FanDuel - WFBC

January 03, 2008

How Do You Get to 16 - 0?: In a recent thread, some questioned how the New England Patriots were able to achieve an undefeated regular season record. This article from SI.com gives an insider's view.

posted by Howard_T to football at 11:16 AM - 56 comments

You get to 16-0 the same way one gets to Carnegie Hall.

posted by Fly_Piscator at 11:53 AM on January 03

The same way the Dolphins got to perfection. You need a genius for a coach (Belichick = Shula).

posted by SFValley_Dude at 12:10 PM on January 03

The same way the Dolphins got to perfection. You need a genius for a coach (Belichick = Shula). Comment icon posted by SFValley_Dude at 12:10 PM CST on January 3 Although, Belichick is a very talented coach (as is Shula), a great innovator, and good judge of football talent. Calling a coach in the NFL a genius is inappropriate in my estimation. That tag is thrown around like so much confetti, and Iím personally sick of it. Reason for 16-0 season is dedication, never say die attitude and cohesive team, with all fundamentals down pat. (pardon the pun)

posted by Nakeman at 01:05 PM on January 03

You'd think they cured cancer. Reason for 16-0 season is dedication, never say die attitude and cohesive team, with all fundamental down pat. Sprinkle in a few gimmes, some lucky breaks, and some half time video tape studying and you're exactly right. Hell, if there is a 0 in the loss column, some would call it perfect. I was accused in a another thread about the Pats of not backing my opinion up with facts, so here is a fact. Watch the Baltimore/Pats game again and you'll see what I mean. Rex Ryan beat Baltimore and the Pats got the W, that's a fact. So I guess he's perfect too.

posted by Footballcrew at 01:05 PM on January 03

Don't forget lucky bounces. Any of their close games could easily have gone the other way because of a handful of plays. I am a Pats fan, but I don't think the element of chance should go without mention.

posted by kokaku at 01:18 PM on January 03

Footballcrew I don't understand why your so down on the Pats. Every team with good records get breaks from time to time, and what makes them good, is taking advantage of the opportunities. Cheating has come up in your post a lot, and yes they were caught cheating, But, do you honestly think they went 16- 0 because of stolen signals for one game. I suggest your bias is insurmountable due to dislike for the Patriots and NO amount of reason is going to change your mind. However, consider this, if your favorite team were in the same situations as the Patriots are right now, would your objections to the 16-0 tag still apply?

posted by Nakeman at 01:35 PM on January 03

Nakeman, can you please not cut and paste the "posted by" bit as it dumps in two additional lines and the icon info? Thanks.

posted by yerfatma at 01:41 PM on January 03

Footballcrew: Enough already with Baltimore beat New England. Point made. We got it. Please stop hammering us over the head. You plastered another thread with this. Enough. If you feel so strongly about it, get a blog called "omgthepatsgotbeatbybaltimoreifyousaynoyouresowrongbecauseitsfact.com"

posted by jerseygirl at 01:54 PM on January 03

But Jg, footballtroll is in pursuit of perfection. 13 comments and counting, all mindlessly repeating the same exact "point" across three threads. Soon he'll be gunning for the elusive, legendary 16-0: 16 comments without expressing a single intelligent thought. Some would call it perfect.

posted by Venicemenace at 02:02 PM on January 03

Jersey-I think that name's already taken.

posted by kcfan4life at 02:02 PM on January 03

Wow FOOTBALLCREW you are one bitter guy. Seriously, how about a glass of milk so those sour grapes you're eating are a little more palletable. Sorry to say Mr. bitter but there will never be a * beside there season record. Get over it!

posted by B10 at 02:03 PM on January 03

I don't see any "inside" information other than he always found the time to look me squarely in the eye and say, "C'mon Ross, me and you, let's get a great snap first."Otherwise it's nothing anyone else hasn't already written.

posted by Familyman at 02:09 PM on January 03

venicemenace, im rooting for him to get it, too. then he can show us a record without any close ones. after all, he hasn't even come near an inteligent thaught. crew, football is a complicated game, maybe you should be a fan of some other sport thats more your speed. like checkers, or tic tac toe.

