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Sports

November 22, 2007

Patriots had better brace for another snub

With six weeks left and the Patriots dominating the National Football League like no other team in history, all that is left to squabble about is the Pro Bowl.



Remember now, these are the Pats, who disregard individual honors, but always seem to use that, "we got stiffed in the Pro Bowl, too," as a rallying cry come playoff time.



Last year, the Pats had Richard Seymour voted in and Matt Light sent as a late injury replacement.



Meanwhile, the Chargers sent 10 players to the game, and that didn't include Philip Rivers, who was voted in but didn't play due to injury.



You all remember the Chargers. The Pats, only weeks earlier, had rolled into Qualcomm Stadium and knocked them out of the playoffs.



But this is a new year. The Pats are putting up 41.1 points a game and beating the opposition by 25.4 points a night.



Might as just well charter the Pats' team plane from Phoenix to Honolulu, straight from Super Bowl XLII to the Pro Bowl, right?



The answer, of course, is no.



In fact, the Pats, perfect or not, will again be stiffed this year, not out of some "spygate" reverberations or jealousy. Even unbeaten and untested, the Pats still lack star power.



If the season ended today, New England would be looking at six starters, tops.



Tom Brady - He's the AFC Offensive MVP.



Randy Moss - The runner-up to Brady.



Vince Wilfork - The torch has been passed from Casey Hampton.



Mike Vrabel - Has the smile and the 8.5 sacks.



Asante Samuel - Finally breaks through the Champ Bailey clique.



Matt Light - Indy's Tarik Glenn is retired, Cincinnati's Willie Anderson is out for the year, and Jonathan Ogden needs a little help.



Think about that for a minute. San Diego had 11 guys in the game and they certainly were not everybody's far-and-away champion.



These are the 2007 Pats, so perfect and so dominant that one on-line casino is putting out Super Bowl lines between the Pats and the NFC's possibles.



New England is a 15.5-point favorite if it faces Dallas, 17 if it takes on Green Bay, 20 against Seattle and 22.5 vs. the field.



Who will be wronged? Let's take them one at a time.



Wes Welker



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