It's amazing how quickly we forget.
Until last season, Tom Brady was not a quarterback known to pile up stats. He wasn't known for records or an electric passing game. He was known for winning. He was known for making zero mistakes and using the talent around him to the best of his ability.
He was ridiculous at it.
Now, I'm not saying Matt Cassell will ever be as good as Tom Brady. Brady is arguably the best field general to step onto the football field, ever. But can we really say the AFC East is up for grabs all of a sudden?
Are we forgetting that these same Patriots have had a knack for winning over the last eight years? Does it not matter that they still have Randy Moss, Wes Welker, Jabar Gaffney, Laurence Maroney, Sammy Morris, Ben Watson, and plenty of other talent on offense?
Does it not matter that they spent their offseason making the defense younger and faster? Jerod Mayo might find himself in DROY conversations by the end of the year. Terrance Wheatley is starting ahead of two-time Pro Bowler Deltha O'Neal. Gary Guyton is a beast and will definitely be a starter when some of the older guys retire.
All Matt Cassell needs to do is avoid making mistakes. He needs to stay calm and let Bill Belichick scheme gameplans for him to execute. As long as he can figure out how to remain calm and make good decisions, there's no reason to say that the Jets or Bills can contend for the division title.
Again, I am in no way saying that they'll be the same old Pats. It's impossible. The offensive gameplan will now be very different than it would have been with "Tom Terrific" under center. But if you ask me, this injury doesn't bring the Patriots down as many notches as some seem to believe.
The current line on next week's matchup with the Jets is two-and-a-half points in favor of New York.
Are you kidding me?
I understand they have Brett Favre, Thomas Jones, Jerricho Cotchery, Laveranues Coles, and an upgraded line and defense...But they almost lost to Chad Pennington and the Dolphins over the weekend.
Matt Cassell came in and won a football game against the Chiefs without even really warming up. I realize the Chiefs aren't any better than the Dolphins...but give the guy some credit. He now has a whole week to get ready for the Jets, and he has shown that he can play mistake-free football.
He also has reason to be confident, since the Patriots worked out seven guys today, and none of them were quarterbacks. They did visit with Tim Rattay and Chris Simms, but they were the ones who actually called the Patriots.
New England is not reaching out to any free-agent quarterbacks, and they're giving the polite "thanks, but no thanks" to all who offer their services.
I'm telling you, this team will not only survive without Brady this season...they should still be planning on playing in February.
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