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The King is Dead, Long Live the Patriots

GLENDALE, AZ - FEBRUARY 03:  Ed Lasater of Jacksonville, FL, fan of the New England Patriots shows support for his team outside the stadium prior to Super Bowl XLII against on February 3, 2008 at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona.  (Photo by Donald Miralle/Getty Images)
Donald Miralle/Getty Images
Glenn CardSenior Analyst INovember 4, 2009

The Kings of the AFC East are alive and well, the rumor of their demise has been largely fabricated. I speak of none other than the New England Patriots.

We were only five games into the 2009 season and many pundits were writing a far too premature obituary for the perennial powerhouse. It is a favorite past time for many, trying to predict the downfall of the Pats.

Here’s the funny thing though. As much as I have read about the failings and weaknesses of this 2009 team, the betting line usually holds the Patriots up as the victor in most match-ups.

It seems the bookies learned early on what the common NFL broadcasters, journalist never comprehended early in this decade. Never let the line go too far to bet against the Pats.

Now that we are half way through the season and the Patriots are firmly in control of the AFC East again, where have all the doubters gone?

Where’s the guy from last year that said the defense was too old?

Where’s the broadcaster who earlier this year said the Pats had lost all their team leadership?

What about the writer that stated that Tom Brady didn’t deserve his elite status?

Fine I’ll give them some food for fodder. The last two teams they played are teams that they should have beaten.

Oh that’s right, that’s not what they were saying about the Patriots just before the games were played. It would be a little hypocritical to reverse their statements after the fact now wouldn’t it?

No, instead we got to read about how the Patriots were running up the score on poor defenseless teams once again. Poor Titans couldn’t defend against me, a 40+ year old asthmatic, and my equally debilitated in-laws if we were playing in our annual turkey day flag football game.

The week after that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers didn’t play much better. But because we were playing in the other England’s Wembley stadium, the Patriots decidedly didn’t embarrass their opponents so severely.

Even still the Patriots traveled home without a single player being knighted. It would have seemed unseemly for the Queen to bestow such an honor on the scurrilous players of this team; though in her heart even she knows who the team to beat is.

After a bye week rest my team returns to the field this week against a division rival, the Dolphins, which has turned its season around and could give the Patriots some fits. Although, I feel that the wildcat offense will be far less effective now that the Patriots have seen it a few times.

The Patriots don’t look beyond their current opponent but this game will be more of a tune up for a couple of tougher non-divisional games against the Colts and Saints that the Patriots will face soon enough.

As the Patriots have not been playing, the detractors have been somewhat quiet and I’ve enjoyed the respite myself. Do not worry though as the critics will be out and about moments after this week’s game has ended.

We will hear again how “the King is dead, the King is dead!”, but more than likely we will hear “The King is ruthless!”

For me, it will read the same, “Long live the Patriots!”

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