January 19, 2007

Are the Pats turning the difficulty level up?

by Dan Bilicki In: Football

It’s mid-January and the NFL playoffs are in full swing so this must mean one thing: The New England Patriots are on a roll towards the Super Bowl. It seems to happen almost every year now (3 Super Bowl wins over the past 5 seasons) and quite frankly, it’s getting a bit tiring. This year it seems they’ve thrown a wrinkle into their run.

Like most young males, I enjoy playing video games; I mainly endulge in sports games, especially the Madden series. Usually when you start out, you don’t want to jump to the hardest difficulty, you start around the lower difficulties until you get your feet under you. Once you feel confident enough to move up levels, you do and the challenges get harder. You keep on moving up levels and there are more and more challenges ahead of you until you’ve ultimately mastered the game.

What was the point of that last paragraph? Well, it sums up what the Patriots are doing this year. Brady and Belichick have moved up the difficulty level this year to see if they’re still up to the challenge. It’s happened a few times but I just haven’t noticed until now.

Do you remember all of the stories about how Troy Brown is filling in defensive back because of injuries and lack of depth? That would be a challenge to work around. Losing the clutches kicker in NFL history to your rival in free agency? That would be a challenge. Resigning Brady to a massive extension, yet failing to sign a quality wide receiver for him to throw to? Another challenge (and don’t tell me that Reche Caldwell would be starting on any other playoff team. Not to mention that the Patriots are several million dollars under the salary cap this isn’t transferable to the next season.

With Belichick being crowned the genius that he is, doesn’t it seem more plausible that all these moves were calculated decisions? I think so. There’s no other reason why they wouldn’t be. Can they beat the Colts this Sunday? That remains to be seen

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