Monday, November 02, 2015

Quickie Quarterback Quiz, Rhetorical Variety

Because the Patriots have gone 7-0, and score a lot of points because their Hall of Fame quarterback is playing very, very well. the assumption in these parts is that they must be the best team in the NFL, probably the greatest team in history. The only debatable issue is whether they'll go 19-0 to win the Super Bowl, or only 18-1.

We'll leave aside the fact pro football greatness is impossible to achieve before Election Day. What interests me is the blithe assumption New England is far better, no, make that ludicrously superior to,  the other NFL teams who haven't lost yet. This is particularly true of the 7-0 Denver Broncos. Denver throttled the previously unbeaten Packers in every aspect of the game last night, but that's nothing compared to how the Pats did the same thing to the Dolphins last Thursday. The disdain for Denver is based on comparing the rotten season Peyton Manning has had so far (until last night, anyway) with the fabulous 2015 performance of Tom Brady.

All football fans are overly quarterbackcentric, but nowhere more so than here. This was true when the Pats had lousy quarterbacks, and it's even truer now that they've had 15 seasons of an all-time superstar under center. So my question is aimed at a very specific audience  -- Patriots fans.

Gang, be honest now. What do you think the Pats record would be if Brady had played as poorly as Manning did in the Broncos' first six games? Think your heroes would've beaten the Steelers, Jets and Bills anyway? If so, let me congratulate you for your loyalty and hand out your failing quiz grade.

Manning's no-good, horrible very bad first six games DID happen. And Denver won 'em all the same. From where this quizmaster sits, that's as least as impressive an accomplishment as hanging 51 points on the Jaguars.


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