Paul Oberjuerge header image 2

NFL Misery: Patriots a Lock in Super Bowl

January 14th, 2018 · No Comments · Football, NFL

I was sick and bloody tired of the spying, football-deflating New England Patriots 10 years ago, when the Helmet Catch and Eli Manning saved us from a 19-0 season by Dark Lord Belichick’s minions.

I danced a jig when that one ended 17-14 to the Giants, in Glendale, Ariz., and everyone in the working press room laughed. (I made that up. I maybe did a first pump, then got back to work, in a fine frame of mind.)

Since that close call? The New England Patriots have won two more Super Bowls, taking their total to five, all in this century, leaving them one in arrears only of the Pittsburgh Steelers, and their six championships, at the top of the Super Bowl roll call.

And now? The Patriots seem to me an easy call to win Super Bowl 52 on February 5 — even if they do have a game to win before they get there.

I have no hope for the other three teams still competing; the last glimmers of that were extinguished this weekend.

Anyone who watched the four games pretty much has to feel the same way, about the historical inevitability of the Patriots as champions again.


–The two-hour stretch when the Patriots outscored the Tennessee Titans 35-0, methodically dissecting the visitors, doing what Belichick teams do — neutering the opposition’s best weapons and playing nearly errorless football.

–The top seed from the other conference, the Philadelphia Eagles, might have had a chance versus the Patriots, but that dream turned to ash when Carson Wentz’s knee came apart during the Eagles’ victory over the Rams in Los Angeles last month. With Nick Foles at quarterback, the Eagles managed only 15 points against Atlanta — and they would be lucky to score that many against the Patriots’ peaking defensive 11.

And in the two games that were fun, when not considering context …

–The Jacksonville Jaguars, next up on New England’s Bum of the Month Club, travel to Massachusetts planning to start Blake Bortles at quarterback. Yes, Blake Bortles, who cannot reliably throw a football into the Pacific. Not only that, the allegedly impermeable Jacksonville defense was shot full of holes by the Pittsburgh Steelers today. It ended 45-42. Oh, yeah, and the Steelers might have been the last team in the playoffs who would beat the Patriots.

–Minnesota’s Vikings might have rated as a challenge to Belichick, but there went another defense, springing holes, giving up big plays and third-down conversions down the stretch. A fluke play as time expired allowed the Vikings to fly to Philadelphia this week for the NFC championship, but Case Keenum is beginning to look more like the former Ram Case Keenum — erratic and prone to bad decisions when throwing the ball. Minnesota would get to play in its home stadium, if it can defeat the Eagles, but not even that would be enough to save them from Belichick deconstructing.

So, Patriots versus Jaguars, Tom Brady matched against Blake Bortles, Belichick against Doug Marrone, defending champions against first playoffs team in a decade. For goodness sake.

Hopeless. That is what I am. Another parade is upcoming for the most tiresome — but best — team in football.



0 responses so far ↓

  • There are no comments yet...Kick things off by filling out the form below.

Leave a Comment