Patriots To Settle All Family Business

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It's been well-observed by now that the New England Patriots under coach Bill Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady are the most successful duo in NFL history, in terms of regular season and playoff wins. In two weeks they hope to also become tied for the most successful duo in Super Bowl wins, with the largest spread in years between wins.

They won their first nine playoff games together, and six more since. But they also lost five playoff games, to the Denver Broncos, Indianapolis Colts, New York Giants, Baltimore Ravens, and New York Jets. These five teams are the reason why the Patriots have not yet seen their fourth title, and that debt must be paid.

Michael Corelone had the five families. The Patriots have the five ... um, winners. The story of this Super Bowl is not just about revenge against the Giants any more than the end of The Godfather was about Al Neri killing Don Barzini. Four of the five "winners" had a chance to go all the way this year, and should the Patriots win the Super Bowl, they will have directly ended the seasons of all four of them.

The fifth -- the Colts -- obviously had no chance to go to the playoffs this season, winning only two games. It's a far cry from the 2006 season, when Payton Manning and the Colts won a Super Bowl after handing the Pats' their worst playoff loss ever: the Colts down 21-6 at halftime, Manning steamrolled the Pats' D in the second half for a 38-34 victory.

So not only did the Pats beat the Colts in 2011 (a feat duplicated by many others), but they have a chance to win the Super Bowl in the Colts' own home stadium, with Brady using Manning's locker more than Manning has this season, capping the Colts' worst season in recent memory.

Then there's the last team to beat the Pats: the Jets, who drubbed the Pats in last year's divisional round. The Jets went 8-8 this season and missed the playoffs, but had the Patriots not beaten them, they would've gone 10-6 and won the Wild Card. But the Pats can only beat three teams in the playoffs this year ... so the Jets had to be knocked out before the playoffs.

Then there's the Broncos. The Pats fell apart in that 2005 divisional round, so it was priceless this season for them to end Tebowmania in December, then again in January.

The Ravens destroyed the Patriots in the 2009 wild card game. It hurt. This year, they had perhaps their last chance for Ed Reed and Ray Lewis to win a Super Bowl. That's gone, and in spectacular fashion: missing a last-second chip shot field goal.

Finally, we have the other New York. After they ruined the Patriots' "19-0" in the 2007 season -- and beat the Patriots again in 2011 -- all that's left now is to "Moe Green" the Giants.

The 2011 season is the time to settle all family business.

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This page contains a single entry by pudge published on January 22, 2012 10:22 PM.

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