I'm not a big fan of Greg Easterbrook. For those of you who don't know, Easterbrook writes a column named Tuesday Morning Quarterback for ESPN every week during the NFL season. It's a rambling, ranting series of thoughts about the past weekend's football games; his writing style is disjointed and sometimes difficult to read.
This seasons he's taken to attacking the Patriots every chance he gets. It's difficult to tell if he's being facetious or not, but either way, it gets annoying. He tagged the Pats/Colts game in October as "Good vs. Evil." He wrote
Argument for the New England Patriots as scoundrels in the service of that which is baleful: Dishonesty, cheating, arrogance, hubris, endless complaining even in success. The Patriots have three Super Bowl rings, but that jewelry is tarnished by their cheating scandal. They run up the score to humiliate opponents -- more on that below -- thus mocking sportsmanship.
Give me a break. I haven't been a fan of the Patriots' running up the score, but in the NFL, you're getting paid millions to play the game. I suppose it's kinda mean to run up the score, but I'm sure the linebackers on the wrong end of a blowout can cry himself to sleep on his giant pile of money.
And regarding the scandal... it happened. New England was punished. Get over it.
For all I don't like about Easterbrook, he's good with numbers. He makes a list of Interesting Stats of the Week that are insightful and, at the risk of being redundant, interesting.
This week he brings up the fact that quarterbacks who led the NFL in passing yards during the regular season are 0-42 in the Superbowl.
Wow. I'm guessing this stat is closely related to the "if you can't run or play defense, you can't win in the playoffs," idea. Easterbrook attributes it to how defensive backs are more willing to play all-out when there's no tomorrow, and it's easier to blow a coverage in the regular season.
Easterbrook is so desperate to see the Pats lose he's clinging to this like it's the last slice of pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving.
Anyway, we'll have to see. I don't know that the Patriots have passed so much because they can't run, but more because they haven't wanted to. I think Brady set out to break the passing touchdown record from the beginning, and ending with 4800 passing yards, 50 touchdowns and only eight picks would indicate he reached his goal.
Of course, if the Patriots don't win the Superbowl, the season will be ultimately meaningless, in my opinion. Beating most everyone down in the regular season is nice and all, but it's all about the rings.