Is there really any debate that Tom Brady's this years MVP? (AP Photo)
The Patriots thorough ass kicking of the Jets last night confirmed that this incarnation of the Pats is at an elite level in the NFL. It was like watching Tyson fight in his prime. The hype leading up to the game was at Armageddon levels, however - the fight was effectively over by knock-out in the first round, as the Pats repeatedly bludgeoned the Jets, beating them down in an epic statement of a game. It was cute and all to see the inept offenses of the Ravens and Steelers play paddy-cake with each other on Sunday Night, and of course the pundits fawned over the Steelers come Monday morning (Looking your way Peter King...) - However, once Monday Night rolled around, people got to see what a complete football team looks like, as the Patriots dominated their blood rivals in every facet of the game.
The Patriots hands down have the best offense in the league (unlike those Sunday Night teams), and it's because of the sum of their parts, and not super-star individuals. Sure, I'll give you Tom Brady there, but the people he's surrounded by are such unselfish gamers, who follow Brady's lead, that's it becomes pretty hard to match-up with the Team as a whole. At wide receiver we have two of the best route runners in the league in Welker and Branch, who know the Patriots system like the back of their hand, never take off a play (ahem....Moss), and do all the little things. Then we have the three headed monster at tight end with Hernandez, Gronkowski, and Crumpler. Who can block with the best of the them, and create mismatches by stretching the field over the middle. Then in the back field you have a man running the ball with the Law Firm, BenJarvus Green-Ellis, whose non-flashy North-South running is a perfect compliment to Danny Woodhead, who thus far, and this is no disrespect, has been a massive upgrade over Kevin Faulk. Something I would have thought impossible in the Autumn.
Also not to be lost in this mix is our Offensive Line, who protect Mr. Handsome with a fierceness out there, and leading that pack, is Logan Mankins. I most certainly underestimated his value to the Team in his holdout earlier this year, and he's been a beast since joining the club. What shows me how much of a team the Pats are is how the offensive line stands up for their quarterback. Which brings me back to the soft Steelers, who the Patriots romped in Pittsburgh a short while ago. It's been two weeks in a row now that, for all intents and purposes, someone has punched Ben Cheeseburger in the face - and not ONE single Steeler has stood up for him and fought back. It would be complete bedlam if Tom Brady got cocked like Ben did in Oakland, but there was nothing but crickets from the Steelers line. Soft. Shoot, Mankins wanted to rip Troy Polamalu's head off after he had some extra curricular's with Brady in Pittsburgh.
I haven't even touched on our defense, which is the youngest in the league, and gaining invaluable experience on large stages week after week, and starting to really look like our "bend don't break" defenses of the past. Mayo is Bruschi, Meriweather is Harrisson, McCourty is Law, Chung is Milloy, and Wilfork is Wilfork.
Like I said, last night was a statement game - and the rest of the league should once again be very worried about your New England Patriots. They've now won 26 strait home games with Brady at QB, and they're on schedule to have a first round bye, followed by two cold playoff games in Foxboro, the toughest place for any road team to play - then it's off to Dallas. I like their chances, but I'm obviously getting way ahead of myself here, so in true Patriots form, we have to take it one game at a time, and unlike the Jets, do the talking on the field.