Monday, 15 October 2007

Can the Patriots be beat?

With a great QB, an abundance of offensive and defensive talent, the worst division in football, and great coaching, the Patriots have looked unbeatable thus far. Through 6 games, their closest one was a 34-17 beating of the Cleveland Browns.

All of which begs the question... can the Patriots be beat? I'm not so sure.

As I see it, there are probably 3 games that could give them trouble (more on them in a second). Their other games are: @ Miami, Washington, @ Buffalo, Philadelphia, NY Jets, Miami, @ NY Giants. I would be beyond shocked if they lost any of those games.

Here are the other 3, ranked in how likely they are to lose these games (in my opinion).

3. AT Baltimore, December 3 - If healthy, Baltimore has a great defense which can at least slow New England down, and Willis McGahee can pound the ball to keep New England off the field. Still, the defense has struggled at times, and the offense has struggled with big plays and getting the ball into the end zone. A loss here for New England seems unlikely.

2. Pittsburgh, December 9 - The Steelers are 4-1 under new coach Mike Tomlin. Offensively, they have enough weapons to keep the Patriots offense honest, with Willie Parker, Hines Ward, Santonio Holmes, and even Najeh Davenport at the skill position. Ben Roethlisberger is getting better and better. Defensively, the Steelers are allowing under 10 PPG. This game will be in New England, which again makes a Patriots loss unlikely, but the Steelers are the team that ended New England's last long winning streak (of course, the Pats got revenge later in the year).

3. AT Indianapolis, November 4 - Obviously this is the game that seems, at least on paper, most likely to result in a loss for the Patriots. If the Patriots are the best team in the NFL (and it certainly appears that they are), there is really no doubt that the Colts are 2nd. Plus, being that the Colts are the last team to beat the Patriots, and they have Peyton Manning at QB, they will not be intimidated by New England. On a final note, the game is in Indy. That said, I think there might be just too many offensive weapons for the Patriots. But it looks to be the game of the year, and if both teams are undefeated heading into the game, it could be the most hyped game in years. I'm not really qualified enough to say this with any certainty, but if both teams are undefeated heading into this game, it could be the most hyped regular season game ever.

That said, I think the Patriots will be undefeated this year. Watching them play, barring an injury to Tim Brady (or maybe Randy Moss), I honestly believe they are too good to be beat. They seem to be on a mission, and they have the talent and coaching to accomplish it. It certainly will be fun to watch.

What are your thoughts? Will anyone beat the Patriots? Will anyone be close?