My father took the latter view. "That's not fair to him," he said as Seau lunged and fell on his face trying to block a touchdown pass."He's 40 years old."
For him, bringing back Seau and Colvin is "the sign of surrender. They're just hoping to get through this season and start over."
He added, "If you've gotta dive to try to catch a guy on a 5-yard route, you're a step or two too slow."
So you have what we had yesterday, and the previous week against the Steelers, and to be honest, it's only the difference in opponent, I feel, that led to the difference in outcome--and with this most recent game, only barely.
On the offensive side of theball, there were still times my father and I were inviting one of the linemen to 'buy a freakin' ticket.' But it also may be that Matt Cassel has reached the plateau of his incompetence.
It's not like he's awful. He is more than we can reasonably expect from a backup filling in for a superstar. In fact, he's close. He's ever so close--some of his passes drop just a little short, or it's a matter of location--what might've been a touchdown to Randy Moss in the fourth quarter fell incomplete, because he threw to the pylon instead of Moss's back shoulder.
So, there's the difference between Cassel and Brady--maybe three feet. It's not a lot. And I think there are few backup quarterbacks--particularly among those who have not started a game since their adolescence--who could've handled this role with the maturity and determination that Cassel has. And there are times he comes close. Unfortunately, the NFL is neither horseshoes or hand grenades.
It also doesn't help that he took a beating in this game, at one point coming up clutching his hand. It doesn't help that Randy Moss suddenly has grease instead of stickum on his hands, depending on the play. And the situation on defense is not his fault, either.
I must confess I'm haunted by my insistence after Week 1 that the Brady injury did not necessarily and immediately make this a "lost season" for the Patriots. Looking back, I remember another prognosticator pointing out that the Brady injury did not make the Patriots immune to more injuries, and that their impact would be amplified by Brady's absence.
But I don't think anyone would've predicted the kind of massacre that's taken place among our defensive backs, particularly not the freaky way both Tedy Bruschi and Mike Vrabel would be injured, in collisions with their own teammates. I don't think anyone would've predicted this ballooning casualty list, now among them Pierre Woods, with a broken jaw (!!), Ty Warren and Vince Wilfork, who appeared, chillingly, in civvies on the sidelines by the end of this game.
It's getting to be time to question whether any team would be able to overcome the injury "bull," as Jamie put it, that has struck the Patriots this year. And acknowledging that doesn't mean that we have to be all Hank Steinbrenner about it. It's clear that no matter what their role or abilities, everyone in a Patriots uniform is giving maximum effort. They retain a winning record, and remain in contention for the division, decimated as they are. The future right now remains woefully uncertain, but they are, at the end of the day, beating teams that they should beat, like the Seahawks. And if there's any organization that can make the proverbial chicken salad out of chicken..., it's this one.