John Clayton’s article on the Super Bowl this morning is very interesting. Particularly the quote from LJ Smith, “I don’t know what happened”, he said. I also read a quote from McNabb where he said something to the effect of “we could have blown them out”. You could have, but you didnt.
It seems these Eagles can’t figure out how they didn’t pull out that game. They were sloppy with the ball in the first half and with the clock in the second half, and still had a chance to win. That was nothing new to this team. But the fact that they didn’t win, that’s what has them puzzled.
Them maybe, but not me. I completely agree with Bill Simmons, who compared the level of competition in the AFC and the NFC to different levels of difficulty on a video game. On friday he said:
Think of it like a game of “Madden.” If I spend four months playing at the “Madden” level, and you spend four months playing at the All-Pro level, who has a bigger advantage when we finally go head-to-head? Here’s a hint: It’s not you.
You can read his entire article to understand just how different the competition was this year for the Pats and Eagles, but the bottom line is, the Eagles just werent used to this type of competition. I’ve seen alot of Eagles games over the past 2 years and they have had plenty of games like this. Ugly. Sloppy. You name it. Yet they always seemed to come out on top.
I guess that is what they expected to happen on Sunday, except they forgot that they were playing the best team from the best conference in the league. You can’t throw up 4 or 5 ducks in the first half. You can’t take your time scoring a touchdown when there’s only 6 minutes left in the game. You might get away with that against the Vikings, Packers, or Falcons, but not against the Patriots.
The bright side for Philly fans? Chalk it up as a lesson learned. If you can stay healthy next year you’re the clear favorites to get back to the Super Bowl. Maybe next time, if there is a next time, they’ll be ready to elevate their games and take home the Lombardi Trophy.
But for now, the Patriots are king. I could care less about whether or not they are the best team ever. To me that title is too subjective to care about. The things that are indisputable are the team of the decade titles. They are cut and dry and indelibly stamped in history. 60s – Packers. 70s – Steelers. 80s – Niners. 90s – Cowboys. And the team of the Zeros? 00 to 09? it will likely be the Patriots with wins in the 01, 03, and 04 seasons. Even if they dont win another title in the second half of the decade, the chances of another team winning 3 titles in 5 years is about the same as Freddie Mitchell becoming a mime.
But at this point i don’t see why the Pats can’t keep winning. Injuries on defense couldnt slow them down. What can? New coordinators? Injuries on Offense? The Colts? The Steelers? The Eagles? In 7 months we’ll find out all over again.