It’s tough to immediately sum up my thoughts following another 16 game campaign, so I find that the best thing to do is to just rattle of the things that have stuck with me about this 2012 version of the Patriots.
Each year the Patriots win, but each year is special.
Here in no particular order are the things that stood out most to me about the 2012 Pats:
- Hernando and Gronk like two lost (injured) lovers who just cannot find the field together at the same time.
- The emergence of Stevan Ridley.
- The one word offense. Brady and the Blitzkreig.
- Mayo ascending to another level.
- Ridiculous loss to the Cardinals. That brain fart is why the AFCCG will be in Denver.
- Spikes becoming a frightening force in the middle.
- Julian Edelman replacing Welker? Nope.
- Danny Woodhead becoming the new Kevin Faulk.
- Pulling a bye out in week 17.
There was a lot to like about this Patriots team, and the late season loss to the 49ers could be a combustible ingredient that similarly talented teams the last two years have lacked.
On offense they have a real outside threat that they have also recently lacked in Brandon Lloyd. The rest of the weapons are mostly banged up, but should be able to pull it together for three more games.
On defense the Pats will hope to get starting corners Alfonzo Dennard and Aqib Talib healthy over the bye week. Rob Ninkovich is a question mark at the moment, but we’re assuming that he’s out at least until the Super Bowl.
Their defense turned in their best effort of the year against the Dolphins. Let’s hope they have more games like that against better offenses in them.
As always it will come down to finishing. If this Pats team goes down it won’t be by much, and they’ll go down fighting. That’s all you can ask for.
The Patriots dynasty was crowned for the first time in New Orleans and that’s where this year’s playoff road ends as well.
Let’s finish it where we started it!