NFL Week 05 Review

Maybe this is just me playing the part of the eternal optimist again, but for me this season feels more like 2003 than it feels like 2002. I know that the prevailing wisdom is that, like the 02 campaign, we have a stellar offense and no defense, and that this will eventually lead to our undoing. Bob Neumeier is certainly in that camp, comparing, on Sunday’s Fifth Quarter, the Pats defensive woes with the pitching problems faced by this year’s Sox team, saying that the only way they’re going to win is by outscoring everybody.

But—and again, maybe this is just me drinking the Kool-Aid—I really see this more as a situation where the Patriots are still trying to find themselves. This is more like 2003, when we were annihilated by the Bills in the wake of the Lawyer Milloy debacle, and then caught with our pants down in the Redskins game just a couple of weeks later. After getting our asses kicked twice, we got our shit together and we played like champions again.

It doesn’t help that the schedule-makers have done all they can do to make sure that the Pats fail this year, frontloading their schedule with the top teams from last year. And it doesn’t help that, just when they were about to forge that long sought-after identity, they lose one of their most important players in Rodney Harrison. But give them time, let them get to the bye week with another win, and I think you’re going to see a different Patriots team on the flip side.

My Adopted Teams

Arizona played a surprisingly competitive game against the Carolina Panthers, New Orleans was shellacked by a Green Bay team that finally decided they’d had enough, and how ‘bout dem Cowboys? Are the ‘Boys for real this year, or what? They spanked the boys from the Illadelph, 33-10. Who would have thought that if you protect Drew Bledsoe, if you give the dude some time, that he’d still be able to play? Hmm… Maybe if Buffalo had surrounded him with a halfway decent o-line we wouldn’t have been wondering what had happened to Drew for the past two years.

The Rest of the League

What’s really exciting about the NFL this season is that the old axiom really is proving true: on any given Sunday, anyone really can win. I’ve been doing horribly with my picks each week, and this is with games that look like they’re easy picks. I am amazed each week at the upsets we’re seeing, at the unpredictability of it all. I really am ready for some football.