Monday, November 30, 2009

TNR Tosses Around the Pigskin

When I think of football I think of . . . The New Republic. Well, not really. But it turns out that every so often the venerable liberal thought magazine has considered the gidiron. Take a walk through TNR's football archives as you gear up for tonight's Pats-Saints clash.

My prediction: Patriots 38 Saints 31.


Anonymous said...

Austin Westlake (Tx) Qb put it to the Pats.

Slicer said...

You got the winning team's score right.

Name: Matthew Guenette said...

Ouch, Derek...

The Colts loss was harder to watch. At least this time it was clear the Saints really were (and are, I think) the better team.

For a moment, I wondered if my 20 month old son was playing back there in the Pats secondary. That defense, suspect all year, is troubling. At this point they are what they are: a defense that can't compete with the elite teams...

dcat said...

1) Yes, Brees sure as hell did have his way with the Pats D.

2) Yeah, I did zero in on 38 for the winning team, eh?

3) Matt, I agree with you. The loss to the Saints hurt, but we were not the better team. I feel like we were better than the Colts and just pissed down our legs.

On the whole I think we can now draw a few conclusions from the Pats:

They are good. But they are not right now a championship team. That could change, of course, in the next few weeks. But their flaws are serious enough to worry about -- especially in the defensive backfield.

Something is going awry with this team in the second half of games. I have no idea what it is, I have no idea if it has to do with execution or with other teams being better at making adjustments, but we have had some atrocious third quarters in particular.

However, the AFC is fairly open. If the Pats can run the table -- not an impossibility to be sure, as a loss to any of the remaining teams would go down as a serious disappointment and a major upset -- they will get home field up to the AFC Championship and a bye on Wild Card weekend and I would feel pretty confident playing just about anybody at home. Right now the Colts and San Diego scare me more than anyone else in the AFC.

I hope they take out their frustrations in a big way on the Dolphins this week. They need a road win. And while the Colts and Jets are bigger rivals now, for those of us who remember the 1980s, we can recall when the Dolphins were our biggest rivals. I still like to crush them.