PF vs. GF: Possible “Perfection” Gamer I

In this day of “win at all costs” a perfect or near-perfect regular season only gets one so far. The Seattle Mariners are now associated with a great failed season, as opposed to just a great season. So tonight the New England Patriots make an effort at attaining the first perfect regular season record in 35 years against the New Jersey York Giants and with a tremendous set of possibilities at hand: If the Patriots win, they will achieve something unprecedented, a 16-0 record. But they will also be staring at a big “so what?!” if they fail to win 19. That’s a tough burden, possibly unfair but understandable nonetheless, such is the value sports fans place on winning championships above everything else. For us, a perfect regular season would be a truly masterful accomplishment regardless of the follow-through.

Though this is a baseball site, we often delve into competitions not involving the longball, and tonight’s possible history is a nice diversion. Discuss the game here, if you are paying attention – we know at least two authors here will be…

36 comments… add one

  • Well let it be known that I am one of the fans that Brandon Jacobs has a problem with. I sold my tickets 2 months ago for tonight’s game. Reason for selling them I thought December 29th would bring us AWFUL weather. Well much to my dismay it’s 50 degrees and sunny here in NJ. Either way it works out best, I have had enough of New England teams celebrating on our home field to last a lifetime.

    John - YF December 29, 2007, 3:20 pm
  • The Mariners won’t ever enter the conversation for the “best team ever” for that reason..
    For me, I’m more anal about the TD record since he pads it so much, but eh. I guess the AFC Champ is the game that will determine it for me..

    Lar December 29, 2007, 3:40 pm
  • Has any city ever won the MLB, NFL, and NBA championship in the same season?
    Boston has a chance to do that this year with the Red Sox, Patriots, and Celtics.
    If they pull off this trifecta, the Boston sporting universe will spontaneously implode from joy/euphoria/sheer disbelief.

    yf2k December 29, 2007, 3:59 pm
  • I remember in ’94 there was something similiar in NY with the Knicks in the Finals, Rangers actually winning it, and the Yankees were roaring. Still a great time, even though the strike killed the Yanks and John Starks..

    Lar December 29, 2007, 4:15 pm
  • The Pats have done everything this year with a first-place schedule in a sixteen game season. I refuse to compare teams across eras, so trying to assess who is better between the ’72 Dolphins and the ’07 Pats is a non-starter, but that’s at least two qualifiable differences between the two teams, the unbalanced schedules and the length of the season. Of course, these Pats play in the expansion era and all that is attached to more teams, fewer great players as a percentage of the league as a whole, etc.
    Here’s a sports “Sophie’s Choice” – would Pats fans rather that Brady and Moss set the personal records while the Pats lose tonight’s game, or would we prefer to have Brady and Moss sacrifice the personal records for the 16-0? Maybe a false choice, but I think I’d rather the team take the glory, not the players. Of course, the entire universe outside NE is rooting for neither to transpire…

    SF December 29, 2007, 4:20 pm
  • Well there is a reasonably early lead, and a number of records – most points in a season, team, and Brady and Moss tie Manning and Rice respectively. Lots of football left, as they say, but not a bad start.
    Moss gets a fifteen yarder for excessive celebration for a mediocre end zone dance and spike. Not sure why that’s a penalty, but I couldn’t here what he was saying while he do-si-do’d.

    SF December 29, 2007, 8:58 pm
  • The lead is gone, like that – kickoff TD for the GIants!

    SF December 29, 2007, 9:00 pm
  • Group Celebration, Maroney wiggled too. LOL!
    Go G’Men.

    John - YF December 29, 2007, 9:04 pm
  • Oof, Pats D looks hideous…

    SF December 29, 2007, 10:11 pm
  • And the monster known as the Pats offense has woken up.
    Start the war drums….

    Rob SF December 29, 2007, 10:56 pm
  • 38-35!
    16-0

    Rob SF December 29, 2007, 11:28 pm
  • pretty sad coverage in this baseball blog…go figure.
    I thought earlier in the season that 16-0 was a big deal. I realized tonight, as the Pats were losing 28-16, that I didn’t care. I just want to win the super bowl.
    Kudos to NY for putting up a great fight, and making it a game.
    16-0 ain’t worth bragging about unless we go 19-0.