posted by elijahin at 02:15 PM on January 03

crew, football is a complicated game, maybe you should be a fan of some other sport thats more your speed. like checkers, or tic tac toe. Couldn't have said it better myself

posted by B10 at 02:18 PM on January 03

If Ben Roethlisberger making plays on the run is his biggest fear, he will devise a disciplined pass rush scheme that forces Roethlisberger to throw from the pocket. They will go out of their way to ensure that their opponent doesn't beat them with their strengths. As a Steeler fan I blame Bill for figuring this out a couple of years ago. He realized Ben isn't a very good progression QB and he does his best improvising...so he just had his defense "mush-rush" as Jawarski would call it, and FORCE him to throw from the pocket. Several teams have since mimicked this and the Steelers struggle when they do. As much as I HAAATTTEEEE the Pats, their coaching is impeccable. To be able to get his team UP for a game 16 times in a row is simply remarkable. Teams simply have games where they play flat, but Bill has not allowed that all year. And his halftime adjustments are second to none. I still say they can be beat (Jags and Colts are both capable of beating them), but both of those teams will have to bring their A+ game to do it.

posted by bdaddy at 02:18 PM on January 03

You'd think they cured cancer. You'd think you'd get a hobby. Actually, I supposed if you were gonna, you already woulda...oh wait, maybe you did...

posted by lil_brown_bat at 02:29 PM on January 03

Footballcrew has been placed on waivers for the purpose of granting his unconditional release.

posted by rcade at 02:32 PM on January 03

he's like happy gillmore, he keeps comming to try-outs with the same weak skills even though he never makes the team.

posted by elijahin at 02:52 PM on January 03

Jersey-I think that name's already taken I got it on GoDaddy.com for $1.99.

posted by hawkguy at 02:53 PM on January 03

Rex Ryan beat Baltimore and the Pats got the W, that's a fact. WRONG! A fact is something that can be proven. No matter how true it is you can never actually prove that Rex Ryan beat Baltimore. On the flip side, you can prove that the Pats won. Hmmm, well at least half or your statement is right, see that....there's a first time for everything!

posted by B10 at 03:05 PM on January 03

There's a difference between a perfect record and a perfect team. Perfect record = fact. Perfect team = debatable and entirely subjective. Is this something on which we can all agree (even you, Footballcrew)?

posted by diastematic at 03:08 PM on January 03

To be able to get his team UP for a game 16 times in a row is simply remarkable. Teams simply have games where they play flat, but Bill has not allowed that all year. And his halftime adjustments are second to none. Very good point, bdaddy. Being more of an English football fan I found myself comparing this kind of management to, say, Ferguson, Wenger and Benitez--Wenger managed it in 2004 and his Arsenal ran the table undefeated but otherwise hard to find the equal.

posted by billsaysthis at 03:11 PM on January 03

Perfect record = fact. Perfect team = debatable and entirely subjective. there is no such thing as a perfect team, in the absolute sence of the word. much the same as there is no perfect snowflake, or perfect person. however perfection is also defined as "the highest level of proficiency or efficiency that can possibly be attained" (websters) i dont see how anyone can be more efficient or proficient than 16-0, therefore it is accurate to refer to the 2007 new england patriots as "perfect."

posted by elijahin at 03:27 PM on January 03

"That tag is thrown around like so much confetti, and Iím personally sick of it." Good observation Nake. I second it. Genius is a rare happening among the human population. It is about time the term regains it's status as a description of something that happens once or twice in a century. Are there many very intelligent people with a deep grasp of their chosen field? Yes, and the Patriots' football coach, in my opinion, is a example of such a person - but he is no genius, given the true meaning of that term.

posted by Cave_Man at 03:34 PM on January 03

And you, Cave_Man, are no Jack Kennedy.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 03:38 PM on January 03

It just occurred to me: Footballcrew is Brian Billick. For weeks, he was lobbying to keep his job by telling everybody We actually beat the Pats! The score just didn't correctly reflect it! Then, there was a lull, and now he's back, trying to convince other teams to hire him now that he's been fired. But I beat the Patriots! I'm the reason they have an asterisk next to their record! Good luck with the career, Brian.

