Simulcast on no less than four channels in New England, but all using the same crappy NFL Network feed . . . the New York Giants represented the entire NFL against the 15-0 New England Patriots last night. Just in case you somehow missed it, New England prevailed.
Completing a perfect record for the season was no walk in the park for the Pats, but they made it happen. Welker, Welker, Faulk, Welker, MOSS!, oh yeah, and even some running by Maroney. The Giants came to play, though, and made it a grind every step of the way. Manning looked as good as I have ever seen him and Brady was under pressure all night. The Giants took a 12-point lead at one point in the game, the biggest lead any team has had over the Patriots this year.
On the way to 16-0 last night, a few other records were set . . .
- Tom Brady threw the most touchdown passes in a season (50)
- Randy Moss caught the most passes for touchdowns in a season (23)
- Patriots scored more points than any team in a season (582)
During the season, the Pats outscored their opponents by a total of 315 points, which is more than several teams in the NFL scored the entire year.
Bill Belichick says, of course, that the team still needs to improve. Even if you’re not the sourpuss coach, you’d have to agree. A perfect record does not mean they’re a perfect team. During the first half of the season, the Pats completely dominated their opponents. Not true for the second half. There were some real nail-biters late in the season and the Pats defense would often be seen back-pedaling 60-70 yards before stopping the opposing offense. It seems that the rest of the NFL has figured out how to manage the imposing New England offense – not that that’s particularly difficult when 90% of the plays are passes.
The Pats will have to get through the cream of the NFL crop over the next three weeks to make it to the big game. While I like their odds, it certainly won’t be a cake-walk. I’m not a huge fan of the “perfect” season talk. 16-0 is great, but winning the Super Bowl is what it’s all about.