Monday, December 31

Have you grown weary...

 of my Patriots coverage? A couple more notes:

+ Peter King's whole MMQB is full of love notes to them. Stand out stat: the number of cold weather games Brady played in his record-setting season ( this page). If he played in warm weather, or a dome, like the guys he finally surpassed, like Manning and Marino and Cunningham (Vikings 98) and Warner, he would have kept up the crazy pace he was on earlier in the season. He would have obliterated all the records it took him until Saturday night to break.

+ Brian Billick is gone from Baltimore, the architect of the high-flying 98 Vikings. Yet he never had a decent offensive year in Baltimore, winning the Super Bowl with Trent Dilfer. Two conclusions: 1. He never had comparable personnel. 2. Maybe he wasn't that awesome to begin with...

+ The resurgence of the Redskins with career backup Todd Collins is crazy (like every commentator has said).

+ Don Banks has an interesting article on the remaining teams' momentum.

+ This is what I'm talking about (ibid, but second page):

New England this season was 7-0 against teams that wound up with a winning record, with six of those teams being 10-6 or better (Chargers, Colts, Cowboys, Steelers, Browns and Giants). By comparison, the 1972 Dolphins were just 2-0 against winning teams. ...

And the Patriots have now won an NFL record 19 regular-season games in a row, topping their own mark of 18 set in 2003-2004. That means that in the span of the past five regular seasons, New England has had two separate 18-game winning streaks. The Patriots are a combined 66-14 in those five regular seasons of 2003-2007.

The Patriots are already the best franchise in the history of the NFL over a five-year period, given the competition. In the free agency era. They bury the 72 Dolphins in this respect. What remains to be seen is if they can also cap it by winning through the arbitrary championship system we have set up.

+ Kurt Warner has a good season. And he probably did enjoy beating Marc Bulger yesterday. But Bulger has certainly been more consistent than Warner since replacing him. Pretty hard to fault the Rams for not sticking with Warner. How'd he get the job anyway? Took over from injured Trent Green. I like Kurt, but he hasn't been mistreated.

+ 34.5 million people watched the Saturday night game, 'the largest audience for an NFL non-playoff game in more than 12 years'. ( source) Kudos to the NFL for putting it out there for us to watch.

Okay, that's enough for now (maybe the whole week), don't you think? ;-)
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