down the stretch.

    Patriots 21, Jets 17
    http://www.nfl.com/gamecenter/recap/NFL_20031220_NE@NYJ
    "The New England Patriots won their 11th straight game in typical fashion Saturday night: They pulled out yet another close game thanks to their defense."
    Won in part thanks to picking off Pennington 5 times
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2006
  2. mosi

    mosi Rookie

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    In the past, the Pats won games by playing solid, albeit conservative football. We almost always won the turnover battle and never made the stupid mistakes. This year, we have not played well at home. I would argue that we have been outplayed in every home game and could have easily lost every won of those games. We are winning, but making way to many mistakes in the process. We can make those mistake against the bad teams and win. We can't against the better teams. That is the fear.
  3. spacecrime

    spacecrime Rookie

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    Are you sure? I thought for the last four years the Patriots never turned the ball over, never missed a tackle, never ran draw plays on third and 8, never let Patrick Pass touch the ball, never let another team complete a pass, never ever made any stupid mistakes.

    Last year they were 16-0 before blowing out every team they faced in the playoffs and winning the superbowl 135-0.

    It's not whether you win or lose, it's how much style you show in winning.

    Seriously I think you are right. I blame it on the influx of fans since 2001. They don't know football, they want to cheer a winner. A real winner. Winning isn't enough. Winning with style is required. I don't think any of them were around fifteen years ago for the doldums. There were fewer fans, but we were fans of the team, who appreciated football and hung around when our team was losing. You can bet that no one in 1990 comlained about us looking bad in beating the Colts in week 2 that year:

    Sun 9/9/1990 1:00 PM vs Dolphins NBC 27-24 L
    Sun 9/16/1990 1:00 PM @ Colts NBC 16-14 W
    Sun 9/23/1990 1:00 PM @ Bengals NBC 41-7 L
    Sun 9/30/1990 1:00 PM vs Jets NBC 37-13 L
    Sun 10/7/1990 1:00 PM vs Seahawks NBC 33-20 L
    Thu 10/18/1990 8:00 PM @ Dolphins TNT 17-10 L
    Sun 10/28/1990 1:00 PM vs Bills NBC 27-10 L
    Sun 11/4/1990 1:00 PM @ Eagles NBC 48-20 L
    Sun 11/11/1990 1:00 PM vs Colts NBC 13-10 L
    Sun 11/18/1990 1:00 PM @ Bills NBC 14-0 L
    Sun 11/25/1990 1:00 PM @ Cardinals NBC 34-14 L
    Sun 12/2/1990 1:00 PM vs Chiefs NBC 37-7 L
    Sun 12/9/1990 1:00 PM @ Steelers NBC 24-3 L
    Sat 12/15/1990 1:00 PM vs Redskins NBC 25-10 L
    Sun 12/23/1990 1:00 PM @ Jets NBC 42-7 L
    Sun 12/30/1990 1:00 PM vs Giants NBC 13-10 L
  4. RayClay

    RayClay On the Roster

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    #75 Jersey

    Actually, I think this is a good point. We've never, even in 2004 been this perfect consistent team.

    We were able to eke out heart attack wins in 2003 by playing solid, mistake free ball and letting teams beat themselves.

    This team is able to roll on some teams like Minny, the Bengals, and Green Bay while bumbling around in other games, (but still winning:D ).

    I think this team can gain consistency and they have more depth on offense by far than they've had before.

    If they gain consistency, look out!, (that's what practice is for).

    The Defense is a well oiled machine as long as we have the parts.

    9-3 with their best ball ahead of them? I think so.
  5. rabthepat

    rabthepat Rookie

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    great post...it is an excellent reminder that the past wasn't as perfect as we think we remember it.
  6. 3 to be 4

