Bill Belichick returned to Giants Stadium on Saturday to cap a perfect season and answer critics who wondered if the New England Patriots’ Super Bowl successes were tainted.

Belichick steered the Pats to a rousing 38-35 comeback win over a fired-up New York Giants team to complete a brilliant 16-0, record-setting regular season

“That was some way to finish the season today,” said Belichick, who spent a dozen years as an assistant coach with the Giants under Bill Parcells, helping to win two Super Bowls before leaving to become a head coach…

It was fun watching the game. Regulars here know I don’t watch much American football; but, I get the NFL Channel as part of my DirecTV sub. So, I got to watch the best possible telecast – no HD-Lite.

Belichick complimented the Giants (10-6) and New York coach Tom Coughlin, who was wide receivers coach during the Giants’ second Super Bowl run in 1990 when Belichick was the team’s defensive coordinator.

“It’s always special to come back here and the fact that what happened today was here, I don’t have any complaints about it, let’s put it that way.”

By and large, I have to say the Pats and coach in combo impressed me as the smartest sports team – bar none – I’ve ever watched. Not only communications from the top-down; but, the interplay on the field and on the sidelines was a cut above anything I’ve seen.

[editor’s note: Oh, please!!]

  1. keane-o says:

    Do they serve prawn sandwiches?

  2. This was the most boring season in football history. All the teams sucked so bad that it is no wonder one team went 16-0. The only possible fun will be if they lose in one of the playoff games.

  3. BubbaRay says:

    See what Don Shula had to say about this in midseason.

  4. OmarTheAlien says:

    The folks in New England raised such a fuss that Kerry and a few other high powered politicos pretty well forced the NFL to port the game to over the air broadcast venues. They were originally going to air the game on the NFL network and a very select few stations, but Kerry and company pitched such a fit, threatening anti-trust investigations, etc, that the NFL caved and released it to network TV.
    I’m one that doesn’t watch a whole lot of football, and I don’t have a Sat/Cable connection, but I wanted to watch that game. The first thing I did this morning was scour the net for kickoff time, only to doscover they played the damned game yesterday, while I was making a lot of noise in my studio.

  5. gquaglia says:

    Sorry to disagree with you John, but there are quite a few good teams going into the playoffs and its looking like anything could happen. Pats, Cowboys, Colts and Packers are all top notch teams. Redskins looked really strong today against Dallas and the Giants gave the Pats a run for their money last night as well. Playoffs could be very exiting.

  6. Thomas says:

    Don’t be too surprised if that “smartest team” nonsense goes out the window in the playoffs. We can only hope.

  7. Barry says:

    I haven’t been able to stomach the Pats since the clearly fixed (post 9/11) 2001 season. Their recent success is due to the league’s rampant mediocrity (90%) and Belichick’s win-at-all-costs tactics (10%). Pick any of the best teams of the “old” NFL…Cowboys, Steelers, 49ers, or Bears…and they would mop the floor with this sorry bunch. Hell, Doug William’s champion Redskins team would light these clowns up for 60+ points.

    Today’s NFL=FAIL

  8. Mister Catshit says:

    #3, Bubba,

    Shula’s Dolphins were a great team. One of the best in history. In my oh, so humble opinion though, the Patriots are better. Eff the “asterisk”. Just because one accepts a judgment without whimper does not mean they concede or agree with the decision. For the life of me, I still don’t understand what rule the Patriots broke that every other team has not also tried to do.

    This was a good year for football. Maybe the League Administration sucks big time. The play however was no worse than any other year. Unless you live in Northern California.

    New England had a record season. Indianapolis let injuries get in the way of an otherwise perfect season. Green Bay defied all predictions. Detroit showed that they are no longer the worst team in professional sports. Everyone was afraid of the AFC South.

    Eff the asterisk. The New England Patriots earned the right to claim they are unbeaten.


    #4, Omar,

    What the eff are you complaining about? The NFL has been trying to force the cable companies to carry the NFL Network for a substantial fee. Quite correctly, the cablecos declined as they can’t rationalize customers paying a high premium per month for just a handful of games and endless replays of long since played games.

