One of the more surreal moments I can recall...review still ongoing, both teams and coaches doing the midfield walk, handshakes...
I am watching a lot of negativity toward the Pats on national tv right now. Yes, they struggled. But I thnk there is some value in finally winning one close after so many collapses.
Oh, and Tony, the Pats Lost in ugly fashion last week, the Jets won by 30. Most people who aren't talking heads knew this would be a game. Always is with these two.
It follows the narrative, especially when in the next breath - with a different game - they'll talk about how X team (who fits X profile to them) won a 'tough divisional game', and, after all, those games are always tough. I didn't hear a word about the Giants almost losing to Washington, or how it revealed something about them - coming off their big win vs SF - that reflects on their team poorly or should result in an adjustment of expectations for them.
In other words, I couldn't give a shit what Tony Dungy says about the Patriots. And they will continue to not get credit for any close games they win, and destroyed for their 'lack of killer instinct' in close games they lose. Get used to it. Of course, their problems - and there are many - persist independent of the final outcome of these games, I would argue, but if you're going to beat a particular drum (the 'killer instinct'/do they get it done one), then be fair about it. Don't chalk up close wins as being the result of luck or complete ineptitude by the other side, and close losses as revealing horrible deficiencies and a lack of character or something, and expect to be taken seriously. Let's see some consistency. After all, if the Pats were like 6-1 (i.e., Ghost hit that kick and something broke their way vs SEA or BAL), would people feel all that much better about the current state of the team? No, I doubt it. Their problems would be the same, and close games will continue to be decided by a combination of luck and one team making 1-2 more timely plays than the other.
This was as far from a satisfying victory at it gets, but it was a division win. They held serve. No one's happy with how they're playing, to say the least, but I'm never going to feel badly about a divisional win in the NFL. And the hot air by the talking heads is just that - Dungy is an annoying motherfucker, but whatever, he bullshits for 20-30 minutes a week on TV. On a certain level, the league is about survival, especially at this point in the season. We all know that if multiple things don't improve (pass rush, CB/S play, 'explosion' (20+ yarders) plays allowed, red zone offense, the 4 minute drill on offense, time management), they will beat no one come January (because the contenders absolutely will improve in many areas by that point in time, you can't afford to stay in stasis or regress). But I'll be happy with 4-3 instead of 3-4, and I'll also be happy to give credit to a defense we all - myself included - shit on weekly for stoning an opponent to clinch a victory.