    Pat (SF) December 30, 2007, 2:02 am
  • It was more than a little terrifying for the fans of both teams that their starters were all getting played for the entire game. A few key injuries and the Super Bowl is suddenly out of the question.
    I badly wanted the perfect season to happen, though, because this is likely the only chance I’ll have in my lifetime to see the Patriots, or any other team, go 16-0.
    I’m glad it happened, but still, the game was a little unsettling. The Pats gave up 35 and were behind by 12 at one point. As good as 16-0 must feel, it doesn’t bode well for the playoffs.

    Kazz December 30, 2007, 4:45 am
  • Winning 16 straight on the nfl is impressive, but my perception of the pats is that they’re always just getting past fairly mediocre teams, even down the stretch. And even with the “unbalanced schedule” a quarter of their wins came off afc east doormats miami and the j-e-t-s. I have a hard time comparing this to juggernaut teams like the 85 bears. Getting lit up for 35 by the giants going into the playoffs? it was an impressive comeback, but, in my mind, an “all-time great” team doesn’t wind up in that position to begin with.

    YF December 30, 2007, 12:56 pm
  • Im a big fan of the New Jersey Giants comment. Its very true. The only affiliation those football teams really have with the city of New York is the “York” in their names.

    the shantee December 30, 2007, 3:11 pm
  • Winning 16 straight on the nfl is impressive, but my perception of the pats is that they’re always just getting past fairly mediocre teams, even down the stretch
    Wow, you just don’t pay attention. The Pats beat the Browns, the Cowboys, the Colts, the Giants, the Eagles, the Steelers amongst other teams. They beat the Cowboys, the Colts, the Giants all on the road. The Bills are 7-6 against all other teams not the Patriots. And last night’s game as a reason to put them down? Are you kidding me? They got “lit up” in the first half, which included a special teams touchdown. The second half was no contest – the Giants got manhandled in that stretch, the last touchdown was in a way traded for the clock. I imagine you wondered why Wes Welker was such a wimp when he took to the ground four yards shy of the end zone as well, instead of forcing contact and risking losing the ball for no upside.
    YF loves to hate the Pats, we all know this. What about Tom Brady? Convinced yet? Or are his 50 TDs (against 8 INTS!) devalued because some came against the Dolphins?
    I have no idea if the Pats will win the Super Bowl, but going 16-0 in the regular season, setting all the records that the team did, is just an amazing accomplishment, and certainly identifies the Patriots of this year in the pantheon of great regular season squads, no qualifications needed.

    SF December 30, 2007, 4:34 pm
  • I’m sold on Brady, mostly. when he’s upright w/ time (as in, last night’s second half) he’s an absolute killer. In the face of a stiff rush, he’s closer to human (he’s not Montana that way.)
    On the list of teams you have there, the only 2 really top squads are Dallas (though you yourself continually deride the NFC) and the Colts (who played sans Marvin Harrison, but whatever.) In any case, the point isn’t that they’re winning, it’s that they just don’t seem to me to be some kind of utterly dominant force. Last night’s game showed it. They were outplayed by the mediocre Giants for more than a half (special teams count, by the way), before Big Blue went off the rails, as usual. (I would describe this as much self inflicted as anything: the key stretch beign the toomer penalty, followed by the manning fumble, and then botched screen pass, all this when brandon jacobs should have been running the pats into the ground. but that’s coughln for you. and manning.)
    Anyway, no, i don’t have the Pats. Great offensive team. Amazing year. I don’t rank them anywhere near the 85 bears, still the most dominant team i’ve ever seen.

    YF December 30, 2007, 5:30 pm
  • I was at the ’86 Super Bowl. The Bears were out of this world. But they beat a Pats team with Tony Eason starting. Tony Eason isn’t as good as Eli Manning, who isn’t that good himself. We all remember what we want to…
    The Bears D was all-world, no doubt. But they would have a different time with this Pats team, I speculate against my own principles…

    SF December 30, 2007, 6:03 pm
  • Oh, they beat the Chargers too.

