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Still Depressed by Excessive Patriot-ism

February 1st, 2018 · No Comments · NFL

I have been in the slough of despond for most of a month now.

Once the NFL’s “divisional” round of playoffs was complete, it became obvious to anyone who has been keeping track of the most basic of the league’s trends … that the New England Patriots would win yet another Super Bowl. And that is what I wrote on January 14, ahead of the conference championship games — Jacksonville at New England and Minnesota at Philadelphia.

I am even more convinced than I was then that we will get to watch the Patriots passing around the Lombardi Trophy at the end of Sunday’s game.

Which I will make a point of not staying up to watch.

It’s all good news for the Patriots.

–The slim chance that Rob Gronkowski, star tight end and Tom Brady’s go-to receiver when the game is on the line … has been cleared by the league’s concussion protocol and will play in the Super Bowl.

He had been the one player who might have been scratched, but we knew better than to hope that. The official word came down today. Gronk is cleared to play.

–Carson Wentz has not experienced a miracle recovery in the wake of his knee surgery, back in October, and the Philadelphia Eagles will continue playing with Nick Foles at quarterback.

–Bill Belichick apparently is so comfortable with the idea that the Patriots will win their sixth Super Bowl that the Pats coach was in the front row for the Minnesota Timberwolves’ home game last night. Belichick did not stay long, but that he was there at all … suggests he is confident, and maybe very confident.

–Belichick has been wearing suits. Yeah, what’s up with that. Got off the team plane in a suit … wore a suit to the NBA game. It’s like Belichick knows this is about when people will look at photographs to be hung someday in museums — or used for his Hall of Fame bust. And as much as he loves hoodies with the sleeves cut off, that really isn’t Canton-worthy attire. If he shows up in suit for Sunday’s game … look for a blowout.

–If you are one of those people who suspects the Patriots get more calls from the officials than other teams … turns out you’re right, as this Ringer piece notes. The Patriots are hard enough to beat without help from the zebras.

–I am alarmed and depressed by what has turned into the Patriots Method for winning big games. It goes something like this. 1) Stay calm as you let the other team expose all their notions about attacking your defense; by halftime you will have all you need. 2) Don’t worry about scoring early. As long as it’s not crazy bad, Belichick has the opposition right where he wants them. (See: Falcons 28, Patriots 3.) The Evil Genius will take away everything the Eagles might have done successfully in the first half, the Patriots will make zero mistakes, the opposition will leave its defense on the field for most of the second half (or even the fourth quarter) and the Patriots will score just as many points as they need to win. This is what they did to the Falcons a year ago in Super Bowl 51 and to Jacksonville two weeks ago and even to Tennessee a week before that. Remember, the Titans led 7-0 at the end of the first quarter, and from then on it was impossible to remember how they ever could have scored a touchdown.

It’s all coming up Patriots red-white-and-blue and I am in a dark place.



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