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We're leading in the division

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by mgteich, Dec 12, 2009.

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  1. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Let's repeat this 10 times every day.

    Let's try to understand what it means to be a team NOT in this situation. Let's remember the patriots teams that weren't close to this situation. I know this is new ground for some of you. We've lost two of our games to 12-0 teams. It is new ground for everyone.

    Yes, we might have one a couple of more game. We certainly might have lost the Buffalo game.

    Brady is coming back from a serious injury and has been dinged a couple of more times. The defense is being almost completely overhauled.

    And yet, we are a lock if we win out. We will very likely win the division even if lose one game, and possibly if we lose 2.

    We may be in the playoffs, even at 9-7, especially if we beat the jags and the bills.
    =====================================================

    This is NOT a terrible spot to be in.
  2. BadMoFo

    BadMoFo Rookie

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    Now barely leading a division against three teams with first-year QBs is a great thing. My how our once lofty expectations plummeted. :(

    Can't wait to sport that 2009 AFC East Champs shirt and hat around town.
  3. patsfan-1982

    patsfan-1982 Rookie

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    i guess a lot of us think that because matt lead this team to 11 wins last year that brady should have won at lest 13


    but this is not even the same team from last year. a lot of player retired new OC some bad trades. it's a rebuilding year and teams dont make the playoffs in a rebuilding year just look at the bucks they went from a playoff team 2 years ago to haveing the first pick in the draft

    the glory days maybe goin but for the pats to still be in a spot to win the AFC east after all the turn over this year is pretty damn good
  4. Pat the Pats Fan

    Pat the Pats Fan Rookie

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    Many of us have become spoiled, with very high expectations. To be in 1st place and in position to win the division IN A REBUILDING YEAR, speaks volumes for how good this team is at its base.

    I seem to remember in 2001, we were going into the last few games of the year wondering if we were going to even make the playoffs, and we ended up with a bye and the #2 seed. It's all relevant to the competition, i suppose.
  5. KontradictioN

    KontradictioN Do you even lift? PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Not terrible. But the fact that we went from being a couple of games up on a second place team which, once upon a time, started 0-3 to a dogfight for the division is concerning. Especially so given the way that we've lost these games.
  6. PatriotsInGA

    PatriotsInGA Rookie

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    If we can manage to win the division then in the first round of the playoffs I will be convinced that we can win the Super Bowl. I mean I want to believe that this team can win it all this year, but they have to blowout 2 of the remaining 4 teams, you know to have some momentum going into the playoffs.
  7. Patspsycho

    Patspsycho Rookie

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    I think this is a good point to make. It's easy to forget that this is a very young defense that has yet to develop the mental toughness to play intense for 60 full minutes.
  8. KontradictioN

    KontradictioN Do you even lift? PatsFans.com Supporter

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    The only thing that I would bring up in response to this is that a lot of teams in the NFL have a rebuilding defense that are capable of playing quality football for four quarters. All of these guys have been playing football all of their lives. If they don't have the mental toughness to go through 60 minutes of intense football, then they will never acquire it.
  9. mayoclinic

    mayoclinic PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    No team that I'm aware of has rebuilt to this extent and managed to stay competitive. Teams like the Steelers, Cowboys and 49ers went through major down years before rebuilding to become contenders.

    Even if we somehow miss the playoffs this year, it's extremely unlikely that we will finish worse than 9-7 or 10-6. Even with all the upheaval we've been having, the foundation of this team is still built to be a SB contender, and it won't take very much for this team to become elite again.
  10. everlong

    everlong Rookie

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    Cassel's 11 wins aren't the same as this team winning 11 or even 10 games. We played the AFC and NFC west last year which was 7 wins right there and Cassel (major assist Billy Yates) was the reason we got smoked vs SD and didn't win the 8th. He left a lot of points on the board when that game was still close by not hitting open receivers.

    This is a tougher schedule.

    That said I'll feel a lot better once we beat Carolina. Seriously if we cannot be a warm weather team with a QB starting his second game in December at home in what is expected to be cold and snowy conditions then they don't deserve to be a playoff team. Couple that with a Fins loss to Jax and things will seem a lot better.
  11. 102 Pat

    102 Pat Rookie

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    Beating Carolina AND the Dolphins losing to the Jags tomorrow would be a great scenario. Sims-Walker is doubtful to play which is bad for the Jags as he is Garrard's deep ball threat.
  12. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I think what Pats fans are going through right now is very similar to what Steeler fans are thinking - though not quite as extreme. At least our team isn't sitting at 6-7 after losing five in a row, including losses to the Chiefs, Raiders and Browns.

    The two teams were by far the preseason favorites to win the Super Bowl by the media with their annual predictions. Steeler fans felt very confident, coming off a championship year with almost no free agent losses. Patriot fans felt Brady was worth at least three more wins than the 11-5 Cassel, and felt the team would be highly motivated to erase the memory of the Super Bowl loss after the 2007 season. All that confidence and forward thinking resulted in overlooking problems such as the offensive line in Pittsburgh or the pass rush in New England.

    I'm not saying the season so far hasn't been a letdown - at 7-5, it has been - or that there haven't been parts of the team that underachieved - certain players, units, and coaches have - but the biggest thing as fans is that we collectively built up unrealistic expectations for this team.

