EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Sports

September 9, 2008

Wait 'til next year

<Caption>c_</Caption>

On Pro Football

Hector Longo

FOXBORO — Sorry folks, but without Tom Brady, I'm not buying it.

Quarterback play means everything in the National Football League and when Bernard Pollard's helmet tore through Tom Brady's planted left knee here Sunday afternoon, the Kansas City Chiefs safety shredded any chance of a championship season in New England.

The team announced yesterday the reigning NFL MVP needs season ending surgery.

The region has been spun into a state of shock. How else can you explain the wild, fanatical range of responses to the injury in the news, on sports radio and the blogosphere?

A great football team is now good, possibly even good enough to contend for supremacy in the AFC East.

But that's all. There are no title hopes here. Win the East, lose in January and Bill Belichick gets the commendation without the reigning MVP.

The reason? Simple, ordinary talent.

Take the quarterback, be it Matt Cassel, Kevin O'Connell, Chris Simms or whoever, out of the equation. New England's roster is nothing more than solid.

This is not a 2003, 2004 or even 2007 Patriots kind of roster, mainly because of the defense.

New England combined to go 44-4 in those three seasons. Even with a healthy Brady, this was not destined to be one of those overwhelming seasons. At least, a 14-2 in 2008, with the league's easiest slate, wouldn't have meant as much.

How far has the defense fallen?

It barely survived the Kansas City Chiefs!

The Chiefs netted 4.6 yards a snap and were the fourth of four Dwayne Bowe drops away from overtime | at hostile Gillette Stadium.

Bend-but-don't-break was fine when Brady was the Cinderella kid in 2001. It was even more palatable a year ago when Brady and Randy Moss authored their own chapter in the NFL record book.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Sports

Local Sports Videos
Sports Videos
Pitch Invading Morons Cause Chaos - @TheBuzzeronFOX Tiger Woods: 1 on 1 3 Questions with Gary Payton: Kevin Love, Andrew Wiggins and Derrick Rose Players Only: Marcus Mariota's Course Load at Oregon How We Almost Got Johnny Cowboy Donald Sterling Loses The Clippers For Good - @TheBuzzeronFox Franklin talks leaving Vandy Staten Island Man's Emotional Dunk Over NYPD Car - @TheBuzzeronFOX Michael Jordan OK With LeBron James Wearing No. 23? - @TheBuzzeronFox The Cornhuskers have gone...Loco? McNabb: Two games is not acceptable for me Ortiz, Price Feud Is Upsetting To Children - @TheBuzzeronFOX MLB Trade Deadline Talk: Price, Stanton, Kemp Tony Romo will be a full-go for camp Teammate's Advice For Johnny Manziel & Josh Gordon - @TheBuzzeronFox Helfrich praises Mariota's commitment to improve Hillary Clinton Blamed Bill's Affair With Monica Lewinsky On Abuse He Suffered As A Child Diamond Stone, Malik Newman, Josh Jackson and others showcase talent First impressions of Giants' new up-tempo offense Athletic Gaines: Where LeSean McCoy, Kenjon Barner, and more prepare for NFL season
Boston Sports
A's Acquire Lester, Gomes For Cespedes Red Sox Fans React To Jon Lester Rumors Red Sox Fans Sad About Prospect Of Possible Jon Lester Trade Pitch Invading Morons Cause Chaos - @TheBuzzeronFOX Pedroia on Lester: ‘It would be tough to see him in another uniform’ Farrell announces Workman will start in place of Lester Gasper vs Tanguay: Is Lester to blame for current situation? Mike Carp speaks out on wanting to leave the Red Sox Shaughnessy: Sox fans deserve to be mad if Sox trade Lester Ty Law: Revis may get Pats ‘over hump’ Ortiz fires back at Tampa Bay Ray’s Chris Archer Curran Camp Observations: Pats Veteran Defensive players excited to be back together 3 Questions with Gary Payton: Kevin Love, Andrew Wiggins and Derrick Rose Players Only: Marcus Mariota's Course Load at Oregon How We Almost Got Johnny Cowboy Donald Sterling Loses The Clippers For Good - @TheBuzzeronFox Franklin talks leaving Vandy Staten Island Man's Emotional Dunk Over NYPD Car - @TheBuzzeronFOX Michael Jordan OK With LeBron James Wearing No. 23? - @TheBuzzeronFox The Cornhuskers have gone...Loco?