Five years from now, I’m only going to think about what could have been. At 11-5, the Patriots have failed to qualify for the post-season for the first time since 2002.
To be honest, I don’t want to talk about it. I don’t want to write about it. The fact is, any team that is 11-5 and on a dominating four game win streak deserves to be in the playoffs. We tied with the third best record in the NFL, yet still didn’t make it.
This team really could have made a post-season run. And I mean Super Bowl. We could have won it all. I believe there were only three teams better than us in the entire NFL, the Steelers, Giants, and Titans. We were on the same level as the Panthers and Colts. I think we were better than the Dolphins, Ravens, Falcons, Eagles, and Broncos/Chargers… etc.
The momentum that this team had… well, I’m not sure they could be stopped come playoff time. The fact that multiple teams with worse records than the Patriots can make it show exactly how ineffective the current playoff seeding system is. By having the divisions so small, the best teams don’t always make the playoffs. We saw this last year with the Browns, in 2005 with the Dolphins, and now more than ever with the Patriots. Expanding the divisions back to six would eliminate teams like the Broncos or Cardinals making the playoffs.
Wow, I still can’t believe the Patriots missed the playoffs at 11-5. Wow. Wow. Wow.
Speaking of wow, how about today’s game? Despite the fact that the Patriots missed the playoffs, it was one hell of a game. The wind definitely made it fun to watch. I wasn’t around for football in the 40’s, but I imagine today’s game somewhat resembled the good ‘ole days of football.
There are going to be a lot of changes this offseason. The Patriots have a lot of picks, there will likely be personnel changes. That can all be discussed in the future. For now, we can just try to move on. The Dolphins had one hell of a season, and they did deserve the division title, no matter how good the Patriots actually are.