    I think the 11-5 record last year may be the biggest thing that gave us as fans too much confidence in 2009. If the 2008 team had to play the 2009 schedule, they probably end up about 7-9 or 8-8. And if the 2009 team got to play the 2008 AFC and NFC West teams, they would finish with a much better record than 11-5.

    Bottom line is the team is in first place after going through the roughest stretch in their schedule. Teams that were 7-5 or worse have gone on to win championships, though I wouldn't bet on that right now. Let's enjoy the ride and see what happens.
  13. Patspsycho

    Patspsycho Rookie

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    Mental toughness is a learned trait, not a talent, as Bill Russell says.

    I do not think that "a lot of teams" have rebuilt their defense to the extent that we have. If i am not wrong, we return only 3 starters from last year's defense.
  14. Deus Irae

    Deus Irae PatsFans.com Retired Jersey Club PatsFans.com Supporter

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    1.) There's no excuse for Belichick making this a REBUILDING YEAR. He chose to jettison players that could still have been big helps to the team, even though he was losing other players to age and retirement. Had he kept Hobbs and Seymour, for example, the team's run defense, pass defense and return game would all be better.

    2.) The reason that the team is in first place isn't because it's a great team. The team is in first place because the other teams in the division are bad teams. If the Patriots were in any other division in the AFC, they'd be in a dogfight for second place.

    3.) Having high expectations is a natural function of having a good team for an extended period of time. It raises the bar. Just ask college coaches about that, or coaches on pretty much any level of sport, for that matter.
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2009
  15. klinefan

    klinefan Banned

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    BB really screwed the pooch on this one. That can't be emphasized enough.

    No young LBs to take over. Just hires high priced FAs or guys like Beisel.

    Then drafts Brace and doesn't let him play.

    Then has this weird defense where we play so soft on all their WRs that we just give them the 10 yard out every single time. No pass rush whatsoever...instead it's "read and react", yeah, they're reading and reacting as the QBs are eviscerating them. Annihilating them. We need a re-vamping of the defense. Maybe the game has passed BB by.

    These are the salad days for Brady, although he too deserves his share of blame.

    Leading the division? To what end? To be embarassed and lose in the first round? No thanks, that's nothing to be proud of.
  16. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    The goal which provides the backdrop of personal decision is winning the division.

    It is clear that Belichick had a choice with regard to how much rebuilding on the defense to do this year versus next.

    It is precisely because the division is so weak that he thought that rebuilding the defense through this year would be a good idea.

    We can say that in is unacceptable to win the division with only 10 or 11 wins. I don't think that Belichick takes that approach. Yes, it would have better to be more likely to have the bye. But Belichick judged the tradeoffs.
    ===================================
    That being said, I do fault Belichick's 2009 plan. I don't get the big bucks, but I would have kept Seymour and Hobbs. I would have drafted Matthews, Laurinitis and Butler instead of Chung, Brace and Butler. And with 100% hindsight, I would have kept Vrabel as a backup even if his greatest value was veteran leadership for the locker room.

    But please realize, as we started the season (certainly before the trade of Seymour) most here thought that Belichick had a fione offseason and draft. Even given that, many expected 11-5 or 10-6. Of course, we were laughed at. Every decision can't be expected to work. Belichick made made good offseason decisions, including the acquisition of Bodden, Banta-Cain, McGowan, Butler and Vollmer.
    ===================================
    BOTTOM LINE
    1) As good as Belichick's "shoot and then think" approach to personnel decisions has been this year, I think that a more deliberate approach might have worked better.
    2) In the end, Belichick's approach might STILL work out better than mine. After all, if the OFFENSE can play better in the second half and be more effective in the red zone, we have a reasonable chance to be a better team for the playoffs. If not, I don't think a few tweaks on the defense would ahve helped much.
    3) Finally, this is a year with two very fine teams. They are 12-0, but ewven if they were 10-2, they are very strong competitors. There were some who thought the colts wouldn't even be in the playoffs this year. It is not all clear that the 2009 patriots would be a better team than either of these, even with a couple of better personnel decision.
  17. Deus Irae

    Deus Irae PatsFans.com Retired Jersey Club PatsFans.com Supporter

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    If winning the division is what the Patriots are about, it's time for Kraft to sell the team and for the people in place to be summarily dismissed.

    Most people wanted Cassel gone last season. "Most people" don't win Lombardis. There were those of us talking about the offseason mistakes that Belichick was making, even before the Seymour trade, even though we had some disagreement as to the severity of the individual issues. If we could see it, Belichick & company should have been able to.

    Belichick's personnel decisions haven't been nearly as awesome for this season as you seem to believe, as the Seymour/Hobbs examples show. Little positives have been swamped by major negatives.

    A better defense and return game would have taken the pressure off of the offense. That's especially true come playoff time.

    :confused:

    The 2009 Patriots, even without those better personnel decisions, could (should?) have beaten the 2009 Colts, on the road. That's precisely the sort of thing that makes those poor decisions so noteworthy.
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2009
  18. JackBauer

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    I think this contradicts the point you're attempting to make.
  19. Deus Irae

    Deus Irae PatsFans.com Retired Jersey Club PatsFans.com Supporter

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    1.) I removed it because it's political.

    2.) No, it doesn't, but I'll leave it at that, since it's political.
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2009
  20. JackBauer

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    I know, I'm just giving you trouble. It's all good.

    It definitely does, and a certain woman from Alaska is dispositive of this point :)
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2009
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