Photo credit: Keith Allison
Author: Joey Carr
This should come as no surprise, but the NFL’s offseason punching bag is outshining the rest of the league. The moment Judge Richard Berman overturned the 4 game suspension handed down to Tom Brady, I think everyone knew what was on the horizon: A Revenge Tour. However, it’s safe to say no one expected this kind of offensive and defensive explosion from the New England Patriots. The start to the season is reminiscent of 2007, where New England crushed every team in their path until David Tyree made the catch that will live in infamy in the hearts of the Foxboro Faithful. So far in 2015, Bill Belichick and the Pats have manhandled two high caliber AFC teams in Pittsburgh and Buffalo, who both were considered some of the Patriots top competition for this year, and embarrassed Jacksonville by 34 points. The rest of the NFL, with the exception of maybe Green Bay, doesn’t compare to New England this year, and they should expect to keep on chasing the Pats all the way to Santa Clara, where they will try to make sure this Revenge Tour ends the right way, and 2007 doesn’t repeat itself.
Approaching the first game of the season, people didn’t know what exactly to expect from Tom Brady and the Patriots. They were facing a strong and dangerous opponent in the Pittsburgh Steelers and had just undergone one of the more mentally trying off-seasons in recent history. Sure, many thought Tom Terrific would come out more terrific than ever due to being vindicated from Goodell, but there was always the frantic worry that Deflategate would take it’s toll on the future Hall of Famer. However, in true Patriots fashion, any doubt they may have had was set to rest completely by the end of the first half. Brady came out with fire in his eyes and a chip on his shoulder and the rest of the team followed suit, as they overpowered Big Ben and the Steelers. The tone set that night is the tone the Pats have been humming to all season long, and there is no expectation that that humming will be stopping anytime soon. The defense has been wobbly at times, but they have remained consistent enough to allow the offense to demolish the opposing defense. The Bills had no answer for Gronk and Julian Edelman as they combined for 210 receiving yards and the Jaguars had no answer for the Patriots offense as a whole, as they scored on every possession with the exception of the kneel down at the end of the game. They’ve dropped consecutive 40-point games, one of them against supposedly the best defense in the league in the Bills. In fact, the only time they’ve really been in danger of losing was when Buffalo stormed back from 17 down and could’ve tied the game on the final drive if not for cornerback Logan Ryan picking off Tyrod Taylor. Not a whole lot of other teams in the league can say that.
The only other team that could be considered in this conversation would be the Green Bay Packers. Aaron Rodgers is kind of on his own Revenge Tour due to the devastating loss he and the Pack suffered in the NFC Championship game. With the exception of a close game in week 1 against Chicago, the Pack have been on a tear. Rodgers is having another MVP type season and the defense hasn’t looked as bad as they were projected to be. The only reason the Patriots have been more
impressive is because one, they’ve been better offensively and defensively as a whole, and two, have had more impressive victories. And, yes, one could say that Green Bay has played Seattle and Kansas City, but the Seahawks have looked awful to start the year and the Chiefs have one of the worst offenses in the league. Also, they were at Lambeau for both of those games. The Patriots played an explosive Steelers team, beat a Buffalo squad that would’ve given an arm and a leg to beat them, and scored on every offensive possession against the Jags. I’m not saying it’s a landslide in terms of which team has been superior between Green Bay and New England, but in the end, the Defending Champs are the most impressive team through the first 3 weeks of the season.
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