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The New England Patriots head into their bye week with the best record in the NFL at 7-1. They are better than your favorite team. Their quarterback has an infinitely better life than yours. Their fans remain insufferable as hell. They once drafted a murderer. And despite the sheer annoyingness of every aspect of this entire franchise that drives the rest of you to drink, I love it fully and completely.
Remember: If you’re not cheering for the success of Tom Brady this year, then you support Roger Goodell and utter tyranny. Are you sure you want that?
Highlights of the season so far: Brady appearing immortal in his return since the (spits out dip, crosses himself incorrectly, takes deep breath, and shouts “FACK YOU GOODELL” from the roof of a ramshackle townhouse in Southie) Ballghazi suspension; Gronk scoring the 69th touchdown of his career, setting a new franchise record in receiving touchdowns for New England.
Biggest surprises of the season so far: Jacoby Brissett shutting out the Houston Texans. Besides the rookie quarterback having a strong game with no turnovers and some really efficient drives, the defense, minus a few key figures that week, showed up majorly. Also, the absence of Dion Lewis not affecting the run game too steeply- LeGarrette Blount has done a fine job so far as the main back with James White doing nicely in utility duty. Returning OL coach Dante Scarnecchia has totally rejuvenated the line, and Marcus Cannon is no longer an out-of-shape fatass, which helps a lot as well.
Biggest disappointments of the season: in Brady’s September vacation, we only got to see a game and a half out of Jimmy Garroppolo, due to a shoulder injury; while he looked fantastic in that time, it’s still not nearly enough to evaluate him properly as to whether or not he is truly the quarterback of the future, or just merely another Brown or Bear that will ultimately lead to disappointment and cirrhosis. Also, Bill Belichick traded Jamie Collins for a sandwich, or the equivalent thereof, pretty much. I don’t get it. Guess the Grumblelord’s not a fan of dudes who go rogue and perhaps encroach on his turf as chief MILFhunter of Massachussetts. Or maybe he’s bored and just wants to win the Super Bowl on Hard Mode in Madden.
Key points for the remainder of the season: if and when Dion Lewis returns, how will he look, and what will it mean for the run game? Will he be able to handle a three-down role, or will he be more limited and keep Blount as a short-yardage and goal-line back? What will the pass rush look like with the departure of Collins and the so-so health of Dont’a Hightower this season? Will the offensive line stay healthy and good?
Key remaining games:
Week 10 vs. Seahawks: Wilson’s playing hurt and the offence is derping it up all over the place, but the D is still good, even with the team having lost to the Saints (lololol). Still, in facing teams with strong defences thus far this season (ARI, HOU), the Pats have looked good. Playing at home helps too.
Week 15 @ Broncos: Losing CJ Anderson was a big loss for Denver. Trevor Siemian has a noodle arm and his receivers aren’t catching nearly as much as c. 2013/14, but the Donks are 6-2 courtesy of another awesome defence. Unlike last year, though, they’re playing in the strongest division in the league, and with Oakland and KC looking strong, the division title will be a dogfight. A loss here for the Pats may not be the worst thing, as they fortunately don’t have to face the Raiders or Chiefs, thus limiting the damage that could be done to lose the #1 seed in the AFC playoff race. The Pats have had mixed results at Mile High recently, but with a much better o-line than last season, when a missed field goal was the difference-maker in the AFC title game, they definitely have a shot in this one too.
Von Miller still gives me nightmares, though.
All in all, it’s been about as perfect a first half to the season as you could ask for; I’m looking forward to this team paying tribute to BLEERGH by sacrificing all their opponents to Him over their final eight games. Join me in worshipping football played in its highest, purest form. I wait for you with open arms.