posted by The_Black_Hand at 03:47 PM on January 03

And you, Cave_Man, are no Jack Kennedy. posted by lil_brown_bat at 3:38 PM CST on January 3 Now l_b_b is referring to Bentonism. Will the world cease to function w/o her witty input? I think not. However, the point of genius is valid in the case of football coaches. "that was totally uncalled for" Quialism

posted by Nakeman at 03:52 PM on January 03

"And you, Cave_Man, are no Jack Kennedy. posted by lil_brown_bat at 3:38 PM CST on January 3" Granted. Ya got me.

posted by Cave_Man at 03:56 PM on January 03

Now l_b_b is referring to Bentonism Lloyd Benson? Ah well, you say "potato", " I say "potatoe".

posted by yerfatma at 04:08 PM on January 03

ok yes, "genius" is thrown around way too much, much like "hero", that said, in football terms, there are some coaches (and even a few players) who are worthy of the title, provided that it is qualified as being in football terms and not something important like medicine. coach hobo, certainly does qualify. i would put him in the top five coaches ever, along with bill walsh, vince lombardi, don shula, and tom landry.

posted by elijahin at 04:12 PM on January 03

llb-I figured you catch it, nothing gets by this gal. Just trying to keep the ole girl on her toes. Have a nice day. :)

posted by Nakeman at 04:15 PM on January 03

nothing gets by this gal. Just trying to keep the ole girl on her toes. How 'bout we leave the sexism at home? You wouldn't spend 90% of a comment pointing out a fellow member was a guy, would you?

posted by yerfatma at 05:40 PM on January 03

You wouldn't spend 90% of a comment pointing out a fellow member was a guy, would you? As a matter of fact. I would. llb is very good at correcting people on this blog. It seem she does it quite often. And I guess, you will use 100% of your comments to make a point of manners to me. I would also like to know, where's that sense of humor is, your always talking about. If llb want a apology (by proxy through you), she has it. I guess I wasn't clear that I was kidding at her expense.

posted by Nakeman at 06:15 PM on January 03

That S.I. column pretty much sums it up I think.Of course you've got to have the players and the coaching to accomplish what N.E. has done.You take a look some teams that have won the Super Bowl one year,then the next year they barely make the playoffs or don't make them at all.Except the Colts.The Patriots have won 3 of the last 6 Super Bowls.They seem to be able to get players and get the most out of them simply because of the winning attitude they seem to have and the confidence in each other as a team.There was a time when teams saw they had New England on their schedule,in most cases it was like an automatic win.Just show up and you get the win.Not so anymore.The change in ownership,bringing Belichick in as head coach.All of the positive things that Kraft has done with this team,and we are no longer the doormat of the NFL here in New England.Going 16-0 was a great accomplishment.Going 19-0,and another Super Bowl would be the icing on the cake.Of course you've got to have a little luck and get some breaks,in which the Pats did.But hasn't every good team gotten them breaks and that luck?Oh and by the way FOOTBALL CREW,the Patriots did get them breaks and had a little luck against Baltimore,but it takes good players and coaching to know how to win them games,something Baltimore didn't have.So please put away your crying towel and just give credit where credit is due!!

posted by Ghastly1 at 06:28 PM on January 03

"and not something important like medicine. coach hobo, certainly does qualify. i would put him in the top five coaches ever, along with bill walsh, vince lombardi, don shula, and tom landry. posted by elijahin at 4:12 PM CST on January 3" How about Chuck Noll and Joe Gibbs? Noll won four Super Bowls and Gibbs has three.

posted by Cave_Man at 08:30 PM on January 03

yeah i know, cave man, but there are only 5 spots in the top 5. they would deffinitly be 6 and 7. followed by marv levy it certainly isnt meant as a slight against any of those three.

