We’re only one game in, but let’s take a look at the reasons why The New England Patriots will win Super Bowl XLIII and see how we stand:
- The team has something to prove, again.
- Belichick will have to return to his roots and coach a simple but solid game-plan.
- The games will be closer, the crowd will be livelier.
- Everyone will try even harder.
- They will lose regular season games.
- Matt Cassel will have a relatively easy schedule to ease himself into the starting role.
I’ll let Rodney Harrison answer this one [via ESPN.com]:
To come in here, to this hostile environment, and win when everyone picked you to lose, is great,
Experts, media and even some fans doubting the team can do it without Tom Brady serves as a huge motivator for this group, who take any sleight, perceived or not, and turn it into a war.
Now, I did not watch the game. OK, I lied, I watched one play (first play I’ve seen this year), which was the sole Jets touchdown, after which I promptly turned off the TV (not due to disgust, but due to the odd correlation between how many plays I saw and how many touchdowns the Jets scored, which again was 1 to 1) and checked the score every now and then via ESPN.com.
Still, judging from the box score and from what I’ve heard from people who did see the game, Bill has returned to his formula from the 2001-02 season and is calling a simple, fundamentally sound football game. Screen passes, screen passes, screen passes and short ins, outs, and slants that pick up a few yards consistently are crucial to any offense, especially one with a new quarterback.
Well, it was an away game but the game certainly was closer.
Again, I did not watch the game so I can’t really comment here. Instead, here’s a quotation from Jets safety Kerry Rhodes [also via ESPN.com]:
They kept it simple…They didn’t want [Cassel] to lose the game, so they did a lot of screens and safe passes. They tried to keep it safe for him.
Note the emphasis on everyone around Cassel playing well so that he did not have to perform any heroics.
OK, so it’s only been one game so we can’t really judge this prediction but they will lose, especially as I keep jinxing myself by writing these post game analysis instead of keeping my mouth shut!
Well, their first two opponents are now a combined 1-3 and their next three opponents are a combined 1-5. Obviously they’re not playing the best of the league at the start of this season.
So far so good. The media acted shocked that the Patriots could win without Brady while Belichick reminded everyone how we won our first Super Bowl, with solid defense and basic, sound offense.