NFL 2017 Season, Top 5, impact on teams by players lost to injury (Lost-av metric, weighting by 2016 quality of injured players)
— Man Games Lost NFL (@ManGamesLostNFL) January 11, 2018
By now you know the Patriots injured reserve list in 2017 is long and distinguished. Here’s a reminder of what it looks like via Patriots.com and it’s not a pretty picture.
According to ManGamesLost.com (subscription required) the Patriots ranked second overall in the league in lost 2016 performance. Add in that the Pats were particularly hit hard by free agency departures on defense, compounded by the retirement of Rob Ninkovich and it’s understated how different the 2017 team is from the one that won the last Super Bowl.
Tom Brady‘s most trusted target in the key moments of games big or small was lost the second week of the preseason. The front seven was playing with just two returning starters (Trey Flowers, Malcom Brown) at the end of the season.
Still, Dan Shaughnessy continues to bang his Tomato Cans drum. Like the Patriots just have the same awesome players year in and year out while the rest of the league haplessly cycles quarterbacks and coaches in useless attempts to knock them off.
That misses what has made the whole Belichick-Brady run so incredible. In their regard, the Pats do stand alone, but a coach and a quarterback alone should not be able to dominate professional football like this.
So here’s another gentle reminder: What we’re seeing is historic.
The “nah, the rest of the league was just inept” take is just designed to rile up those of us who haven’t lost track of how special the past 17 years have been.
Do I wish I was as excited for the 2017 AFCDG as I was for the 2003 AFCDG vs. Peyton Manning and the unstoppable Colts? Maybe a little. But this is the price you pay when you get to this point, at the pinnacle of professional sports with a special team that just keeps on crushing everyone. Oh well, I’ll take it.