The NFL: New England Owns the East

(Editor's Note: With Rocky's Football Corner unusually quiet these days, guest blogger Chris Heller steps up to give his viewpoint on one division in the National Football League.)

by Chris Heller
Special to iVoryTowerz

The New England Patriots inspire nothing but anger for me. Every step of the way the team makes the right decisions, always looking like an untouchable that sits atop everyone in the National Football League (NFL). Bill Belichick and Tom Brady have led the Pats to three of the past six Super Bowl titles, and are considered first ballot Hall of Famers. But above all else, the Patriots seem to have struck a deal with the karma gods, for no bad deed goes punished for New England. No matter what off-field actions or incidents occur, they never seem to affect the team.

Writing a “Dear John” to your pregnant soon-to-be ex to jet-set around the world with a supermodel? The karmic payback for this in Foxboro is the signing of a still dominant Randy Moss, as a wide receiver and a wonderful target for Brady's laser beam passes. Some critics said Moss isn't a team player though, it'll never work. Oh really? Look, at the Patriots' undefeated record and Moss' so-far smiling face to see the results. Unless that fourth round pick New England gave up to the Oakland Raiders – 110th overall – ends up being the next Deion Sanders, this trade approaches the level of “Babe Ruth for cash” bad.

One of your veteran safeties gets busted for buying and using human growth hormone (HGH)? Let's reward you with the stingiest defense in the league so far, giving up only 226 yards per game and a measly 12 points per game. And the worst part is it's only going to get better from here on out since that safety Rodney Harrison' will be back in uniform this week.

Caught stealing signs by one of your old proteges? Well, just use that incident to your advantage by pulling the “nobody believes in us” card, as Belichick did to motivate the Pats. Personally, if the Patriots go 16-0 this year, I think Robert Kraft, the team's owner, should send out championship rings to sports writers like Don Banks, who led the pack of writers who criticized the team for cheating.

As a New York Jets fan, all of these things do nothing to help my weekly problem of cursing the gods and screaming to nobody in particular (about people I've never met). I never expect anything above mediocrity from the Jets year after year. The veteran fans who know the team have this practice down to an art form, never completely endorsing or giving up, but still hoping that This Year might actually hold importance. And why not This Year? Well, for one, the Jets have to play the Patriots twice in the American Football Conference's Eastern Division. Outside of that little problem, it seems like quarterback Chad Pennington's shoulder is held together with a MacGyver-esque contraption of dental floss, scotch tape, rainbows and dreams. And as for the league leading returner Justin Miller? Out for the season, with an injured right knee better suited for Joe Namath rather than last season's only Pro Bowler from Gang Green. Off to a 1-3 start and fresh off a loss against the Buffalo Bills (who have the league's worst ranked defense), the 2007 season doesn't look bright for the Jets.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the division standings, the Patriots have the '79 Dolphins cautious of stocking up on champagne anytime soon to celebrate yet another team failing to match or better their undefeated season. New England has posted scores of at least 30 points in each of its games, blowing the opposition out of the water (sadly, I admit, the Jets are included in this group). Tom Brady is headed for a career year in virtually every offensive statistic under the sun, and no defense seems to stand any chance of slowing him down. So you can understand how difficult it is for Jets fans like myself, to see New York's season unfolding as it is. We get to sit back every weekend and pray for the best, while Patriots fans set up pools betting when Randy Moss will catch his 20th touchdown pass for the year.

Even under all this pressure, I'll stick to my guns no matter what. I have no doubt – okay, maybe a little bit – that one day the Jets will make it back to the Super Bowl, even if we have to bring back Broadway Joe to do it. Until then, it could be worse. I mean, imagine what it's like rooting for Eli Manning?

(To see the predictions for the Week 5 NFL games, please go here.)

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liberal journal man said...

Thanks for stopping by, Rick. The Giants and Skins are close games that can probably go either way.

As for your post here, I thought the Pats should have been punished much harsher for Videogate. I think they should have forfeited the game

That said, I knew they were going to be tough to beat. They almost beat the Colts last year, in the game that really was last season's Super Bowl. When you add Randy Moss, Wes Welker, and Donte Stallowrth to a receiving corps whose best player was Jabar Gaffney, and Adalius Thomas to that defense, man, I knew it was going to be ugly.

Karma could still come to bite them, because even if they go 16-0, they could lose in the playoffs and it would all be meaningless. It just doesn't look to likely at this point.

As for the Jets, listen I know you're pain...I'm a Mets fan.

Rick Rockwell said...


Thanks for your visit and comment.

But I take no credit for this poison pen letter to the Pats. That's the work of guest blogger Chris Heller.

As for me, I cheered for the Dolphins for 30 years until Jimmy Johnson and Wayne Huizenga ruined the experience altogether.

Now, I don't cheer for anyone although sometimes I have a mild affection for the Ravens.

And as for the Mets, well, you better take that up with my pal, Jeff. He has written a few words on his glee regarding their historic collapse.

Finally, I must admit, even though I am not a fan of Eli Manning (he has been over-hyped and over-rated from the start), I do hope he is mistake free on Sunday. My line is not with the Jets. I'm with the odds makers on that one.

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