posted by elijahin at 08:33 PM on January 03

"yeah i know, cave man, but there are only 5 spots in the top 5. they would deffinitly be 6 and 7. followed by marv levy it certainly isnt meant as a slight against any of those three. posted by elijahin at 8:33 PM CST on January 3" Duhhhhh! Got it :-))

posted by Cave_Man at 08:46 PM on January 03

counting to five. so simple, a cave_man can do it. lol

posted by elijahin at 11:14 PM on January 03

Spy gate - nothing new; they got caught and stopped immediately. You wonder why none of the other teams pushed the matter? They were too busy selling their video equipment on EBay. Countless comments from current and former players and coaches after that game confirmed the fact that it has been happening in one form or another for 20+ years. Good wake up call for all. It should make everyone pay more attention to the rules. P.S. huge thanks to the JETS for the motivation this season. Lucky breaks - If every close call this year went the other way, the standings wouldn't be close to what they are now. The fact is, after a lot of review, the calls stood. If you honestly think the Pats were the only team to get a break this year, you are probably a figure skating fan. Watch more football next year. Bottom line is, there are a few incredibly talented and well coached teams right now that will provide an exciting post season for true afficianados this year. bdaddy, Nakeman and Ghastly1 - spot on! Everyone just sit back, enjoy the ride, and for Pete's sake, if your team is already on a golf course in Florida, please quit whining.

posted by Marlboro Man at 06:08 AM on January 04

But since a "golden boy" (good ole boy) lead the Pats And here we thought you were just anti New England. Not anti "good ole boy". Im pretty sure anyone here would be amazed at any QB to take his team 16-0, not just the white ones.

posted by Ricardo at 12:51 PM on January 04

Looks like Banningaccountsdoesntwork has some anger issues... Maybe we should get him a date with Dr. Phil.

posted by Goyoucolts at 01:30 PM on January 04

You bring up some good points Footballcrew. I'm convinced!

posted by sic at 03:59 PM on January 04

Gosh, what did I miss? I was always convinced that an NFL team's "window of opportunity" was 3-5 years. What impresses me the most is the Patriots ability to play at this elevated level for so long. Plus, it appears they can continue to win for more years to come. I think that speaks volumes more than this years 16-0 record. I hope they win it all and finish at 19-0. I'm happy I could witness it all. Congrats to the Pats/Belichick for an outstanding season and in my opinion, establishing itself as a dynasty.

posted by BoKnows at 04:47 PM on January 04

Going 19-0,and another Super Bowl would be the icing on the cake. Winning the Super Bowl is not icing on the cake, it is the cake. If you gave the Pats a choice between 16-0 and Super Bowl champions, I think they would unanimously choose Super Bowl Champions. To paraphrase Herm: "you play to win the super bowl." And if they don't win it all, there will be the inevitable media backlash against the Pats efforts in going 16-0. In other words, some will question whether the effort expended in the regular season left them without enough come playoff time. I think they'll end up playing Jacksonville and Indianapolis to get to the Super Bowl. And that would be one tough road to hoe. But whoever they end up playing in the AFC, they're certainly going to have to earn it. If they reach the Super Bowl, I think they crush any team from the NFC* *Warning: Following any of my advice to place a wager would be a foolhardy and costly mistake.

posted by cjets at 07:29 PM on January 04

I'm the first one to say that the Jaguars are going to be A DANGEROUS TEAM IN THE PLAYOFFS!! Also,you can't look past the Colts who are the defending Champs.I'm for one am not just a one sided Pats fan.Theres 3 games to go for N.E. GO 19-0.AND I HOPE THE HELL THEY DO IT TO SHUT UP ALL THE NAYSAYERS.And if they don't,congratulations to the team that knocked them out.And anything short of a Super Bowl win will be a disappointment after going 16-0 in the regular season.Hell even 18-1 will be!!!!

