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 [Article] Who Can Beat The Unbeatable Pats?

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BBR-Greg

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Male Number of posts : 96
Age : 43
Registration date : 2007-08-02

PostSubject: [Article] Who Can Beat The Unbeatable Pats?   Fri Dec 14, 2007 3:12 am

I don't post a lot of stuff here ... but just thought I might put this up for discussion here. Was looking ahead at possible losses for the Pats. Because I hate them. (There... I said it. Now you know my biases...) :)

I'll paste the article here, to make it easier. I posted it at BleacherReport.com.

Who Can Beat The Unbeatable Pats?

Not to put a damper on the talk of the first 19-0 team in NFL history, but I actually think that the Eagles and Ravens (and earlier the Colts) revealed that the Patriots are indeed capable of losing a game this season. Let's take a look at who can possibly step in front of this "team of destiny".

The remaining regular season schedule only poses a mild threat to the Pats being the first team to go 16-0 in the regular season. The 1972 Dolphins of course went undefeated, but they only played 14 games. The 2007 Patriots three remaining opponents are almost laughable. First they play the Jets, who you might figure will be completely destroyed by a Patriots team that is an extension of their ultra-competitive coach, Bill Bellichek, who takes games against the Jets - and former assistant Eric Mangini - very personally.

They follow up the probably easy dismantling of the Jets with an even more laughable game against the most likely 0-14 Miami Dolphins. The only intrigue here will be if the stars align and somehow Miami is able to pull off the almost unimaginable victory to preserve their legacy as the only undefeated team ever. This would be nothing short of a miracle, but it would be quite ironic. (And quite funny to non-Patriot fans...)

The Giants have a good defense, but a haphazzard offense. They don't pose much of a threat to the Pats, unless they are just tired, bored, ready to pack it in and start the playoffs. Bellicheck will not let that happen, and the way the Pats have been running up the score this year, you'd have to think they will be motivated by that never-before-attained 16th regular season win dangling in front of their noses.

Now to the playoffs. New England will have the first round bye, so they will play the lowest seed to advance. And they will play them at home. Likely this will be a wild card team. Could be Buffalo, Cleveland, even Tennessee. Any of those teams might have a chance, but will not likely win.

A more interesting match-up would be against Jacksonville. Jacksonville could very likely be 12-4 at the end of the regular season, and could easily win their first playoff round. With a very tough running game (the apparent achilles heel of the Pats this season) and a QB that does not make mistakes - plus a punishing, stingy defense... this is an intriguing match up. But, chalk this game up to the Pats as the weather will likely play a role for this team from Florida, and in the end, New England will be victorious there.

So they won't lose a regular season game, and they won't lose in the first round, even to a very good Jacksonville team... what does that leave? Two chances for an improbable loss.

Thanks to their win in Indy earlier in the season, the Colts will have to come to New England and beat the Pats to advance to another Super Bowl. Manning is definitely capable of making this happen. Harrison would figure to be back in the line up, and Addai would aslo seem to be more than capable of mounting a very good rushing attack against the Pats one weakness. This is the first good chance for any team to beat the Pats. Their perfect season could end at the hands of Peyton Manning and the defending Super Bowl champion Colts. What a game that would be!

Lastly, most folks have already penciled Dallas into the NFC slot for Super Bowl representative, but I it may not be as clear cut as that. Two teams that have given the Cowboys a challenge this year are Green Bay (even without Favre for most of the game) and Minnesota. The Vikings continue to improve and may be a very real threat in the NFC playoffs behind Adrian Peterson and Chester Taylor, as well as a very good defense. The Packers and Brett Favre are having a magical season and would match up well again with a Dallas team that despite their 12-1 record remains unproven in the post season.

Despite the AFC's apparent dominance, all three of these teams would stand a chance in the Super Bowl against New England. Dallas has a multitude of weapons at their disposal, and they are confident. Bordering on cocky, but not enough to make them lose. Green Bay has Brett Favre and a team playing at a very high level all season. They have intangibles that would give them the "intangible" edge against the Pats.

Finally, my pick to beat the Pats, if they advance to the Super Bowl, is the Minnesota Vikings. As improbable as it may sound, they match up very well against the Pats. The Patriots give up a lot of yards on the ground (Indy's supposed weakness last season) and the Vikings gain a lot of yards on the ground. A lot.

With a ground controlled game, a defense that can pressure Brady and stop any running game, the Vikings would have a chance to do what the New York Giants did to the 1990 Buffalo Bills. The Bills appeared unstoppable, but a perfect game plan and a bruising running game and defense held off the "unstoppable" Bills for a 20-19 victory.

A game pitting the 18-0 New England Patriots versus the Vikings who are 0-4 all-time in Super Bowls would be a great match up, and possibly the first loss of the season for the 2007 team of destiny, the New England Patriots.

The Patriots are good, but a few teams do have a chance to also make history as "The team that beat the 2007 Patriots." We'll see if they can pull it off.
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[Article] Who Can Beat The Unbeatable Pats?
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