NFL, Sports

All Is Not Lost It’s Still Business As Usual For The Pats ……….

My growth hasn’t been stunted  but I’m of  the  opinion  that  the New England  Patriots in their  efforts to  seal  another win  of  the  AFC East division are limping  all  the  way  to  the  finish  line.  Their  overwhelming victory  of a beleaguered Oakland  Raiders’ team  leads me to believe  that  they’ll either  scamper across the  line  or  fall  flat on their  face having  dragged  themselves there. Say nothing of  which  the New York Jets and  the Miami Dolphins have  made the race for the  division all the  more  interesting to say the least.


Ellis Hobbs of the Patriots is congratulated by a fan after the  player's TD in Oakland against the Raiders ...........

Ellis Hobbs of  the New England Patriots is hugged by  a fan after  the player’s  95 yd  TD run  in  a game  where  the Pats triumphed 49-26 over the Oakland Raiders in an AFC game  played  in Oakland, Ca. picture  appears courtesy of ap/photo/Tom Mangold  ……………


We had been left for dead after Pro Bowl quarterback  Tom Brady went down  injured for the  season.  And what  with  last season’s  debacle in the  Superbowl still fresh  in  everyone’s  minds.  It was the belief that  in order to  redeem  themselves this season they’d  either have to  make it  back into the playoffs or  at least try  and  show  everyone  that they were still capable  of showing  their  prowess on the field. Rather than  being the butt of  everybody’s  jokes concerning Spygate.  Obviously with  that  being   ever present  in  a number  of  people’s  minds  and the  stain  therein  still not having  disappeared. I’m  one fan of  the  Pats who’s  hoping that  they can  redeem themselves  this  season.


Morris and  Welker  celebrate after  Morris'  TD against  the Raiders ..........

Sammy Morris of the  Patriots celebrates with teammate  Wes Welker after Morris’ touchdown  against the  Oakland Raiders during the game. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ Martin Richardson  ……………………


Well  on Sunday  with  the  three teams ( Pats, New York and Miami Dolphins) being  in  a tie  atop of  the  division  it  was a  chance for either of the  three to  separate themselves from the  rest of  the division or at  best still  be  in a position whereby  everything would  be  on the  line  quite possibly  at season’s end. Though the advantage  within the division and conference sits squarely  with  the New York Jets.  And though we’ve  seen  all three teams slip up  somewhat  they’ve managed to maintain some semblance  of competitiveness as the  season has progressed.  The Dolphins have proven that last season’s 1-15 record was  just an aberration that’s forgotten.  And  the beating that they handed out to the Pats earlier on in the season  all but  assured their fans that this is now a team to be reckoned with. This isn’t your grandmother’s Dolphins anymore. Coach Tony Sparano along with  President  of  Operations Bill Parcells has  the  team heading in the right direction. The New York Jets for their part have  been rejuvenated  as the  Brett Favre Show has  come to town.  It’s the same old Brett Favre  but in a new style of clothing. The same cavalier attitude that we’ve  come to know of  Favre  is still  here with the player today.


Randy Moss  celebrates  his touchdown  against  the Raiders ..

Randy Moss(81) celebrates his touchdown against the  Oakland Raiders in Oakland ,California .  picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/George Nitkin ………


Much has been said of the ongoing problems of the Raiders and  the fact  that this season  their problems have  manifested themselves to enormous proportions.  And  the team’s principal owner Al Davis seems to be botching  the day to day operations  of  the franchise  by seemingly being too overly involved in the franchise’s operations. With Tom Cable now leading  the franchise for this season and one can only summize  that  at season’s end there may well be  a change  for the franchise  as far its coaching  opportunities are concerned. It wasn’t that long ago  that  the Patriots  were  in a similar position as  that of the Raiders.  And as the team struggled a resolve  was in place  that if the franchise  were  to improve  then  they’d have  to  have  the right people  in place  from the executive  positions  on downwards.  If there’s been one failing of  the  Raiders it’s  been the fact  that  hasn’t  been put in place  by  its hierarchy. And if they’re to fare well in the future then Davis will have  to relinquish control of  the franchise to someone who  has the  knowledge  to place  on the right footing.   The Patriots  have  the template  as  how this can be achieved with owner Robert  Kraft, GM Scott Pioli alongside coach  Bill Belicheck.  As they say the rest is history. 


Wes Welker of the Pats  catches  a pass  as  the Raiders' Chris Johnson makes  an attempted tackle......
Wes Welker catches a pass as the Raiders' Chris Johnson attempts a tackle .............

Wes Welker of the New England Patriots catches a pass  as an attempted tackle is made by  the Raiders’ Chris Johnson during  the game. picture appears courtesy of getty images/Jeb Jacobsohn ……………….