    3 to be 4 Rookie

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    Its a great post BradyManny. I dont know where people get this idea that teams blow through other teams week after week after week, even the great teams of NFL history. the '72 Dolphins won their playoff games 20-14, 21-17, and 14-7, for example.
    Fans who go back can appreciate the feat of just being 9-3 at this point in the season. the Patriots have only done this in 1976,1978,1986,2003, and 2004.
    When Bob Kraft bought the team his goal was to make the Patriots an organization like the 49ers had. Since 1994 there have been 8 playoff berths, 6 Division titles, 4 AFC Titles, 3 World Championships. And in 2006 they are 9-3. Not bad in 12 years.
    All the other great teams had stretches where they were less than perfect.
    the 1977 Steelers, the 3 years (1985-1988) the 49ers couldnt win a playoff game, Aikman in 1994 losing at SF...
    When you are in the middle of it you lose perspective and get spoiled.
    The Patriots are in the mix AGAIN.
    never NOT appreciate a win in the NFL. Or having a 9-3 team.
    out here in KC the fans here are dying after the Chiefs blew the game in Cleveland to go 7-5. It brought me back to a game in Denver in 1984 when the 7-3 Patriots were tied with the Broncos, driving for a game winning field goal, when Mosi Tatupu fumbled and the ball was run back by the Broncos for the game winning score. That is what it used to be like to be a Patriots fan.

    Dont ever lose sight not only what this team has accomplished, but what it is still accomplishing. No win is ugly.
  7. Murphys95

    Murphys95 Rookie

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    '03 is a valid comparison, but to me the biggest difference between then and now is playmakers. It doesn't seem the current squad has the same level of playmakers as the '03 team did. It's either that or the lack of big plays (comparitively speaking).

    2003 is easily remembered by Troy Brown's 82 yard overtime catch in Miami, Ty Law's 65 yard interception return against the Titans, Brady's last minute touchdown to Givens in Denver, Willie's goal line stand against Edgerrin James, and Bruschi's 5 yard interception for a touchdown on Fiedler and the Phins in the snow. It was easily one of the most memorable seasons ever based on individual plays.

    I think you make a great point about perspective, the Patriots played to the level of the competition back then just as they do now. This is a fantastic season.
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2006
  8. RayClay

    RayClay On the Roster

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    Oh please, can't I blow all this salary cap money on a shiny free agent?

    Just this once?:D

    Great post. It's never easy and pretty and it never has been.

    9-3 is looking mighty fine from where I'm sitting.
  9. notex

    notex Rookie

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    .if we finished with 3 losses itd be exceding my expectations....the fact is that i thnk we still have the players that will make big plays in BIG games. who would you rather have lined up on defense then seymour bruschi and rodney harrison come playoff time... our tom brady in the 4th quarter..
    im confident we will put all the peices together...
    its not like we have one major glaring hole...i think every position has shown flashes of excellence and we just need to find a way to get all cylinders going at the same time
    ...think about it...we are in much better shape then a team like the bears who have one of the worst qb's in the league - that cant be fixed mid-season.

    i bet BB works alot on ball protection its not like were the only ones noticing it...if we can stop fumbling i think were set.:rocker: :rocker:
  10. jczxohn1

    jczxohn1 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Those SB teams were aided also by defensive and special teams TD's. We are 9-3 and the defense and special teams have yet to score a point.
  11. Murphys95

    Murphys95 Rookie

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    Technically, Gostowski has scored 71 points for special teams. :)

    And Warren has 2 from a safety in week one.
  12. PatsMyBoyz!

    PatsMyBoyz! Rookie

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    .
    Fans who go back can appreciate the feat of just being 9-3 at this point in the season. the Patriots have only done this in 1976,1978,1986,2003, and 2004.
    ]

    There we have it. While I agree about the fumbleitis being a concern (and yup-the injuries are beginning to tally up) I still see that certain something in this year's team that was also present during our SB years. It seems many have forgotten that the Pats were underdogs during that time and their calling card was always getting the Win in a head-scratching kinda way (one reason the media had problems discussing our team-they couldn't figure out how the h*ll we did it but we did).
    This team,like those teams,digs down. I'll take that quality all day long. We aren't 9-3 for nothing.

    I believe.
  13. fgssand

    fgssand PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Winning isn't everything - it's the ONLY thing.

    Very interesting year, 3/4's of the way through the season, this teams identity is still not really set. They could just as easily take off and win the next 7 games going away as losing 2 out of the next 4 and be one and done in playoffs.

    I drink the kool aid so I tend to believe the offense will really take off and dominate and that Rodney returns bringing all the Hell the "D" needs to finish the job.
  14. Isaac

    Isaac Rookie

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    Great thread, enlightening to look back.

