The Patriots finished off their regular season with a 13-0 win over the Bills and an 11-5 record, but it just wasn’t enough for a playoff berth in the hotly contended AFC.
The Dolphins clinched the AFC East Division Championship when they beat the Jets today, even though they finished the season tied with the Pats at 11-5 overall and 4-2 in their division, by virtue of a conference record tie breaker (Dolphins 8-4, Pats 7-5).
Chances of a Patriots wildcard spot went down in flames today also, when the Ravens beat the Jags, finishing 11-5 and clinching one of the two wildcard spots by virtue of the same conference record tie breaker (Ravens 8-5). The Colts had already locked up the other spot.
Although I’m bitterly disappointed that the Patriots season is over, especially since the craptastic Cardinals made the cut with a 9-7 record, I have to give the homeboys credit. They did way better than we could have expected this season, and had really jelled into a first level team, finishing off their impressive 11-5 season with a 4 game winning streak. I’ve said before that I’ve seen some pretty bad Patriots teams in my day, and this isn’t one of them.
Kudos to Matt Cassel for a season well played. He grew into his roll a little more each week, and was playing like a veteran down the stretch. He’s certainly a better quarterback than most that will start next week. The Patriots stable of standout receivers helped out a great deal, but it still comes down to on field decisions, and the kid is getting very good at them. He becomes a free agent now, and I hope he does well for himself and gets the payday he deserves.
That being said, if Brady is the least bit questionable for the start of next season, the Pats have got to franchise him. 14 mil for one season isn’t too shabby...
So, thanks to all the players and coaching staff. They gave us their all, even though the season looked dismal from day one. Hey, it sucks having the season end so early, but if we know anything about this team, it’s that they’ll be back next year with a vengeance.
For now, I’m holding out hope for a Falcons-Dolphins Super Bowl showdown. How can you not love Ryan and Pennington? It would sure beat an all Manning Bowl. I'd have to smash all my TVs if that happened.