....I'm having a little trouble putting this entire season into perspective. In one sense who can argue that the Pats have elevated themselves into being the clear favorite to represent the AFC in the Superbowl. In another sense it just doesn't compute. How can a defense that starts Eric Moore and Landon Cohen qualify as superbowl favorites? When was the last time 2 RBs on the top scoring offense in the league, were UDFAs who started the season as the 4th RB and not even on the team respectively How does an offense lose a HOF WR in the middle of the year....and get better How does the OL maintain integrity when it loses its all pro LG for more than half the season, then its all pro RG..... and then loses his back up You would think that losing your best defensive lineman (Ty Warren) and your best and most experienced DB (Leigh Boddin), your defense would be horrible....and we weren't disappointed, were we. Yet somehow this "horrible defense" ended up with a 13-2 record and is leading the league in picks Common wisdom states (I think it was Parcells) that for every rookie you start, you will lose a game. Well the Pats have 8 who have started games or played key roles (Spikes, McCoourty, Gronk, Hernandez, Cunningham, Deadrick, Love, and Fletcher) Now how has that worked out? You start your season thinking that your DL would be TWarren, Wilfolk, and Wright. More than solid I think. Well then Ty goes down but you don't panic because GWarren looks to be at least a quality run stuffer. Well then Wright, Pryor, Brace, and then GWarren himself all go down at one time or another. The next thing you know your DL consists of Wilfolk (thank god) and refugees from the UFL and thin book of Jewish football players (...and yes I know he's not Jewish, but I couldn't resist the metaphor), You have no pass rush (so I'm told) you can't stop the run (so I'm told) You see where I'm going with this. 13-2, Superbowl Favorites, media darlings vs inexperienced, no named, injury ridden, overacheivers. These 2 images just DON'T seem to compute, How can the Pats be Favorites to reach the superbowl when there are so many "weaknesses"/"flaws" that even their own fans can see. I fear no potential team that may come into Foxboro during the playoffs, yet I can see where everyone of them could potentially beat my team. I AM SO CONFUSED!!!!! And so my good friend must you be too, and that is why I call on all of us to start to view this season with a little perspective. Think back to 2001, when we were all kind of proud that our team (the one ProFootball Weekly had labelled LEAST likely to win a superbowl in the next 5 years just that spring) managed to play a competitive game with the Rams and go into the last 3rd of the season at 500 with a reasonable chance to make the playoffs Think about how good it felt when we won the division and would host a home playoff game. Think about the moment when Woodson knocked the ball out of Brady's hand and you thought, "too bad, but what I nice season", because you had never heard about the tuck rule. Think about how you tried to think of scenarios that would get a win the next week in Pittsburgh, and how you failed to think of any reasonable ones. And finally, if you are really honest, how you were just happy they made it to the superbowl and how you hoped that they'd somehow make a game of it, for at least the first half. How you didn't want to see a repeat of the Bears embarrassment You see folks, THAT is what THIS season is all about. Like 2001 THIS is the gift season. The one we didn't expect. If BB was truly honest, he'd tell you that this personnel turnover was all planned. That the idea was to rebuild the team over 3 years. Be competitive, have winning seasons, but the real push for the superbowl would be in 2012 or perhaps 2011 if we were really lucky. Just like 2001 it wasn't expected. THAT was supposed to be just the year the Pats started to learn to win again.....maybe make the playoffs....maybe. No, I'm sure on BB's blueprint, 2003 was the target year to make a real run at the superbowl. That one in 2001 was THE GIFT, the surprise no one expected. Just as this one will be.....if we get there. So my advise is much like BB's. Avoid the hype. Don't by into the notion that its Superbowl or Bust. Enjoy this gift of a season, win or lose, because that is what this is.....a gift. and a unexpected one at that. ******************************************************************** Now just some idle thoughts. 1. BB has had a great year with low impact FA signings. But Page and GWareen have both proven excellent additions. Nothing spectacular, but just what the team needed. Someone posted a good article on Warren and he sounds like a man. A Bobby Hamilton/Anthony Pleasant kind of signing. 2. In the article they describe how he got here and how the experience has exceeded his expectations. This is why quality FAs will always give the Pats a look. Some may want to go and be buddies with Rex and have fun. But the ones that add value to your team will want to come here and get better and win. BTW- next off season will have one of the deepest and riches FA classes in the FA era. 3. The raiders pick in the draft (probably around $15) is going to be the subject of a lot of speculation, but its the Carolina pick (#33) that will have the most value in the end. This is the pick that will allow us to move up significantly in to get some targeted player. This is the pick that will attract a hundred phone calls if we still have it at the end of the first day 4. I hope Alge Crumpler stays another year. What a mentor. Gronk couldn't get over there fast enough after Alge's TD catch. 5. Both rookie TEs have exceeded expectations, and those expectations were high. 6. I know we had a guy at the commissioners mtging, any report on what went on? If there was please direct me. If not....what happened??????!!!!! 7. I'd like to see use FAKE the bubble screen and throw over the top either to a crossing WR or have the bubble screen guy do a double move. Those guys are screaming up to the LOS real fast. Its a play teams are preparing well for. 8. Fun fact I heard but cannot prove. Someone on the radio today noted that since 2001 the Pats are something like 85-3 when they win the turnover battle. That's just in case you haven't figured out how we managed to be 13-2 9. In the same vein, we are now +27 an AMAZING feat. In fact IIRC, its the 2nd best plus/minus in the Superbowl era. Whats even more amazing was that the best one was something like +43 by the Redskins back in the early 80's 10. OK be honest. How many of you are hoping Brady finally gets picked off and BJGE fumbles in this last meaningless game. Its bound to happen. Why not let it happen when no one cares. Right? Then we can start a NEW streak. OK that's a start. BTW- sorry about my last effort. It sucked. Hope this one is better.