The analysts are idiots - and here's why. How does an NFL team make money? In a word, it's marketing. And marketing in this era is Big Name Players playing for Big Money - regardless of the obvious fact that in a world with a salary cap, something has to give somewhere else. The analysts are morons - because only morons believe marketing. Individual big players might have been How You Won back in the day (when more player-analysts grew up in the league) - but that's no longer the case. And very few teams seem to realize this - the Eagles. Mangini's Jets. The Bears. The Broncos. You know, those teams that seem to be close to the playoffs if not contenders most years. But marketing isn't reality. Brady had a bad game tonight. 3 INTs. He made up for this by 2 great drives - both of which had major help from serious mental mistakes by inexperienced and undisciplined Chargers. He proved that he has the "poise" he's shown in other games - but that he's also mortal. And LT had a great game. We could barely contain him. By all the analysts have been saying we should have lost. But here's the not-so-secret that the talking heads don't seem to understand: Brady is not the Patriots. Sure, he's the one everyone's heard of. He gets the big bucks. He -earns- those big bucks. But the game tonight was won because all 53 of the Patriots made fewer mistakes than all 53 of the Chargers. Marquee players no longer win the big games. Shhh. Don't tell anyone. The game was won by the mistakes we didn't make: Headbutts to keep drives alive. Not batting the ball down on 4th and 5 (and in the postgame interview, Parker STILL insists that he was right) Not losing faith after INTs brought on by a lot of pressure by a great D Not falling on a muffed punt Not mismanaging the clock as the game got tense None of these were by the players that the analysts spent so much time discussing. Some are going to blame Marty - but the issues were not the interception/fumble challenge (that was probably a way to get an extended timeout to calm down his D) or going for it on 4th and 11 - that was a ballsy move that we'd congratulate Bellicheck for if he did it. But the issues were really that the full team was not as situationally prepared as ours was - and the true reason we won, I'd argue, is this: Bellicheck (and Pioli) recruit 53 smart players. And he coaches them over and over in how to do their jobs intelligently. Every player isn't a probowler. But the ones that AREN'T smart and competent - they become ex-Patriots. And that kept us in a tough tough game long enough to win. This board has been deluged this last week with Charger screamers who bought into the marketing - but similarly, their boards have been deluged with Patriot homers who buy into our marketing too. And frankly, I'm embarassed by that as I'm embarassed by Hobbs' dance - but I accept it is an act by the few - and I'd rather have Hobbs as a Patriot than the guy he was mocking. And I accept that we're not perfect. And, the analysts are at it again - discussing the stats of the marquee players in the next game, as if that was what was going to determine the game. I guess it's all they have to talk about - but it's not what will decide next week game. We might win it, we might lose it, but it's going to be a heck of a game because we're bringing a heck of a team and we'll be facing one too. Same as tonight's game. Now, I'm going to go recharge my defibrilator. It got a lot of work tonight.