You know the saying, “when the going gets tough, the tough get going”? Well you might as well write that on the Pats locker room message board, stitch it on the back of their jerseys and have a blimp carry the message over Gillette. That is now the official slogan of the Pats. The going has
certainly gotten tough. The good news? The Pats are pretty damn tough.
Sunday’s game was a hard one to watch unfold. The first quarter looked great and the second quarter wasn’t even too bad. Watching Gostkowski shank the field goal attempt and leave it tied going into the second half should have been a sign. One of the announcers stated that the Pats haven’t won a game this season when they haven’t been winning at the half. I refused to believe- I was feeling pretty good.
You know the rest. Interceptions, fumbles and dropped balls. I continued to believe when Slater fumbled. I continued to believe the first and second time the ball was stripped out of Cassel’s throwing arm. Once‚ Troy Polamalu put the proverbial nail in the coffin, I left the room.
The game was a must win. But we didn’t win it and that is when as a football fan you put your rational hat on and realize what could come. Pats fans haven’t had to do this in years, but they now have to face the facts: we may make the playoffs, but we may not.
The Pats have played all but one of their six divisional games. They only have Buffalo left. The rest of the division still has two games to mix up the standings. The AFC East is close. One divisional game could change the standings. What the Pats need are Miami and Buffalo to show up when they play the team to beat, the Jets. If they win, they only put the Pats in a better position.
Well there is a positive. Here is a negative. The Pats play the best team of all of the teams left to play, playing Arizona in week 15. Buffalo plays Denver in the same week, but look at the Jets schedule: San Fran, Buffalo, Seattle and Miami. It is easy to see them winning them all.
It’s been an uphill battle this year and even without the laundry list of players that are hurt including Brady, Harrison, Thomas, Maroney, there are still four games left and a great team playing them. The Pats have heart and they also have an “us against the world” mentality. Something they have had, not since Brady as many might believe, but since Belichick put on the gray hoodie.
There is also hope of a wild-card spot, but at this point in the season, when the division is winnable, that is the goal. Playoffs are a fresh start and if the Pats get there I would put good money on them. The trick is: getting there.