EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — You have seen this game one million times. Maybe two million.Now check out this paragraph (emphasis mine):
The Patriots struggle. The other team plays over its head. It looks like we might witness an upset loss for the team from Fort Foxborough. And then all the usual elements emerge and the Patriots cut out the hearts of their rivals. Tom Brady plays cool, flawless football down the stretch, the Patriots wait for the other guys to step on banana peels, and New England walks out of another enemy stadium with a hard-fought victory.
“It says a lot about our team,’’ Bill Belichick said Sunday night after the Patriots trumped the Jets, 22-17, at MetLife Stadium. “Their resiliency and mental toughness. How they execute under pressure. A lot of games in this league come down to the last series or the last plays or whatever it is. You battle it out for 59 mintues and it comes down to one or two plays . . . We’ve had a lot of those come up.’’
The Patriots beat you because they are smarter and tougher. They never take the apple. If you are from Buffalo, Miami, or the Meadowlands, they take away your will to live. They make the plays when the plays need to be made and they wait for you to tie your shoelaces together. Which you inevitably will do. It is all so predictable....says the columnist who predicted the exact opposite at the start of the game. Schmuck.
This is a year in which there are no great NFL teams, and in that spirit the Patriots are certainly in the Super Bowl hunt . . . but the Patriots hardly looked championship-driven for most of Sunday afternoon/evening in the Meadowlands. Those of us who trade in analysis and negativity will have much to chew on this week.I think the Dallas Cowboys, currently at 10-1 and the Oakland Raiders, tied with the Patriots at 9-2, might have something to say about that. Does Shank expect the 1985 Bears or the 2000 Baltimore Ravens to be resurrected somehow? And when is the last time Shank offered up anything remotely resembling 'analysis'? At least he got the last part right about trading in negativity, him and his asshole colleague Ben Volin.
Can't wait to hear Shank regurgitate this column tomorrow morning with Bettle & Zolak - riveting radio, everyone!
UPDATE AT 8:00 PM - Minor spelling error corrected in the penultimate paragraph of this post.