FOXBOROUGH — Now everything changes.Because a column by Shank just isn't complete without a reference to the Boston Red Sox!
Before Sunday, the Patriots were suspect. Sure, they were 6-2, resting in their comfy spot atop the suddenly competitive Warhol, but we were waiting for a victory that would make them legit. Crushing the mail-it-in-Bears at Gillette Stadium did not do the trick. Ditto for a win over the ever-ordinary Bills in Orchard Park. Beating the Bengals seemed like a big deal at the time, but that was before Marvin Lewis and his players again demonstrated their limitations.
And so we gathered at the Razor on a blustery Sunday in November and wondered if this would be the day the Patriots would make a statement.
And they did.
New England 43, Denver 21. It was Tom Brady over Peyton Manning, Julian Edelman over Wes Welker, Rob Gronkowski over T.J. Ward . . . and Bill Belichick over Grady Fox . . . and Harvey Leonard.
It’s hard to believe now that as recently as Sept. 29 we had Trent Dilfer declaring that the Patriots are “not good anymore,’’ and there was some local conversation about maybe trading Brady, who appeared to be in “serious decline.’’ We groused about New England’s swiss cheesy offensive line and the arrogant trading of Logan Mankins.And who does grousing better then Shank?