    SF December 30, 2007, 6:30 pm
  • Those 85 Pats were no great shakes, but the Bears had to get through the Giants, 49ers, etc.–a series of excellent teams.
    If the 85 bears played the 07 pats i’m sure the pats would kill them; that’s not my point, though. the bears were a more dominating force in that year than this pats team appears to me. Whatever. I’m no expert on the NFL. The Pats, as a franchise, to me are like their uniforms–kind of banal and uninteresting. They don’t raise any passion. Kind of like the entire NFL these days, actually.

    YF December 30, 2007, 7:29 pm
  • YF should stick to baseball.
    The Patriots were 10 and 0 against teams who were 500 or better against everyone else they played.
    The Patriots were 6 and 0 or 7 and 0 (if Cleveland makes it) against playoff teams. The most playoff teams any team can play is 9.
    The Patriots beat 4 other division champtions – including San Diego, Dallas, and Indianapolis in their own parks.
    The Patriots played 4 games against the NFC East Division, by far the strogest of the pathetic NFC. That division was 40 and 20 against everyone else they played.
    The Patriots played 4 games against the AFC North – the second strongest AFC division, whose teams were 32 and 28 against everyone else they played.
    The last 4 to 6 games played by the Patriots were against teams who were emotionally very up for the game – it was their Superbowl, a chance to upset an undefeated team. In some cases, they played the best game of their year. They all lost to the Patriots – and then generally did not do so well the subsequent week, when they were more emotionally down. A very likely fate for the Giants next week.
    The NFL is designed with the idea that no one can go undefeated. No one has since the 16 game schedule went into effect – until now. The Patriots have achieved something remarkable. They deserve complete credit for it.

    Waldomeboy December 30, 2007, 7:32 pm
  • I give them credit for it.
    Anway, i don’t see much difference in the Giants claiming NY than the Pats claiming all of New England. Not like they’re calling themselves the Foxboro Pats.

    YF December 30, 2007, 8:25 pm
  • In the face of a stiff rush, he’s closer to human (he’s not Montana that way.)
    Jeez, how many times did Brady nearly get sacked last night and still get the pass off, successfully, then get nailed? This seemed like a running occurrence. Brady is insanely good in the pocket, under pressure, about to get hit. His poise is unbelievable.

    SF December 30, 2007, 9:21 pm
  • Easy schedule or not, there’s a reason why only a handful of teams have done this, none in the 16 game schedule.
    I give them props for it. I’ve been a Manning fan for awhile (I was a Colts fan before they drafted him during those Cinderella days..) so it irks me that half the TD record is because they run up the score..
    Still though, 1 sack against the league leading sack team shows you what people know about Brady.
    I’m hoping for a Colts-Giants! =)

    Lar December 31, 2007, 5:15 am
  • And also, as such, obviously to go 16-0, you need some luck too, and there were some close games that they probably should’ve lost, but they never gave up one way or another (lucky or not) so ah well.

    Lar December 31, 2007, 5:18 am
  • YF would be finding some way to talk down the Pats even if they had beaten every single team in the NFL this year.
    For example, YF blusters: “They just don’t seem to me to be some kind of utterly dominant force.”
    Uh, has any team in history ever scored as many points in a season?
    Has any quarterback ever thrown more touchdown passes?
    Has any team ever scored more touchdowns?
    Have you checked out their points scored vs. points allowed differential?
    The Pats beat all of the first-place teams they faced. Heck, they beat ALL of the teams they faced.
    One gets the sense that by YFs definition, there can be no such thing as a dominant team.

    Hudson December 31, 2007, 9:18 am
  • I used to be a big football fan, and I thought I’d never see a combo as amazing as Montana-Rice. Brady-Moss is as good, if not better.
    This talk about Brady under pressure is almost misguided. One of the reasons why it seems he’s hardly under pressure is how great a job he does running an offense. He has a quick release, he reads defenses perfectly. He is not as mobile as Montana was, but he has a stronger arm. To me, they’re on the same level.
    And Moss. Jesus, this guy is ridiculous. Rice was consistently great, and had the better career, but at their peaks, this might be blasphemy, but I think Moss might be a little more dominant. How shitty is the Raider franchise to trade him for a 4th round pick?

