Taylor McCloud — Pats Militia
First it was Mike Tomlin, and now it’s this.
Of the 4 teams left, the offense that scares you the least is _____?
Golic and Ryan Clark both say New England pic.twitter.com/xt1H5Czw4i
— Mike & Mike (@MikeAndMike) January 17, 2017
Both Ryan Clark, and Mike Golic say the offense (remaining in the playoffs) that scares them the least is that of the New England Patriots. And honestly, I don’t think that’s that egregious of a statement.
There’s an incredible amount of hype being built around the Green Bay Packers, and it’s deserved. They dropped 38 points on the New York Giants, 34 on the Cowboys, and Aaron Rodgers is playing out of his mind. They’re admittedly scary.
So are the Falcons. They finished as the best offense in the NFL. Like Rodgers, Matt Ryan has been lights out. Their run game is nearly flawless. Julio Jones is an absolute monster. They hung 36 on the Seahawks. All of that together should instill some fear.
And, the triple headed monster in Pittsburgh is scary, too. Even though they only put up 18 points on KC, and failed to score a touchdown, the talent there is undeniable. Big Ben is playoff tested. He’s certainly made his share of mistakes, but he’s been there, and he knows what to do. Le’Veon Bell is averaging like 160YD on the ground through two playoff games, and can make a legitimate case as the NFL’s best player. Likewise, Antonio Brown is in the conversation for the best receiver in football.
So sure, there’s an argument to be made for the Patriots as the least scary offense still standing. But let’s not be so quick to diminish the Patriots’ offense.
If you read my reaction blog, you know how I feel about their performance on Saturday. Sure, they could have played better, but they scored 34 points against the best defense in the NFL. Yup, that’s right, they played like shit and still hung 34 on the. best. defense. in. football. Plus, they’ve got the best quarterback in the league, Julian Edelman ALWAYS comes up big in the playoffs, and Dion Lewis has proved himself as an EXTREMELY dangerous weapon in both the run game & passing attack. I don’t know about you, but all of that seems pretty scary.
However, the actual statement made isn’t of great importance to me. Whether or not Ryan Clark and Mike Golic think the Pats’ offense isn’t what I’m here to talk about. The treatment of the Patriots by both the media, and other people in football, is.
In the weeks leading up to the NCAA National Championship game, we heard a lot of Alabama players talking about how the national media thought of them as underdogs. Obviously, that wasn’t true. Even though they lost, no one seriously doubted the ability of the Crimson Tide. Everything they’d heard about the media doubting them came from within. Nick Saban put those thoughts in his players’ heads. He created bulletin board material because there wasn’t any out there.
Now, which professional team is frequently considered the ‘Alabama’ of the NFL? That’s right, the New England Patriots. They’ve got eerily similar coaches, dominate in the same way, and are consistently the best team among their respective peers.
However, there’s a glaring difference between ‘Bama and the Pats — the media doesn’t always respect the Patriots.
Sure, a couple of guys understand just how good, and how hallowed they are. But, the majority? They jump at every opportunity to take shots at the Pats. They’re constantly looking for chinks in their armor, and when they find even the smallest one? They go for it, and they go for it HARD. I don’t know why (yes I do, everybody hates a winner), but that’s the case more often than not. And that’s the case with these 2016 New England Patriots.
All season long, despite winning fourteen games, the guys at ESPN have always managed to find a problem within the Patriots. Obviously, that’s their job, but every issue they’ve found is treated like the end of the world.
When their defense was struggling, they were going to fall off. Guess what? They didn’t. The defense came together, won the team a couple games, and finished in the top-ten in most stastical categories.
When Gronk went down, it was said they’d fall apart. Guess what? They didn’t. Since Gronk was placed on IR, the Patriots have won nine games in a row, secured both the first seed in the AFC and the best record in football, and are now playing in their sixth consecutive conference title game.
And now, when the offense is being criticized, it will respond. Even though their 34 point performance against Houston isn’t being talked about at all, this group will respond exactly how they should. Tom Brady, the most successful postseason quarterback in NFL history, will show up, and so will his teammates.
They’re already motivated enough. They’ll settle for nothing less than a championship. They don’t need bulletin board material, but everyone keeps on giving it to them. So, to whom it may concern, go ahead, keep talking your shit. Keep diminishing this Patriots’ team. It may be plausible now, but won’t be in a week, and you will eat your words.