    The reality is that these close games are ultimately defined by the outcome of the season. If Gostkowski banks one off the post to win the SuperBowl, these close wins become heroic. If he doinks it, the team should have kept Vinatieri and the rest of the lost players, and these close wins become sad indications of the fatal weaknesses of the team.
  15. Buchanty

    Buchanty Rookie

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    The analogy of a combustion engine not quite firing on all cylinders is spot on. I agree with Notex that there have been several if not many flashes of brilliance. Recently the team has also showed that they are gritty and can dig down to win a game. However the spark that comes from passion is the one that is the most elusive and the one that was exhibited throughout 2003 and the other SB seasons. At times during the year (Denver, Colts, Jets especially and now the Lions) the team has come out flat. I want to see Brady pumped like he was after shaking Urlacher, I want one of the team captains pacing the sidelines hectoring the team in the manner of Willie or Rodney. The grit is there and they do dig down to recover, but without the spark of passion even grit can be worn down and extinguished.

    I am forced then to believe that they will make the playoffs, and could go beyond the first round, but they need to find the passion of 2001,2003, 2004 to get to and win XLI.
  16. MDD

    MDD Rookie

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    Fair enough.

    That doesn't take away the fact that it feels different in 2006 than it did in 2003 or 2004. A feeling that you can't confine to numbers.

    Or maybe you can.

    Maybe it's the fact that we did BEAT the class of the AFC in 2003 in the games in which we played them.

    We haven't done that this year. Bottom line: our record against playoff contenders is 3-3, and we (possibly) have one such game left to play. In contrast, we were undefeated against playoff teams in 2003 - only one loss to a playoff team in 2004.

    Have we been spoiled? Sure. But if you're gonna analyze numbers, crunch 'em all.
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2006
  17. BradyManny

    BradyManny Rookie

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    That's a great point - there were really so many clutch plays in that season as you have just listed.

    It's still too early to look back at the first 3/4 of this season and assess it the way we can 03 now. Earlier in this season, I was a little worried that we didn't have that big play ability on D, and weren't creating turnovers, but now we are.


    Most of the big plays you list are on Defense, and no surprise, most of the big plays this season have seen have come on defense. We're making more and more turnovers.

    All we have to do is make less and less turnovers - which I am confident we will fix.

    I also think a big play offensive threat would help the cause and I think if Chad Jackson can get healthy and get involved, he fits that role. Of course, Maroney is always a big play threat anytime he gets the ball.

    But I digress, the point is, we are 9-3, and they don't put any asteriks next to those 9 Ws in the NFL no matter who we played or how we played.
  18. Pat_Nasty

    Pat_Nasty Rookie

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    Well, actually, the guys at FootballOutsiders.com have crunched all the numbers, for every team, from 1995-2004, and their conclusions are pretty interesting -- I highly recommend reading the full article (which included their methodology and data). What follows is essentially its thesis:

    The good news is that Sunday's win was just one of 16 games, and we have for the most part beaten the teams we should beat pretty convincingly.
  19. mgcolby

    mgcolby Woohoo, I'm a VIP!!! PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Comparing this team to the 2003 team is a bit of a stretch when you compare the level of competition. That team beat 10 teams that won at least 10 games that season (including the playoffs). That is pretty impressive. One thing the 03 and 04 teams did on a regular basis was play up or down to the level of the competition.

    For the people complaining that we didn't beat the class of the AFC: We played Denver when they were playing their best football and we didn't have a receiver who could get open. We turned the ball over 5 times and lost to the Colts by a TD and we lost a division game to a team coached by our ex DC who had two weeks to get his team ready to play a meaningful division game. During the Colts and Jets games their receivers made some miracle catches that are incomplete 9 out of 10 times. Harrison's catch in the end zone, Crotchery in the end zone both players falling out of bounds with DB in perfect coverage.

    There isn't a team in the AFC that has played consistent dominant football, this team is by far the most balanced and they have the players who have been there and done it. The Chargers have a QB that hasn't started a playoff game and most of us should remember what happened to them the last time they were in this very same situation. They also have a defense that gives up a lot of points.

    The Colts don't have a run d and have defied logic in posting a 10-2 record. They are winning close games - which seemingly has made them a more mentally tough team. But still, not being able to stop the run will catch up to you in December and January.

    Baltimore doesn't have an offense that can put up points against a good defense without getting a short field from their defense. Does anyone fear the Ravens will put up 17 points on our defense in a playoff game? Take away the run and they are done (this year's version of the Steelers, if you will).

    Bottom line this year the AFC is wide open and every team has played inconsistent, but when push comes to shove I will take Brady and our Defense in the Playoffs.
  20. BradyManny

    BradyManny Rookie

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    Good post. I agree.
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