Sunday’s  game we saw  both teams playing  somewhat erratically and we also  saw  two teams going in opposite directions.  The Raiders seemingly doomed for failure once again.  Having  conceded double digit losses  for  the past  five consecutive  years, an  NFL record in the modern era. The  Patriots for their part  are hoping  to make into  the playoffs, albeit  that they’ll  have  to  hope for some assistance along  the  way with both the Jets  and  Dolphins  losing  at least  one  or  two of their  final games of the season  down the stretch.  What no one could’ve really envisaged  was as the season progressed  Brady’s backup Matt Cassell seemed to find his footing as  the team’s signal caller. He’s been consistent to  a degree but what has really been apparent with  Cassell  has been his calmness when placed under pressure.  There’ve been those who are of the opinion that the team can prosper without  Brady with  Cassell as its leader.  But I for one would beg to differ as with Brady  you  know  what you’re getting and at the same  time  he’s big  time performer on the biggest stage possible when it matters and counts the most. And that’s in the Superbowl. Until  Cassell  has  had that sort of  baptism of fire I’d say just let’s  see  what the young player  can do  for the team now. If nothing else  we know that by this season’s productivity  alone he’s a good player who’ll best serve the franchise well into the future  should he see  fit  to wait his turn once  Brady steps down. Or at  very best  he could  step out  of Brady’s shadow and seek to ply his trade elsewhere  as a free agent.


Moss' attempt to run a slant route is defended by the Raiders' Nnamdi Asomugha

In stride Randy Moss of  the New England Patriots gets ready to run a slant  route  as the Raiders’  Nnamdi Asomugha looks to defend the player. picture appears courtesy of  getty images/ Jed Jacobsohn  …………………


The main goal of the team  has to be  making  the playoffs  and then to acquit  themselves well  from thereon in.  It’d be naive to think of them as  being the favorites to win it  all. As it is now they’re  no more than an outsider  looking  in  on the race as it now stands. But  merely  from  their experience  we all  know what this team is  certainly capable of.  And  if they happen to find themselves in the right set of circumstances  who knows what can eventually  happen ? If they are susceptible at  present  it’s certainly  from the fact  that their  run  offense  hasn’t been consistent  enough.  Defensively  too  they’ve  not  been their usually stellar self,  especially  in the  areas  of  the  run.  That being said as  alluded to  before  merely  because  of  the  experience  of the  team  and that  of Belicheck’s prowess this team is capable of pulling  off the  upset. We know the  capabilities of the  Titans, Steelers, Colts  and  Broncos.  But how  many of these teams other than  the Colts and Steelers  really  have that  postseason experience  to  acquit themselves well ? Other  than the two latter mentioned along with the Patriots  the pickings  there aren’t all that great as to the playoff contenders.



Patriots' running back Sammy Morris(34) evades the attempted tackle by  the Raiders' Luke Lawton(44)
Patriots' running back Sammy Morris(34) evades the attempted tackle by the Raiders' Luke Lawton(44)

Patriots’ running back Sammy Morris (34) evades the  attempted tackle of the Raiders’ Luke Lawton(44) as he gains some  yardage in an NFL game  played in the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum  in Oakland, Ca.  The  Patriots would go on to defeat the Raiders  49-26  to sit  atop of the AFC East division  in a three way tie amongst the Miami Dolphins , New York and themselves. picture appears courtesy of getty images/Jed Jacobsohn …………..



So now as the season winds down it’ll be interesting to see how this team fares. If than for nothing else  we’ll learn  if they can survive without  Tom Brady.  And at  the same time we’ll see whether or  not there are leaders  on the team other than the likes  of  Rodney Harrison, Tedy Bruschi, Randy Moss and Mike Vrabel. All  stalwarts on the team but  now they’re also having to  teach and  lead by example.   The coaching  staff itself will also  have  to step  up to the plate  and  show that they too are  not to be found wanting.  But most of all the fans  will have to be behind the team all the way with their  support and it has to  more  vocal  than  ever.  A team lives  and  dies  by its  play on the field  but if anything they  do play a hell of  a lot better when they  know that their  fans are  truly behind them  100%  of the way.  










tophatal ……………………………………

3 thoughts on “All Is Not Lost It’s Still Business As Usual For The Pats ……….

  1. Great writing, how did you get your pictures in there. I am pulling for the Jets, long time Packers fan, but would love to see the Jets go and win, since its been since Jan 12th, 1967, Superbowl III. It would be awesome. But depending on who, I always go for the underdog… If I like the underdog.

    I’ve seen the Raiders win one SuperBowl, and they were close a few years ago. But to their demise, the Bucs. I’ve watched the 49ers win three in the 80’s. The Patiots, the Giants, The Steelers, and so many others. I would like to see teams win that have never won.

  2. rian
    I think that this’ll be an intriguing weekend for all the teams that’ve got playoff hopes. Make no bones about it both the Pats, Jet and Dolphins know what they’ve got to do. And I expect each of the three teams to go out there and fight for it.
    As to who’ll prevail is open to conjecture and debate at this juncture.

    As to the pictures I just go the various sport’s or paper websites and just download the content there and then that pertains to my story.
    Thanks for chimin’ in with the comments.

    tophatal ……………

  3. Well they bowed out with nothing more than a bang instead of a whimper. This off season’ll have to be one of reflection as to what might’ve been. Albeit that thety had their chances to do something fortright had they applied themselves collectively. But it was not meant to be so let’s just hope that they can learn something from this all ?

    Something for the fans and players alike to think about ?

    tophatal ………………..

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