posted by Ghastly1 at 10:52 PM on January 04

"yeah i know, cave man, but there are only 5 spots in the top 5. they would deffinitly be 6 and 7. followed by marv levy it certainly isnt meant as a slight against any of those three. posted by elijahin at 8:33 PM CST on January 3" Duhhhhh! Got it :-)) posted by Cave_Man at 8:46 PM CST on January 3 You sure*? It was one hell of an accomplishment to go 16-0, and impressive too I might add. My team did not make the playoff's at 10-6, damn colts rolling over in the last week, so I will be rooting for the Pats to whip everybody from now on. Plus, ya never know when we will ever have another shot to see a 19-0 team again. oh wait, except next year if the Pat's keep everyone. It would be pretty cool to see an undefeated team all the way through, I was only 2 when the 'phins did it. Though I am not an avid Pats fan, I don't hate them, but it has been fun to see what they have done this year. As for the business of people using the excuse of "they are only 16-0 because of a lucky this or that," I offer you this. Good solid teams often produce their own luck. A solid defense will usually have players in the right place at the right time to get, or create the big turn overs. Thats one of the things that make them so good. When it comes to penalties, if your players don't get called for them that much, the ref's don't look as much, they get lulled into a sense of security almost that there is nothing against the rules happening. I believe that the Pats have done just these things, there is nothing wrong with it at all. They are just that good. * not meant in a mean way, please give it a shot everybody.

posted by jojomfd1 at 09:08 AM on January 05

I was only 11 that year and more interested in Deep Purple, Zeppelin and, just a bit, the girls in my class so my memories of the Dolphins' march are about nil, but does anyone believe that over 14 games there was not one when the other team or a referee gifted them the win? This happens every season at all levels in all sports so to single out the Patriots is absurd. Or maybe sublime.

posted by billsaysthis at 01:04 PM on January 05

And if they don't win it all, there will be the inevitable media backlash against the Pats efforts in going 16-0. In other words, some will question whether the effort expended in the regular season left them without enough come playoff time. Sorry, but given the facts on the ground -- the health of the team, and particularly the lack of high-impact injuries in the latter part of the season -- that seems just plain ludicrous. If Brady had got his shoulder seriously tweaked while going for TD 50 or win 16, then yeah, there would be something to talk about -- but how can you have an "inevitable[sic] media backlash" over damage that didn't happen?

posted by lil_brown_bat at 07:23 PM on January 05

Sorry, but given the facts on the ground -- the health of the team, and particularly the lack of high-impact injuries in the latter part of the season -- that seems just plain ludicrous. If Brady had got his shoulder seriously tweaked while going for TD 50 or win 16, then yeah, there would be something to talk about -- but how can you have an "inevitable[sic] media backlash" over damage that didn't happen? Ludicrous? LBB, you're always using the big words with me. I would agree that the Pats are the best team in the NFL. So let's speculate for a second. If they do lose, however it happens, do you really think that journalists will not talk about the drive for 16 costing them in the post season? Doesn't mean it would be right. But how do they avoid the subject? They've been blabbering about it all year long. Just as some journalist would state that taking a week off killed their momentum. Also, effort expended does not necessarily equal injuries sustained. The mental and physical toll expended in going 16-0 might have left the team exhausted. It's all speculation but if they lose, it's certainly something you'd have to consider. And Belichick is notorious for putting as little info on the team's IR report as possible. It's entirely possible that there are injuries that we're not aware of. And what's with the inevitable[sic]? I googled it. It's spelled correctly.

posted by cjets at 08:32 PM on January 05

The media would definitely respond to a Pats loss with a narrative about how Belichick wore them out with the 16-0 run. Fatigue and endurance are such subjective quantities that any loss can be blamed on them. But this is moot, in my view. The Pats are going to win the ring.

posted by rcade at 11:12 PM on January 05

Jacksonville seems like a team that could give the Patriots a run for their money. They have a strong defensive line and if the weather is terrible they can still move the ball on the ground.

