There are five very big reasons why the New England Patriots are only sixty minutes away from the first 19-0 perfect season in NFL history. Those five reasons are:
Matt Light Logan Mankins Dan Koppen Steve Neal Nick Kaczur
The single most important reason that the Patriots have dominated opponents this season is because the New England offensive line has dominated the line of scrimmage. That’s why the NFL point spreads for the Patriots have been so enormous – nobody’s been able to break these guys down.
The New England line dominates by land and by air. Tom Brady was able to throw for fifty touchdowns this year because the line gave him enough to time to choose carefully from his stellar cast of wide receivers, without ever having to force a pass. When Brady has an off day, as he did in the AFC Championship Game against the Chargers, the line can adapt, and play some old school football. Time and again the line hewed open the San Diego cover, tearing holes for Laurence Maroney to run through. Either way, it doesn’t bother New England. And that’s why the Patriots leads the League in points scored, total yards, rushing yards and passing yards. Because new England has the best offensive line in football, an offensive line the like of which hasn’t been seen since the Redskins’ Hogs of the ‘eighties or the great Packer line of the ‘sixties, which power-swept its way to immortality.
The line has seen pressure during the year, sure, but even Michelangelo might have found some hard to reach spots in the Cistine Chapel when he was painting it. When the offense is off the field – something that generally happens only after a score – the defense can step up and make plays. Though not as dominant as other Super Bowl defenses that we’ve seen, such as Tampa Bay or Baltimore in recent years, the Steel Curtain of the seventies, or the Chicago Bears’ 46 defense that still remains the high-water mark for mayhem, the Patriots have been stepping up and making plays on defense when it counts. They did it against the Colts in the regular season, and they did it again against the Bolts in the Championship game.
If New England wins the Super Bowl, it’ll deserve it. But what you deserve, and what you get, aren’t always the same thing. Which is what makes football betting so interesting, of course.