    The politicos echoed their constituents that the NFL was abusing their position. BTW, the game was to be shown over the air in both New York and Boston. It would have been blacked out in the rest of the country except for that extremely small minority that could get Direct TV. Kerry would have had access if he wanted to watch the game.

    Maybe it is time that Congress re-evaluated all professional sports and anti-trust.

  9. Mister Catshit says:

    #5, gq,

    DAMN, you are almost right. Even though I was cheering for Washington today, clearly they have a way to go to carry the Pat’s or Colts dirty socks.

  10. BubbaRay says:

    #8, Mister Catshit, the Pats have managed to win an impressive no. of games in this, the salary-capped 32-team parity NFL. Brady is a superb QB and their front office is doing a great job. But I was just the messenger. Shula can say what he wants.

    I still think it interesting that the Pats didn’t complain much about the ruling. They cheated and got caught. I suppose there isn’t much they can say. A 1st round draft-pick isn’t cheap, though.

  11. MikeN says:

    The 72 Dolphins were overrated. They beat NO teams with winning records that year, and had one of the weakest schedules of all time. This year, the Pats’ division was weak, though Buffalo could have made the playoffs in the NFC, but they played and beat Indianapolis, a mere 14-2, San Diego, Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Dallas, Washington, and New York Giants.

  12. MikeN says:

    By the way, if you think those Redskins, Steelers, Raiders or Cowboys of yore would have beaten these Pats, you’re crazy. The best competition would have been the 90s Cowbows or 49ers. The teams you mention wouldn’t beat the current Dolphins or Jets, much less an elite team.

  13. Brian says:

    Anyone who mentions the 07 Patriots in the same breath as the all time great teams like the 85 Bears needs to be shot.

    There quality of play in the NFL is down tremendously. All one needs to do is simply look at the number of different quarterbacks who started games this year to see the level of play is down. The patriots play in a division where the Dolphins won 1 game and the jets won 3 (2 of which were against those dolphins).

  14. moss says:

    Still a chuckle from folks who believe college teams are worth equal time with pro competition:

    Like Sunday night’s Rinky-Dink Bowl starring two college teams with 6-6 records!!

  15. chuck says:

    Knicks suck.
    Rangers suck.
    Giants suck.
    Jets suck.
    Mets suck.
    Yankees suck.

    And the Dodgers suck too.

  16. Joshua says:

    #8…Mr. Catdoodoo…..your so right about the NFL trying a shake down of the cable companies. Not only have they been trying to pressure them into taking them into their programming, they want the cableco’s to put them as part of the *basic* programming, but want the cableco’s to pay them a fee as a *premier* station. Cableco’s are bulking because most basic customer’s will only accept it without a raise in basic fee’s…..if the cableco’s have to pay the NFL what they are asking for they would have to raise the basic programming fee….nd they can’t with satillitte gaining on them fast.

    The NFL, much like our goverment, is nothing more than legalized theft.

  17. Mister Catshit says:

    #16, Hey Chuck,
    bad luck
    they suck,
    right Chuck?
    awe shucks,
    Chuck sucks

  18. Carcarius says:

    I agree with #14 and a few others who mentioned that the quality of play around the league has declined considerably over the past couple of years. The Pats division was weak this year with the Jets and Fins playing poorly and running a QB carousel. In fact, there were probably more than a dozen teams running a QB carousel.

    I am probably most surprised about the Bucs who nobody has talked about all year, but they are in the playoffs at 9-7.

    The Pats do deserve some credit, but don’t start spouting off about how they are the best team ever. You really can’t compare teams today with teams in the past. You can say the Pats are the dynasty and best team of this decade, but that is it. Don’t compare them to the 80’s 49ers, 90’s Cowboys, or 70’s Steelers.

    The Pats kept Brady in for pretty much every snap to run up the score. Sure teams should do that at all times and I give the Pats credit.

    Peyton Manning could have thrown more than 50 TD’s that year if he didn’t sit out games or if Dungy and the Colts decided to run up the score on teams. They played it safe and ultimately didn’t make it to the Super Bowl as a result.

    I really hope a team who meets the Pats plays up to their abilities and is smart enough to see how the Pats turn the tides in games (Pass Interference calls, bullshit turnovers, penalties, sheer luck).

    I think the Pats could be in trouble if they meet up with the Jags.


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