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pudge (1)

pudge
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Journal of pudge (1)

Sunday January 11, 2004
11:38 AM

The Best

[ #16759 ]

"I think that that team is not a very good team," said Titans guard Zach Piller. "It sickens me that we lost to them. I will not leave this stadium thinking we got beat by a better team."

The Titans lost to the Patriots in an AFC divisional playoff game, 17-14. It was the second Titans loss to the Patriots, in New England, this year. Both games were decided within a single score.

Maybe the Patriots don't have as good an offense. Maybe they don't have as good a defense. It's even possible their special teams aren't as good. But the Patriots are the better team. The standard argument applies: they won, they are therefore better.

They didn't just beat the Titans twice this year to prove they are better: they have won 13 straight games on the year, beating every team with a winning record that they've faced, including playoff teams Tennessee, Indianapolis, Philadelphia, and Denver. They won every game against a team with a winning record. They lost only twice.

The best team wins. You might have a better passing game and a better running game. You might put up a lot more yards. You might hold the other team to a lot less yards. You might be better on both sides of the ball. But you didn't win. They did. They are better. You are worse.

Only five of the Patriots' 15 wins were decided by less than one score. Only two were by more than two scores. Teams score twice in two minutes all the time: the Patriots did not dominate in all but two of their wins.

But it's like good ol' Al Davis, owner of the Raiders, says: "Just win, baby."

Two years ago, the Patriots won the least six games of the season, and every team thought they were better than the Patriots. The Patriots swept through the playoffs, beating Oakland, Pittsburgh, and St. Louis to win the Super Bowl, and each team thought they lost to an inferior team.

They were wrong, because they lost. Stats don't mean jack. Just win, baby.

The Patriots are not yet proven to be the best team in the league this season. They are the top team so far, but there is only one best team each season, and it is decided at the Super Bowl. Two games to go.

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  • Starting McNair over O'Donnell was a mistake. I could see last week that McNair's legs were totally wasted, and frankly I'm surprised Fisher started him.

    I think "toughing it out" has gone way overboard in the NFL. Hell, if you or I have a sprained ankle in one leg and a pulled hamstring in another, we're both getting around in wheelchairs, not playing football for crying out loud.

    • Starting McNair over O'Donnell was a mistake. I could see last week that McNair's legs were totally wasted, and frankly I'm surprised Fisher started him.

      I don't. McNair got them there on bum legs, and he almost won it, too. I don't think O'Donnell would have been an improvement over the great work McNair did. You think he would have been more mobile? Uh, no. :-) Passed better? Doubtful. Ran the offense better? Surely not. I just don't see an advantage to having O'Donnell in there.
    • ...beating every team with a winning record that they've faced, including playoff teams Tennessee, Indianapolis, Philadelphia, and Denver. They won every game against a team with a winning record.

    Did they beat every team with a winning record that they faced? Another question is, did they win every game against a team with a winning record?

    • They lost only twice.

    They'd better be glad that none of those teams with losing records are left to face. Statistically, they do infinitely worse against teams wit

    • They'd better be glad that none of those teams with losing records are left to face. Statistically, they do infinitely worse against teams with losing records this year!

      Tell me about it. ;-) But really, they beat up on the few losing-record teams they faced, too, once the first few games were out of the way. They've won 13 games in a row now. They won their last four games of the season at home giving up a total of 13 points. 3.25 points per game. And they scored 82 points in those games.

      Of course,