|New season...can the Patriots go 19-0?|
by Dean Nicosia
As painful as it was losing to the lucky Giants in the Super Bowl, you still have to look back last year in wonder because for the first time in the modern era, a team, our team, went 18-0 before finally losing a very close game. That's amazing in and of itself, but it was also a legitimately good season, as this team was not just lucky or fortunate, but very good. So the question is, "will they be able to do it again"?
As this team prepares for the upcoming season in training camp, they know as well as their fans know that they are very capable of not only having a winning season, but winning the next Superbowl, and baring any unforeseen bad luck, they really will have a great shot of doing just that.
You could spend hours talking and thinking about how and why the Patriots of 2007 lost the Super Bowl to the Giants, believe me I had nightmares about just that thing. The Giants had a better game plan and were pumped up for the game...The Patriots were worn out and due to lose one of those close games to a bad bounce (or great catch)...Brady was injured...bad calls...and on and on. But whatever the reason, it was still a close game that could have just as easy gone our way.
I think you have to be more than just fortunate and well coached to have an undefeated regular season, you have to be a very good team. In the age of free-agency and 16 game seasons, nobody has done it until the 2007 Patriots. And there's been some great teams in this era, including some recent Patriots teams that won the Super Bowl. So to have a season with no losses is not only an incredible feat but also a sign of an incredible team.
Well that 2007 team is back with very few major losses on defense and none on offense. It's almost the same team, with the same QB and the same coaching staff. By all rights, this should also be an incredible team, in an easy division. (no I'm not shaking now that the "Crop Dusters" have Favre)
So it's a fair question to raise, "Can the Patriots have the same sort of season as last season?"
I think while they may not go undefeated, it will be a great season, and maybe losing one in the regular season will propel them all the way to a Superbowl win.
At least that is my hope as a fan, and the desires of the team and coaches. Because winning never gets old, and losing is so painful that you never want to go back to those ways. This team had one of the best seasons ever in the NFL, which is the sign of a great team. But this team lost the most important game in a Season, which is the last one, the Super Bowl. And that makes that great season not so great, and leaves a bad taste in everyone's mouth.
What you have here is a great team who knows how to win, yet a team who failed to meet their stated goal of winning the Superbowl. That leaves them very unsatisfied and ready to put last season behind them and improve.
That's a very good mix, a team with all of the talent and ability to do the job, but even more important, all of the hunger and desire.
So lets sit back and watch greatness at work, and see if they can do it this year. Fasten your seatbelts, and put on your helmets, it's time for the 2008 football season Patriots fans!!