Sunday, December 29, 2013

Day 273: NFL Week 17... Depressed.

The end of the regular NFL season always depresses me. Sure... the Patriots will have at least one more game in the postseason, but if they screw that up, it's over. Those 17 weeks of football seem to fly by faster than any other sports season out there. Those precious 17 weeks...

Most years (present season included) week 17 can be a crazy collection of if/then scenarios for lots of teams on the postseason bubble. If this team wins and this team loses than this other team will make the playoffs but only if they win too. Or, like with the Pats, the outcome of their final week could mean either a first-round bye or a fourth seed. Thankfully, the Patriots beat the Bills 34-20 on Sunday to take the #2 seed in the AFC and earn that first-round bye.

Normally a Patriots game during the final week is pretty boring. They've usually wrapped up their spot in the playoffs and it's not even worth watching. But today... today was fun. The weather was horrific—torrential rain, puddles on the field, slippery pigskin. You couldn't have paid me enough money to sit in those stands in that weather. I was quite comfy wrapped in my blanket on the couch!

LeGarrette Blount made that last game even more fun by putting on quite a show. He rushed 24 times for an astounding (and career high) 189 yards and two touchdowns. His longest rush of the day was 36 yards. And if that wasn't impressive enough, the 250 pound running back added another 145 yards on kickoff returns. His 334 all-purpose yards set a new franchise record—and put him 12th in NFL history. Bill Belichick even said he was "the best player on the field."

Tom Brady's day was just ok—14-for-24 for 122 yards, one touchdown and a bullshit interception that wasn't his fault. But with the weather like it was, who can blame him for relying on the running game to get the job done. Good thing that running game didn't let him down! And Stephen Gostowski, who is having quite a season himself, made four field goals to add to the scoring.

So now it's on to the playoffs. With all the injuries the Patriots have had to endure this season, I don't have high hopes for much success in January. But that's how I like to handle it... if I get too cocky about the Pats' chances in the postseason (*cough*2008*cough*), I think it's bad luck. If I'm more of a glass-half-empty fan, things tend to work out a little better. Let's see if this theory holds true this time around.

Good Luck, Patriots! Kick some ass...

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