This Patriots playoff loss shouldn’t hurt too bad
In the warped world of sports, it is better that Tom Brady and the Patriots lost this past Sunday instead of Super Bowl Sunday.
Somewhere along the line we all decided that finishing in second place is far, far worse than finishing in third or fourth place as the Patriots and Falcons just did.
This Patriots playoff loss is a lot easier to take than the some of the other recent ones. The one against the Jets two years back truly stung because it was, well, the Jets. The nail finally fought back against the hammer, all that stuff.
The first Ravens loss at Gillette three years ago hurt a lot, because it sort of seemed as if this golden era of Patriots football was coming to a quick close. Since then the Pats have rattled of seasons of 14 wins, 13 wins and 12 wins. So we were a bit off on that prediction.
The two losses to the Giants were brutal. Not because the Giants are from New York. But because they both occurred in the Super Bowl.
Because the Patriots lost Sunday instead of Feb. 3, Brady’s record still stands at 3-2 in the big game. He is still above-average on the big stage.
Joe Montana is regarded by most as the best quarterback of all-time, mainly because he was a perfect 4-0 in the Super Bowl. But what happened to Joe Cool’s clutch gene from 1985-87, when he pulled a Peyton Manning and went one-and-done three years in a row?
Brady has never endured such a brutal three-year postseason stretch, and yet he will always be viewed as “less clutch” than Montana.
Now is as good a time as ever for just a little perspective. There are fan bases out there that would kill for just an 8-8 season. The Patriots haven’t posted a below-.500 season in 13 years. The hail storm of double-digit win seasons won’t end until Brady decides that Brazil is a better place to be than Foxboro in January or until Belichick decides that you can have fun in Nantucket during the winter as well as the summer.
Yeah, this latest playoff loss will take a while to come to grips with, as they all do. But Patriots fans should never, ever, stop relishing this era under Brady and Bill Belichick. No franchise in the NFL can absolutely say for certain that they will be in the playoffs next January. That goes for the AFC champion Ravens and the NFC champion 49ers. Still, is there one reason to believe that the Patriots won’t be good for at least 11 wins next year?
Life as a Patriots fan is pretty damn good, you’ve still got to admit.