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|01-02-2008, 03:59 PM||#1|
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Don Banks - Pats Need To Step Up Level Of Play
This from Don Banks on SI.com
If the Patriots are to avoid the bitter and hollow feeling that 16-1, 17-1 or 18-1 would be, they'd better kick it up a notch, starting right now. Simply put, if they play the way they have in the season's last six weeks, they won't get it done. There will be no 19-0, which will render their perfect regular season almost meaningless.
If that sounds harsh, that's because it is. But that's also the reality of New England's situation...
It was obviously unrealistic to think New England could go on forever winning games by an average margin of 25.4 points, which it managed in the season's first 10 games. Other than the 24-20 squeaker at Indianapolis in Week 9, the Patriots never won by fewer than 17 points in the other nine games.
But over the course of their last six games, the Patriots average margin of victory has shrunk to a more modest 10.2 points, despite playing only two teams with a winning record: the Steelers and Giants. They've had three games decided by the margin of a field goal, and a sluggish 10-point win against a pesky Jets team -- in a game played in less than ideal weather conditions.
I agree with Banks. Add an aging defense + the variable of bad weather for an offense now built for a dome and there is hope.
You usually do not win Super Bowls when you peak around Halloween - I can only hope this ends very badly for the Pats. The only concession speech which I will enjoy hearing more than Belichick's is Hillary Clinton's.
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