Anyone who follows my articles knows that one of my favorite pastimes is to berate the Patriots. I admittedly do so, because it is my only consolation as a Raider fan. Logically, no amount of mud-slinging can take away from the fact that the Patriots win.
For years, Patriot fans ridiculed Raider fans and tried to diminish what the Raiders had achieved, so now we Raider fans get to do the same thing to you.
Problem for Patriot fans is their insecurity. They feel personally attacked when I question the Patriots, because deep-down they to wonder about the integrity of New England's success.
It is called: Just win, baby. The Patriots have assumed the role that the Raiders once had, while in bit of role-reversal, the Raiders are now the bottom-dwellers, as the Patriots used to be.
The Patriots aren't the Steelers of the '70s or the Niners of the '80s. They're the Ray-duhs as Chris Berman would say.
Thus, in my mind, I mud-sling at the Patriots, because the Patriots are the Raiders in a parallel universe. Or as the theory in psychology goes: A person will most hate in others what they see in themselves.
If you cannot see the similarities between the Patriots of the past decade and the Raiders from 1972-1983 though, then you're a fool.
I don't blame the Patriots for all of the Raider woes, while I'm too intellectual to resort to branding a legendary figure of the NFL as "crazy," when Al Davis has accomplished more than most of his critics ever will. Frankly, I see it as nothing more than sour grapes and schadenfreude.
To me, the Tuck Rule was a pivotal moment in sports history in which the wheel of fortune spun and bestowed the Patriots with a future of success.
I don't equate the Tuck Rule to the Ben Dreith Game, because the Ben Dreith game resulted from human-error, while I still contend that the Patriots knew that Charles Woodson was coming on the blitz and thus had Tom Brady take a hit on the pump-fake to stop the clock.
The point of all this being that, as much as I dislike the Patriots, I must give Bill Belichick his due for going for it on fourth and two on New England's 28 yard line.
It was the right call to make, because New England's defense is not what it has been in the past. There were two minutes on the clock, which is plenty of time for Peyton Manning to orchestrate a game-winning game.
Even with a top-defense, Manning is still a threat to carve up an opponent to win the game, and the fact is that, New England's defense is not top-caliber.
On one hand, it was the right call to make. Nevertheless, it tells me that New England is probably not headed to the Super Bowl, because either a) Belichick does not trust his defense, or b) Belichick was intimidated by Manning.
But don't fret Pat fans, you just might have a top-ten pick in 2011 to rebuild the defense, gift wrapped from the Raiders (crap)...lol.