Offensively, Moss' years here are whittling down, too. He can't run 50-yard sprints all day forever.
A home run, dinger, tater, gopher ... Belichick has four chances, picks 47 and 58 to go with the aforementioned pair. He must go yard, or this team — the Vegas favorite at 5-to-2 to win the AFC and 5-to-1 to win it all — is merely the class of the AFC going into 2009, not everybody's odds-on choice.
You have to figure when the dust settles late Saturday night that the Pats will have their hot, ball-hawking assassin at linebacker, a potential game-changing defensive back, and Moss' heir at the lead receiver spot.
Matthews Jr.'s fit here is almost too perfect. If anyone understands Matthews' intricacies, it's Belichick, who, of course, coached his dad at Cleveland.
From there, either early in the second or late in the first should the Pats feel the need, things could get spicy.
About a month ago, Belichick sent out the Pat White ripple, which the NFL media obviously took and ran with. The West Virginia quarterback/utility man might just be too long a stretch for the Pats, who've hit on one of three Round 2 receivers in Belichick's time here.
Anyone who watched Florida's Percy Harvin emaciate Oklahoma in the national championship game had to love the kid's toughness, versatility and blazing speed. Surely, Belichick has summoned old ally Urban Meyer for the inside on Harvin's reported non-football related transgressions. If the kid is a player, the Pats know it, and the silence emanating from Gillette Stadium on the subject is deafening.
Might the Pats two-step into the late first with a 34/47 package? Don't be shocked.
Harvin can't be another Jabar Gaffney or Reche Caldwell, much worse Chad Jackson — that is, yet another overblown, underproductive Florida receiver.