Wow! What a complete demolishing of the San Diego Chargers by the New England Patriots last night. What a fantastic home opener. All the new players proved how great they are and how much they can add to the team. I don't think anyone is saying Randy Moss is washed up anymore, and linebacker Adalius Thomas is sure living up to his hype. The final score was 38-14 and it felt like an even bigger margin.
I really needed this game to feel good about the Patriots again. Before the game we got to hear former players Steve Grogan and John Hannah talk about "videogate" in the Gillette Stadium clubhouse and they made me feel much better about the whole mess. Plus all the fans had a great sense of humor about it - lots of "you're on Candid Camera" and "In Bill We Trust" signs throughout the stands. Grogan said, Belichick broke the rules, got caught and penalized - end of story; there is no way winning championships can be attributed to extra info from video. Hannah thought this might end up being a great thing for the team - bringing them together and making them feel like underdogs again. He was right.
For the first time ever - Bill Belichick was introduced after the team came out game. He got a huge ovation and even waved to the crowd. That is something he did in warmups and at the end of the game too. I've never noticed him acknowledge the crowd himself before. This whole experience seems to have really humbled him and brought the players even closer to him. The coach seems almost human now. There were so many smiles and hugs on the sideline - it seemed like we had just won a playoff game. Belichick even used the word "awesome" three times in his post game press conference. I don't believe I've ever heard him say that. He talked about how the great the fans are and how good his team is -- NOT usual Bill speak. Plus the players seemed much more emotional too - Brady talked about how Belichick is the best coach in NFL history, while Bruschi said "This is the most satisfying [win] because I've never been in a situation where people have doubted what we've done..."
This team is the best Patriots team ever - and after a week of being called cheaters, they are fired-up to rip apart any team that gets in front of them. Plus, Rodney Harrison and Richard Seymour will be suiting up in a few more weeks too. I love it.