Warn British and Rams that Pats will ride to victory

Jan 29, 2002 10:01 AM

The British are coming. The British are coming! That’s what Paul Revere warned the Patriots back in 1775 (seems like just yesterday doesn’t it?)

But now I feel like getting on my horse and riding down Bourbon St screaming, The Patriots are coming, the Patriots are coming! Because apparently no one else thinks they are. Hence, the Rams are a 14-point favorite.

The Pats have won nine straight games. But, it seems no matter how many times they win, they continue to be considered the Rodney Dangerfields of the NFL. Tom Brady led the Pats to an 11-3 record after Drew Bledsoe went out after week 2. The Pats then came from 10 points down to nip the Raiders in overtime.

Everyone said they were lucky. Yes, they received a huge break on Brady’s arm being ruled going forward. But over the course of a season the breaks go both ways. Like Rodney, the Pats again received little or no respect. They opened as an 8-point underdog and John Q Public quickly bet against them at every book in town. So, the Pats were kicked down to a 10-point junkyard dog!

Belichick’s boys, unphased by the lack of respect, showed up at Heinz Field anyway. Pittsburgh boasted the number one defense in the NFL and the best rushing attack in the land. The result, Jerome Bettis rushed for a total of eight yards on nine carries.

How do  you pass on a quality team getting 14 points! You  don’t  At least Denny The Dog doesn’t. This was a no-brainer.

Sunday, Feb. 3

Pats 27, Rams 25: Two chins are better than one! Bill Cowher, the NFL’s ultimate chin found that out last Sunday when the dimpled chinned Tom Brady and the bloody chinned Drew Bledsoe double-teamed the steel-chinned Black and Gold.

The Pats will now attempt to do the impossible, which would be to win two weeks in a row straight-up as a double digit underdog. And it says here they just might do it!

I do like the Patriots better with Tom Brady as the starting QB. It was too early to say at press time whether Brady will start. This much we do know. He has an ankle sprain and if he can’t go his back-up is All-Pro Drew Bledsoe. But I’m really hoping Brady can give it a go.

Brady has extra mobility in the pocket, which in today’s quick paced blitz at all angles game, is a big advantage. But with or without Brady, take the Pats plus the points and sleep well at night knowing you’re on the right side.

The Pats couldn’t have asked for a better tune up game for the Super Bowl than the Steelers. Pittsburgh was the consensus best team the AFC had to offer. Belichick and his assistants devised a spectacular game plan and the rest was history.

There were no big, wide holes for the bus to run through and he didn’t seem to hit the tiny patches of daylight very quickly. There wasn’t even any room for the slippery Kordell Stewart to run.

The Pats shut all the running lanes down cold! And that effort was against what some experts called the best offensive line in the NFL. I’m not going to tell you that Marshall Faulk won’t run for more than the nine yards. But when these two teams met on week 10, Faulk did not run wild. He went for 83 yards on 20 carries. Now that’s in great part due to the fact that Kurt Warner threw for over 400 yards on 30 of 42 attempts. I’m not going to deny the Rams doubled the Pats in first downs and total yardage.

Contrary to what some oddsmakers and the betting public would have you believe, the Pats are knocking some heads around. The D hasn’t allowed over 17 points since their last loss versus the Rams.

The offense hasn’t been lighting up the scoreboard like the Rams. But they seem to do just enough to win the game. Antowain Smith was a big force in the regular season. He hasn’t done much in the playoffs, but the Rams bettors beware! Smith became a little more active versus Pittsburgh and he might be gearing up for a surprise sneak attack Sunday.

The Pats offensive success of course has come via the air. Troy Brown caught eight passes for 121 yards and Patton was an important deep threat even though he only had 39 yards on four 4 catches. The tight end Wiggins is becoming more of a threat each week.

But maybe the biggest reason I like the Pats is because of their special teams. There might not be a better player on the field than Troy Brown. He’s providing over 100 yards of offense via the air and then he’s usually good for another 100 yards in kick returns. And what team is better at devising ways to block punts or field goals?

I say give Belichick the respect he deserves. The Patriots will bring more than cranberries and fish from Boston. They will win the Super Bowl war!