The New England Patriots are 2-0 after blowing out the Miami Dolphins 43-0. That came after a 33-3 beat down of the Pittsburgh Steelers. Although the Pats are 2-0 and will be 3-0 after Sunday, talks of 19-0 have started which may be a little premature. I’m a Patriots fan just like probably all of the writers on this website, I watch the games, eat the food and cheer on the hometown team, but 19-0 isn’t happening and perhaps it shouldn’t happen.
The Patriots through two games this season have won in blowouts, just like in 2007 when they won both games via a 38-14 final. The team’s first close game that year came in week 12 against the Philadelphia Eagles which was a 31-28 final followed by the Baltimore Ravens who also lost by 3 to the Patriots. The next five games this season for the Patriots are against teams that had a 22-42 combined record from a year ago, including two games against the Jets. After that stretch the heat turns up with games against Philadelphia and Houston on the road plus an AFC Championship game rematch against the Kansas City Chiefs at Gillette Stadium.
I want the Patriots to win every game, what New England sports fan doesn’t? Unfortunately, this is a team that is still forming while the team in ’07 was pretty well intact during the season from the opening kickoff. This year, the Patriots are still waiting for their tight end who they pulled from retirement Ben Watson and the receiving core will bear watching every week with potential headaches from Josh Gordon and Antonio Brown. Yes, Randy Moss did bring his own baggage to New England, but nothing comparing to the history of two of the three top receiving targets for Tom Brady.
Over the past six weeks, the NFL has lost the talents of some top tier QB’s. Andrew Luck retired. Ben Roethlisberger is done for the season with elbow surgery, Drew Brees will miss about half the season with thumb ligament damage, and from a potential talent area, you can put Sam Darnold on the list as well with mono. Somehow, someway the timeless wonder known as Tom Brady continues to fight father time and is dealing him a whooping with the success he’s had. In 2007, Brady had 4,806 yards and barring a catastrophe TB12 should have around 4,000 yards again. The question does have to be asked though, when the Patriots were going for a perfect season Brady was 30. He’s 42 and wants to play until he’s 45. If the division gets won and the top AFC seed gets secured by week 15, does Tom take a break and let Jarrett Stidham take the snaps for the final regular season games. Brady’s health is important for the Patriots, but maybe even more for Brady himself. If he’s looking to sign another contract in New England or anywhere else, teams will only sign him with a clean bill of health.
The Patriots have lost offensive linemen Marcus Cannon and Isaiah Wynn for a few weeks while in 2007 the injuries didn’t really build up. While health is important for Brady, a healthy Patriots team in the playoffs is more of a necessity than a team with a goose egg in the loss column.
Perhaps the biggest concern if the Patriots go undefeated for a long length of time is something only Bill Belichick can control. If the Patriots face adversity at any point in the late stages of the regular season, how will they handle it. Injuries, game planning, Antonio Brown, there are many potential factors in a possible nosedive after a loss, but how the team handles it comes down to the head coach. Some people say the best thing for the Patriots 12 years ago would have been to lose a game because it would give them a plan of attack on how to approach a game after a loss. The Patriots played the Giants in Week 17 that year and in the Super Bowl a month later. If the Patriots lost the first meeting, would Super Bowl 42 have been played differently on New England’s side of the field?
Again, I’ll eat chips and buffalo chicken dip and watch the games with my friends on Patriots game days and cheer on the Pats, but if New England loses a game or two perhaps it’s the best thing for a seventh Lombardi Trophy to make its way to Patriots Place.