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 06:31 AM on January 06

I would agree that the Pats are the best team in the NFL. So let's speculate for a second. If they do lose, however it happens, do you really think that journalists will not talk about the drive for 16 costing them in the post season? Doesn't mean it would be right. But how do they avoid the subject? They've been blabbering about it all year long. There's a difference between avoiding the subject and pointing to the 16-0 regular season as the reason why they lost in the playoffs. Granted, there really is no speculation too baseless or thought too insipid for the slow-news-day types to bring it up, but in order to make hay out of it, they'd have to point to something that happened during those 16 games that somehow cost the Patriots the playoffs...and what are they going to point to, exactly? Sammy Morris? Someone will bring it up, no doubt, but they're just not going to get any mileage out of it, because there's nothing to it. There's also this to consider: a perfect season as such means nothing in the playoffs, but your record does count for something. Specifically, until game 14 was won, the Patriots were still playing for home field advantage, which I think is worth a lot. Once your playoff spot is assured, is it the intelligent coaching decision to not try and gain home field advantage? Also, effort expended does not necessarily equal injuries sustained. The mental and physical toll expended in going 16-0 might have left the team exhausted. So would you not have logically expected to see this "exhaustion" show up in the 16th game? I don't recall any signs of it. And Belichick is notorious for putting as little info on the team's IR report as possible. It's entirely possible that there are injuries that we're not aware of. Possible, but I don't think it's likely. I'm basing that on all the close-ups we saw of Tony Romo's thumb. When a key player shows signs of favoring a body part on the field, there's a lot of focus and speculation, and there hasn't been any of that, even as the starters had very high percentage playing times. Belichick does indeed play 'em close, but I really don't think it's there. And what's with the inevitable[sic]? I googled it. It's spelled correctly. Yeah, that was a reference to usage, not misspelling. You spoke of an "inevitable media backlash", meaning that if the Patriots fail to win the Super Bowl, the media will -- not may, will -- react in a certain way. I think that remains to be seen; hence, it's not inevitable.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 04:24 PM on January 06

Wow, that's amazingly pedantic, given "inevitability" lies in the mind of the speaker. You don't get to decide it for someone else any more than they do for you, yet the word still gets used. If the Pats lose at all, there are a zillion stories pre-made for hack sportswriters to mail in and most of them will revolve around: 1. Was it worth 16-0? 2. Did they burn out early due to pressure? 3. Is a team really "one for the ages" when they didn't even win the trophy as best team? To me, in all but the most extraordinary circumstances, "[sic]" is the Internet equivalent of "Fuck you".

posted by yerfatma at 06:38 PM on January 06

Wow, that's amazingly pedantic, given "inevitability" lies in the mind of the speaker. Er...really? It seems like an absolute term. Inevitable = unavoidable = it is going to happen...not so? ...or maybe you just meant to say, "to me, 'inevitability' is the internet equivalent of 'it wouldn't surprise me if it happened'."

posted by lil_brown_bat at 07:02 PM on January 06

There's also this to consider: a perfect season as such means nothing in the playoffs, but your record does count for something. Specifically, until game 14 was won, the Patriots were still playing for home field advantage, which I think is worth a lot. Once your playoff spot is assured, is it the intelligent coaching decision to not try and gain home field advantage? I understand the logic behind your reasoning but this is about what the Media will do. I'm not sure logic applies when we discuss the media. So would you not have logically expected to see this "exhaustion" show up in the 16th game? I don't recall any signs of it. Maybe it's the effort in the 16th game that could lead to the exhaustion in the playoffs. If they were 14-1, do you really think they would have chased down the Giants? Granted, there really is no speculation too baseless or thought too insipid for the slow-news-day types to bring it up, but in order to make hay out of it, they'd have to point to something that happened during those 16 games that somehow cost the Patriots the playoffs And that's where we differ. The media have made the 16-0 achievement the single biggest story of the NFL this year. That alone is reason enough for them to hammer away at 16-0 if they do lose. I wouldn't bet against the Pats. But I would bet on the media reaction if they lose. Or what Yerfatma said (except the part about the [sic] = fuck you. I just think the usage was incorrect.)

posted by cjets at 09:36 PM on January 06

I understand the logic behind your reasoning but this is about what the Media will do. I'm not sure logic applies when we discuss the media. Fair 'nuff. Maybe it's the effort in the 16th game that could lead to the exhaustion in the playoffs. If they were 14-1, do you really think they would have chased down the Giants? I'm not sure. I'm trying (and failing) to think of a game in the Belichick/Brady era where they really "played it safe". I've known plenty of times when they sat or limited the play of a starter who was recovering from an injury, but I can't think of a time when they sat a starter just to avoid the possibility of an injury. And that's where we differ. The media have made the 16-0 achievement the single biggest story of the NFL this year. That alone is reason enough for them to hammer away at 16-0 if they do lose. I suppose. Anyway, I'm hoping we won't get a chance to find out.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 08:37 AM on January 07

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