Everyone is very excited about the New England Patriots’ start to the 2007 season. Last Monday, during their game against the Cincinnati Bengals on ESPN, Tony Kornheiser even started talking about breaking the 1972 Miami Dolphins’ perfect season record.
Woah. Woah, woah. Let’s take a breath here.
Every year around the fourth game, people start getting breathless about one or more of the undefeated teams. And let’s point out that the Patriots are just one of several undefeated teams, including the Colts, the Cowboys, and the Packers. And every year all that hype is for naught when the “chosen team” falters around the 10th or 11th game.
Let’s look at some facts first. All of the teams that the Patriots have faced so far have a record of 1-3. So far the first four teams they’ve played have been pretty bad. Now some, including my brother-in-law Peter, might say that’s because the Patriots have exposed their weaknesses for other teams to exploit, but the explanation gets weaker every week. How to explain the Bengals two losses before they faced the Pats?
Now, I’m not saying the Patriots aren’t awesome this year with their high-flying passing offense. What I am saying is that’s way to early to start talking about undefeated, perfect seasons. Frankly, I’d settled for 10-6, winning the division, the conference, and the Super Bowl. That’s the goal after all, isn’t it?
After the Cleveland Browns (2-2) this week, the Pats fly to Dallas to face the 4-0 Cowboys, then hapless 0-4 Miami, the 2-1 Redskins, and the 4-0 Colts. If the Pats are still undefeated in a month, then we can start talking about undefeated seasons, but until then, let’s just enjoy the games.