Any Overtime You Can Walk Away From....All Patriots personnel appearing on TV in the immediate aftermath of yesterday evening's 29-26 win over the Jets wore the half-dazed, half-giddy expressions of persons who have survived a potential catastrophe without a scratch and in defiance of the law of averages and their own expectations.
Why not? That's what they were. That's who the Patriots and their fans are this afternoon, too, people who survived what could well have been a fatal collision with the team's inherent weaknesses. Jimmie Johnson driving the No. 48 Lowe's Chevrolet to a ninth-place finish after a wreck left it constructed from duct tape has nothing on them.
By next Sunday, Johnson will have a brand new No. 48 in the starting grid at Martinsville. NFL rules are harsher. Belichick can repair his current vehicle, but not replace it.
Anyone who uses yesterday's odd contest for the purpose of forecasting the rest of the 2012 season is daft. Who is to say if the Patriots true destiny is revealed by yet another blown fourth quarter lead, or by the immediate return to the form of yesteryear by Tom Brady and the offense and the defense in response to the extreme crisis they faced with two minutes to play in regulation? Not me. Not anybody's whose opinion I'd trust, either.
I will only say this. It is fair to say it's unlikely New England's pass defense will be anything but a cross to bear this year. It's even fairer to say yesterday won't be Brady's last fourth quarter comeback if the Pats are to meet their lofty expectations for themselves.
Fairest of all to say that avoided catastrophes rank very, very high in the Wire Service AND Coaches' Polls of Good Things in Life.