Patriots Win Looking Away
The World Champs continue their march to the post-season with a 42-15 trouncing of the Cleveland Browns. Michael Felger files his game report at the Boston Herald.
It only felt like a preseason game.
Everything else about where the Patriots are today is very, very real.
All last week, Bill Belichick spoke about how dangerous Cleveland could be given its midseason coaching change from Butch Davis to Terry Robiskie. That danger was addressed in the first 14 seconds of the game - when Bethel Johnson returned the opening kickoff 93 yards for a touchdown - and from there the Pats rolled. When it was over, most of the starters had gotten a nice rest and the Pats had a 42-15 blowout victory.
When it comes to personal grudges, real or imagined, we take a long overdue visit back to hack report card scribbler, Kevin Mannix. This small child Mannix once labeled Bill Belichick as "duplicitous pond scum".
A 35-7 lead into the fourth quarter generally dictates a conservative approach, one designed to get the game over quickly. The offense will run three plays and punt. The defense will play its basic conservative cover-two scheme with only three or four rushers. If they score, they score. What's the big deal? The game's over.
Ordinarily, that's the approach the Patriots take. Yesterday just wasn't an ordinary day. This wasn't business, this was strictly personal for Belichick. He'd earned the satisfaction of further embarrassing his old team.
Mannix's logic and facts never really meet the smell test. This is the NFL, not Pop Warner. Were the Patriots supposed to take a knee on 3rd and 22 that resulted in a touchdown pass? How do you run it up when the Jamaican human cigar Rohan Davey is in the game during the 3rd quarter?