So let's get past the 14-point spread the Rams were given, even I thought it was a bit too high. Then let's get past Kurt Warner vs. the rookie Tom Brady, a QB either has it or doesn't when it comes to leadership in the NFL.
The game was a good one, but I can't help shake this feeling it was also played out before hand on a chalkboard in a backroom somewhere.
First, let's analyze the circumstances which gave way to the Patriots making their run, Drew Bledsoe gets injured with internal bleeding, and Tom Brady takes over.
Now, first off, I'm not a doctor so I'm not going to argue Bledsoe wasn't as hurt as the media made it seem, but judging from the hit he took, I really doubt it was that serious, and Tom Brady wasn't that magnificent while Bledsoe was away.
That's the intro, when it came to playoff time I find it even more unsettling how every single playoff game the Patriots played had a question mark.
Let's begin with the Divisional against the Raiders, the Tuck Rule, the worst call in NFL history, and if you want to argue a worse call consider this is a time where we had instant reply, and where the call on the field was a fumble, which means the official had to see conclusive evidence.
Right....I don't believe it was conclusive for a second, if anything was conclusive it was that Brady had both hands on the football when it dropped.
But alas, the Patriots got another chance and Vinatieri made a great field goal against the wind. Was it a fix?
Well not entirely, I believe Al Davis did not bite the worm and opted out of possible bribery, I can only assume some of the players were paid off, and even then fixing a sports game can never be 100 percent, it's just too difficult to bribe every player and then have them not give away the secret in such an obvious fashion.
I believe the Commissioner of the NFL wanted a Patriots victory and it came very close to not happening, the Tuck Rule was simply a result of the official following orders and giving the Patriots one last gasp, Brady was able to put in a good drive and Vinatieri did make one hell of a kick, Al Davis was beaten.
Then came the AFC Championship, in Pittsburgh.
First off, I know Kordell Stewert had a knack for throwing picks, but honestly, that game was too much, it was Neil O-Donnell all over again. Patriots win too easily by a touchdown.
Then comes the big game, one thing is for certain, Kurt Warner was not even approached to throw the game, that simply isn't Kurt Warner, but the officials were, and they sold their souls.
For anyone who watched the Rams offense the first three quarters, there were late hits galore, and the game was seemingly quiet.
I can only assume the fix was becoming too obvious and the officials got the call from upstairs to let up, and then we saw the REAL Rams offense torch the Patsies with two major scores.
Ahh, but Tom Brady had magic left....yeah right, with just over a minute and no timeouts Brady marched down the field with against one of the worst coverages I have ever seen and set up Vinatieri for an in doors kick that was quite doable.
If you need any more convincing this was a fix, consider the basic principle, the Patriots had made two previous Super Bowls and lost them, in 2001 we saw a true tragedy with the 9/11 attacks, and then the Patriots pull off a " Cinderella " run and win it all in America's most popular sport.
The Tuck Rule, the AFC Championship, the Super Bowl with all its late hits and Lovie Smith's poor defense in that last drive?
No, much too convenient for me to believe all was fair.
I put this at No. 1 because of how intricate the fix was, it must have been planned in Week Two, everything fell into place slowly but surely.