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Saturday, January 14, 2006

Pats vs. Denver: tonight!

Well here it is, the day has arrived and it is somewhat of a bittersweet day. These next few weekends will feature the best football games of the year, but it also means that the football season is drawing to a close. 4 games this weekend, 2 next week and then, the big one: The Superbowl.

They say with baseball, the season is designed to break your heart, starting in the spring, with everything coming back to life, winding it's way through the long, hot days of summer and finally ending in the fall, just on the cusp of winter. What does that mean for football then, starting in the fall, with the leaves falling off the trees and working it's way through the short cold winter days? Hmmm. I guess I'm not philosophical enough to figure that one out. Football does not tend to have the same kind of romantic sensibilities applied to it as with baseball, which is, frankly, fine by me. I appreciate that football has a more straight-forward style. Football certainly does provide a respite from the dreariness of winter, and when it's over, it's a bleak stretch between the Superbowl and Spring Training...

We are at the point of the year when every football game is very exciting to watch, because we are seeing the best teams facing each other in do-or-die situations. I don't usually watch a lot of games outside of The Pats games during the regular season, but during the playoffs, I watch all the games. My wife can't stand this of course, but she puts up with it because she knows there's only a few weeks left. (I think she actually likes football more than she lets on, but she just does not like to admit it! Very stubborn!)

In any case, thankfully the end of the football season is not here yet! The Patriots will play the Broncos in Denver tonight in a Divisional Playoff game. Lets hope the Pats season will continue to next weekend as well.

I have confidence that this is a winnable game for The Pats, but I will admit it, if there's one game I dread seeing on my team's schedule every year, it's an away game at Denver. No other team in the NFL has laid the smack down on The Pats more consistently over the years than The Denver Broncos. They are like the bully that has pushed you around for years and you're best effort at fighting back has always ended up with a bloody nose. Until recently that is...

Fortunately, that 'bully' factor has been mitigated over the last few years and The Pats are not as easy for the Broncos to push around anymore. As I mentioned in an earlier post, the Pats have split the last 6 games against the Broncos:

W (home) 24 - 23
W (away) 28 - 19
L (away) 31 - 20
L (home) 24 - 16
W (away) 30 - 26
L (away) 28-20

As you can see, things are tilted a little bit too much in The Broncos favor over the last few games. Let's hope The Pats can even that out tonight with a win.

I've always felt that The Denver Broncos are to The Pats, what The Pats are to the Indianapolis Colts. For this reason, I had originally preferred to play The Colts this weekend. However, I've changed my thinking on this now. I'm thinking that this year's Playoffs is now very similar to the 2003 playoff run.

In '03, I was felt that the toughest test The Pats would face in the playoffs would be the game vs. The Tennessee Titans, and that if they could get past Tennessee, they rest would be cake. I had no fear of Indy then, and I have no fear of them now.

I think this year's playoffs are very much the same as '03. This game tonight vs. Denver is the toughest test the Pats will face in the Playoffs and it's much better to face The Broncos now than to have potentially faced them in an AFC Championship game. If they can win tonight, I have no doubt that The Pats can beat Indy or Pittsburgh for the AFC Championship.

First things first though. The Pats have got their work cut out for them in Denver, but I think that having already played them in the regular season will provide a boost to The Patriots chances of winning. Plus, we all know that this is a very different Patriots team, both on offense and defense, than the one that Denver faced in October.

Hopefully we will see a lot of this sort of thing tonight:


The music that runs in my head when I think about tonight's Pats game is Black Flag's 'Forever Time'

Time Time Time Forever time
It's time to walk by me
One last time, it's time
At first Relax
Get set
Get your message from time
Time, time, time, time Time
Time Time Forever time
It's time to look into my eyes
One last time,
It's time I feel

I'm some kind of death machine
With skin and muscles and a heart
That pumps my blood
Time, time, time, time, time
Time Time Forever time
It's time to kiss me goodbye
One last time,
It's time

This is the first time
This is the last time
It's my only time
But it's only time
Time Time Time



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