Week one. Say it out loud with me: Week...One. Thats all it was. One game in early September. Yet somehow, I am getting the feeling that so many of you are already tapping out for the season. Really? So let me get this straight: 5 months ago, you spent an entire spring weekend living and dying with every draft pick this team made. Some picks you may have loved, others not so much. But there you sat, showing complete disregard for friends and family, for four whole days. Then you endured that brutal lockout. Endless spring and summer days of nothing but lockout news. No OTA's. No rookie training camps. Nothing but lawyers and publicists. Next you scoured the internet for every possible nugget you could possibly digest regarding the chinese fire drill that was the free agency period. And training camp. You spent ever single day following every blog you could deperate to find out who looked good, who looked bad, and everything that could possibly have happened in between. This was your spring, and this was your summer. And now, because of a week one loss to a team that many consider the best in the league, you are calling it a day. Wheres the hope? Wheres the passion? Now I don't love the way that game went down on Monday, but I am going to choose to highlight the positive, and stand firm in my belief that this is a serious team.
I touched on this the other day, but I think it is important enough to mention it again. Tom Brady is one of the top three QB's to have ever lived. Ever. That is not hyperbole. That is as close to a certainty as you can get. I know, I know, I hate him too, but the facts are the facts. We are not the first defense to be embarrassed by this guy, and we won't be the last. Now if that was Donovan Mcnabb, or even Eli Manning out there, I'd be jumping from the tallest building too. But it wasn't. It was a brilliant QB, backed up by a brilliant head coach.
Now, I am not excusing the lackluster play of our defense, or the utter lack of preperation by Mike Nolan. I am, however, saying that teams have bad days sometimes. Other times, they have downright horrid days. Ask the Pittsburgh Steelers. But it doesn't necessarily mean it is going to become a pattern. In fact, some might say that this was a much needed wake up call that this defense needed. After hearing things from our cornerbacks about being the "best in the league", maybe a little cold water will prove to be invaluable. Maybe this will light a white hot fire in the hearts of a unit that has in the past shown a surplus of talent. Now we just need to see some pride.
I am encouraged because I saw a QB that has been beaten and battered by not only the media, but by his own fans, for the better part of the last year, rise up and choose to fight for the position that we were all so eager to have taken away from him. In fact, no one has more right to be livid with this teams defense than Chad Henne, because their Monday night meltdown stole his Tuesday morning headlines. Had Mike Nolans unit played an average game, just average, and held Brady to average numbers, we win that game. And all anyone would be talking about this week would be the surpising Dolphins and the story of a maligned QB finally living up to his potential. But Henne doesn't get that day now. And he deserved it. Some of you have tempered excitement by continuing to point out the few mistakes that he made (No touch on some passes, bad fade throws on the goal line). I even saw someone complain about the INT he threw on the last play of the game (Which I won't waste time discussing, being how stupid that statement is). But it is time to be fair. He showed so many qualities that many of us, me included, never thought he would be capable of displaying. And now is no the time for nit-picking. It's time to lay off, and take some pressure off the guys shoulders. For the time being, at least.
I am encouraged because I saw an offensive unit that, while certainly not perfect, was exciting and aggressive. The playcalling was by no means perfect (Wait, did he just throw that fade to Hartline?). But dammit, it was ballsy. And that is EXACTLY what we have all been crying for for years. But now I am reading things about us being "too aggressive." Well, we can't have it both ways, boys. We wanted aggressive. We got aggressive. So let's just sit back and see how it plays out over a few weeks, at least.
How can we expect this team to stand strong and fight back, when so many of it's fans are unwilling to do so? I know the last decade or so have been pretty frustrating, and maybe the franchise isn't completely deserving of our hope and optimism. But I have spent too much god damn time obsessing over this team through the years, to give up after one game. I also know that many of you agree with me, and have been saying so. By no means is this directed at everyone. And for those of you that live in south Florida: Go buy tickets to this game. Even though I don't live locally and a blackout wouldn't effect me, the notion of it makes me sick, and quite frankly, embarrassed....