    Nick-YF December 31, 2007, 9:28 am
  • This is a great thread:
    http://yanksfansoxfan.typepad.com/ysfs/2006/02/enough_already.html
    From the 2006 Super Bowl thread, so there have been two more seasons in the books, including a Manning Super Bowl victory (making some of my own comments look a little stupid). On the other hand, defending Tom Brady against YF’s criticisms seems like a feather in the cap, even though he had already won three SBs!
    Head to Pro-Football-Reference.com, one can see that Brady’s compare almost identically to Joe Montana’s at this point, in some places they are actually better, with rushing being the category that he lags. But really, does that lessen his qualities or threat-level?

    SF December 31, 2007, 9:34 am
  • Incidentally, I would argue that Brady had a better year last year – 2006 – with a wide receiving corps that featured Reche Caldwell and Jabar Gaffney as 1 and 2 and who can remember the third – Doug Gabriel? The team got to the Conference finals almost the Super Bowl, which they would have won.
    It’s Brady’s brain – quick – which makes the difference, not his arm.

    Waldomeboy December 31, 2007, 11:47 am
  • It’s Brady’s brain – quick – which makes the difference, not his arm.
    It’s a combination of the two, not one or the other.

    SF December 31, 2007, 11:53 am
  • Did anyone see “I AM LEGEND”? In the opening scene during the TV interview, at the bottom on the headline scroll it says “Giants lose to Patriots for second time this season 23-7″

    TJ January 1, 2008, 1:18 pm
  • “And Moss. Jesus, this guy is ridiculous. Rice was consistently great, and had the better career, but at their peaks, this might be blasphemy, but I think Moss might be a little more dominant.”
    I refuse to give Moss the same “props” I give to Jerry Rice. Jerry Rice was the most complete WR’s that I have ever seen. How many of JR’s catches came off Jump Balls or TD catches because he outsized or outleaped the DB? He also played all aspects of the game, blocking, running routes over the middle, played an entire game including the plays that weren’t intended for him. Moss has drastically improved since coming to the Pats, but he still doesn’t work like Rice worked over the course of the game.
    Not to attack you Nick by any means, I just hate when Moss is put in the same class as a complete WR like Jerry Rice.

    John - YF January 1, 2008, 3:22 pm
  • Moss IS a complete receiver. It’s a shame he hasn’t had a complete career, consistently. If he had, I think you might think differently, John. But that’s on Moss, nobody else.

    SF January 1, 2008, 4:20 pm
  • There’s no denying Rice’s brilliance, his incredible work ethic, his athletic intelligence, etc. His is by far the more amazing and impressive of the careers, but what Moss is doing this season is up there with Rice’s best season/s. SF is right that it’s a shame that Moss wasn’t more consistent because in terms of athletic ability I don’t think there’s been a wide receiver that has equalled Moss…Well, maybe T.O.

    Nick-YF January 1, 2008, 4:35 pm
  • Moss is dominant. He is not complete. Being able to out jump DB’s or catch jump balls is his specialty. He does not like going over the middle and he does not like it when defenses are physical. He is a dominant athletic WR, but to be complete you must do everything a WR should and he doesn’t. His routes are ehhh, his blocking is ehhh. He is the Shaq of NFL WR’s. He will go down as dominant, but if you were going to model a low post game it would not be Shaq’s. His specialty, like Moss is to out jump, out bang, out dunk you, not necessarily the makings of a complete Center. Is Shaq dominant? Yes. Is he complete like the Big Fundemental Tim Duncan? No. Randy Moss = Shaq, Jerry Rice = Tim Duncan. Dominant yes and nothing to be ashamed of,

    John - YF January 1, 2008, 7:13 pm
  • I think that’s a bit reductive, John, but I understand what you are getting at. It’s not like QBs just throw it in the general direction of Moss and he is so superior to the defenders that he can just pick the ball off. His routes aren’t that terrible. He has INSANE hands. He has tremendous athletic ability. He’s blocked better this year in the Pats system than in the past. The question is what is he called upon to do, as well.
    Rice, to me, is the greatest I have seen, all that being said.

    SF January 1, 2008, 8:12 pm

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