The Glass is Half Full Thread - Searching for Positive Vibes

BigSoxFan

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Clearly, we're all annoyed at the last 2 weeks and rightfully so. The team had a major meltdown that cost a win and potentially the 2 seed and a series of meltdowns that prevented them from beating Pittsburgh. So, 14 games in, what are the positives from this season? I'll get it started but this certainly won't be an exhaustive list:

1) Brady - He's 41 and still playing QB at a high level. May not be GOAT level anymore but he's still very good and certainly capable of leading the team to another SB. It's not fair to him that we basically need him to be perfect and certainly not his fault. Can he be better in some areas? Sure. But on the list of problems with the team, he's not even a footnote.

2) Secondary - They are getting absolutely no help from the front 7 but are still holding their own. Gilmore has probably been the best big $ FA signing of Belichick's tenure (if you count Rodney in that group, then I put Gilmore at #2). The safeties are still out there making plays and have come up with some key INTs. The young corners are showing promise.

3) Gordon - Yesterday's no show aside, he has been an impact WR and has far exceeded any realistic expectations of him when the team traded for him. There is going to be a Josh Gordon playoff moment in January. I am confident of this.

4) RBs - James White has had a great season and seems to be on a pitch count last few weeks. When James White is doing James White things, the Patriots offense is very tough to stop. He looks to be a little banged up, which explains the Burkhead use (even if I don't like it because I love watching White so much). Michel has had a solid first season and I think he, too, is banged up. Just not seeing the same explosion out of him that we saw last year for Georgia. But, for the most part, he's run hard and has been effective when he has decent blocking.

5) Gostkowski - Last week was tough but it's his only XP miss of the season and he's only missed 2 FGs under 50 yards all season. He's been a steady and reliable K once again. Pretty crazy that he's played 3 more seasons for the Patriots than Vinatieri.

6) Patterson - Has already contributed to the team more than I expected and picking up the RB slack was big when both Michel and Burkhead were out. This is another guy who I think is going to make a memorable play in the postseason.

7) Brian Flores - It hasn't been pretty all season but after 14 games, the Patriots ranked 13th in PPG against and are like 10 points away over the course of the season from a top 10 PPG. Take away the dumb lateral play and they're basically there. Given the lack of talent on the front 7, I think it's a noteworthy accomplishment. Patricia is sitting at 18th right now.
 

CantKeepmedown

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There's no dominant team in the AFC. The Chargers are the flavor of the week, but they are beatable. KC has come back down to earth a bit. The Pats have as good a chance as anyone. And while I don't think any team would necessarily be scared to play them, I can't see any team (maybe other than the Ravens) really relishing the idea of playing the Pats in January.
 

Mooch

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I'd list Van Noy as a positive. Leads the team in tackles and has been a solid situational pass-rusher/blitzer. He's played well all year.
 

RedOctober3829

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The offensive line has been really good this year. Yesterday's penalty fest aside, I've been very happy with this group. Trent Brown has been better than expected while the interior of Thuney-Andrews-Mason has been great.
 

E5 Yaz

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You can make the case that this two-loss "spiral" is the result of a once-in-a-blue-moon lateral play, and an outlier 14 penalties performance
 

DrewDawg

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You can make the case that this two-loss "spiral" is the result of a once-in-a-blue-moon lateral play, and an outlier 14 penalties performance
Three plays, one of which was an all-time fluke, from 11-3 and *if* they had been made we'd be talking about exorcising the Miami curse ("It doesn't matter HOW we looked, we never beat them there!") and beating the Steelers on the road and all would be well, and we'd only have to go 1-1 at home against the Bills and Jets to get a bye.

That's how thin the line is in the NFL.
 

E5 Yaz

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Three plays, one of which was an all-time fluke, from 11-3 and *if* they had been made we'd be talking about exorcising the Miami curse ("It doesn't matter HOW we looked, we never beat them there!") and beating the Steelers on the road and all would be well, and we'd only have to go 1-1 at home against the Bills and Jets to get a bye.

That's how thin the line is in the NFL.
Take your half-empty depression out of here
 

DrewDawg

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Take your half-empty depression out of here
Actually, I meant it the other way. One play in Miami, and 2 plays yesterday (and there were like 4 plays that you could swap in for one of those 2 plays--the hold on the last drive, the INT, the DPI calls, etc.) and we're golden.

SSS.

Pats win out, get a bye, and we have threads in here in late Jan/Feb talking about "it took a long time, but it FINALLY all came together".
 

dynomite

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I’m youngish (compared to some of you geezers!) but I’m still old enough to remember year after year of Keystone Cops teams getting humiliated and finishing 5-11, or talented teams limping to an 8-8 or 9-7 record and spending the winter golfing (or tearing their ACL playing beach flag football). I know it’s a cliche at this point... but this franchise used to suck and rooting for the Patriots was rarely much fun. Scott freaking Zolak started a playoff game for us at QB.

This team is likely to finish 11-5. They have a legitimate shot at a bye and would probably be competitive against every team in the League in a playoff game. I just can’t get too upset about that.
 

