You’re gonna hear a lot of naysayers this week.
“Hoo boy, if they can barely beat the Bills; they ain’t doin’ nothin’ this year!”
To that, I say ‘poppycock.’
I apologize for the language, but that’s how strongly I feel about the Pats this season. This is a team that could do Something Special.
Week One is always ridiculous. Teams win that shouldn’t. There are always 20 more close games than you predicted, which is crazy because they only play 16 games. People go 6-10 in their spread predictions and bookies threaten to chop their feet off.
That incredibly inept play by Leodis McKelvin, where he chose not to take a knee in the end zone and let his team run the clock out for the win? That kind of stuff only happens to teams that are about to do Something Special.
Brandon Meriweather’s vicious swipe, Pierre Woods coming in to finally free the ball loose, and Stephen Gostkowski – the greatest kicker in all the land – coming in to land on the ball? That kind of stuff only happens to teams that are about to do Something Special.
The embattled (embattled, I say!) Tom Brady connecting with tight end Benjamin Watson twice in the final two minutes to cut it close and then go ahead for good? That kind of stuff only happens to teams that are about to do Something Special.
Somebody must have whispered in Leodis McKelvin’s ear. “Run, Leodis! Run!” There were plenty of Patriots ghosts in attendance, what with the all-time Patriots 50th anniversary team in Gillette. Whoever it was, some bright idea got in Leodis’ head that he could run that ball out and put his team in good position to run out the clock. But Brandon, Pierre and Stephen had other things in mind.
A come-from-behind Patriots victory wasn’t exactly the sure thing it’s been in years past. There were inklings throughout that this game just didn’t look to be New England’s. Trent Edwards and the Bills were no-huddling like the Nineties Bills of Super Bowl losses past. Wes Welker wasn’t Wes Welkering properly. Fred Jackson was making Marshawn Lynch sweat on the sidelines. Jerod Mayo got hurt (bites knuckle to bone). Aaron Schobel was the best defensive player in the stadium (seriously). Vince Wilfork’s chest was heaving like he just found out they opened a Sizzler in his neighbor’s yard.
But in the end, that old New England magic struck down on Buffalo like it always seems to do when Something Special is about to happen.
I’m not necessarily guaranteeing our fifth Super Bowl appearance in nine years. We’ve still got 18 to 19 games left to play. I’m just saying, from how Monday night ended, Something Special could happen this year.