SMU_Sox

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JC Jackson and Gilmore have been really good of late. Gilmore has always been good but JC Jackson is coming into his own. Having 2 good to great corners is helpful.
 

Super Nomario

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It is amazing: if you look through the recent history of the league, many champions struggled in a late-season stretch. Going into the playoffs on a high note is highly overrated:

2005 Steelers: lost 3 in a row weeks 11-13
2006 Colts: started 9-0, went 3-4 down the stretch (including a 44-17 loss @ JAX)
2007 Giants: started 6-2, went 4-4 down the stretch (with three of those losses by multiple scores)
2009 Saints: started 13-0, closed the season losing three straight (though they had already clinched the #1 seed)
2010 Packers: lost 3 of 4 at the same point of the season we're at now
2011 Giants: lost 4 in a row and 5 of 6 after starting 6-2. Lost four games by double digits and were outscored on the year
2012 Ravens: lost 4 of their last 5 including a streak of three in a row. Lost 34-17 at home vs Broncos and beat them on the road in the playoffs
2013 Seahawks: started 11-1 and went 2-2 down the stretch
2015 Broncos: we remember the Patriots' collapse that season but Denver also struggled late, losing back-to-back games twice in their last 9 games
2017 Eagles: after starting 11-1, lost 2 of their last 5, scoring 10 points or fewer in both losses

Pats have only won from a 1 or 2 seed and after closing the season well, but plenty of other teams have struggled late and put it together in the playoffs.
 

tims4wins

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It is amazing: if you look through the recent history of the league, many champions struggled in a late-season stretch. Going into the playoffs on a high note is highly overrated:

2005 Steelers: lost 3 in a row weeks 11-13
2006 Colts: started 9-0, went 3-4 down the stretch (including a 44-17 loss @ JAX)
2007 Giants: started 6-2, went 4-4 down the stretch (with three of those losses by multiple scores)
2009 Saints: started 13-0, closed the season losing three straight (though they had already clinched the #1 seed)
2010 Packers: lost 3 of 4 at the same point of the season we're at now
2011 Giants: lost 4 in a row and 5 of 6 after starting 6-2. Lost four games by double digits and were outscored on the year
2012 Ravens: lost 4 of their last 5 including a streak of three in a row. Lost 34-17 at home vs Broncos and beat them on the road in the playoffs
2013 Seahawks: started 11-1 and went 2-2 down the stretch
2015 Broncos: we remember the Patriots' collapse that season but Denver also struggled late, losing back-to-back games twice in their last 9 games
2017 Eagles: after starting 11-1, lost 2 of their last 5, scoring 10 points or fewer in both losses

Pats have only won from a 1 or 2 seed and after closing the season well, but plenty of other teams have struggled late and put it together in the playoffs.
Yeah I almost posted similar. Almost every champion had an "our season is over" moment at some point. 2016 Pats lost that game to Seattle at home in which the D sucked and then we lost Gronk for the year. 2014 Pats had the KC loss of course, then also couldn't stop Rodgers in Lambeau and got semi written-off.
 

bigq

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The past two weeks have been rough. This team is still well positioned to be successful in the post season. They have to take care of business over the next two weeks and then it is on to the real football season. There are no truly dominant teams in the league this year. The Patriots have yet to put together a complete game with consistently strong performance in all three phases this season. If they get on track for the post season they have as good a chance as anyone to win it all.
 

dcmissle

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8. Time to turn this around, and lots of playoff competitors with exploitable weaknesses.

They need to string together strong, complete games, and there is no better time to start. They would be a decided dog @KC. They might get pounded on a neutral domed field by New Orleans. Then again they might not. Other than these two, everyone is probably in the pack, though LAC appear dangerous.

Three plays, one of which was an all-time fluke, from 11-3 and *if* they had been made we'd be talking about exorcising the Miami curse ("It doesn't matter HOW we looked, we never beat them there!") and beating the Steelers on the road and all would be well, and we'd only have to go 1-1 at home against the Bills and Jets to get a bye.

That's how thin the line is in the NFL.
You are what your record says you are.

9-5 with a shot at a bye is something 31 teams would probably take at season’s beginning, no questions asked.
 

DrewDawg

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You are what your record says you are.

9-5 with a shot at a bye is something 31 teams would probably take at season’s beginning, no questions asked.
I know. My point was how razor thin the line is between 9-5 and mild panic and 11-3 and feeling good.

Also this:

Patriots showing signs of decline, but who in AFC can slam shut their Super Bowl window?

Yet gleefully burying the Patriots remains foolish, and not merely because we’ve been down this road too many times – after all New England reached two Super Bowls, winning two of them, since Trent Dilfer declared “they’re not good anymore” in 2014. And Dilfer was neither the first nor the last to say such a thing.

New England is 9-5 and closes with Buffalo and the New York Jets. If it blows those games, then panic can break out in Boston. It’s far more likely they finish 11-5 and win the AFC East for the 273rd consecutive season.
 

staz

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The cradle of the game.
BB knows the game. BB likes to sandbag a little. BB doesn't like to show his cards. BB will have the team ready for the playoffs.

In BB we trust.