Did the Patriots really just lose at home to the Arizona Cardinals?
There were so many shocking things about the Patriots loss that I don’t even know where to begin. I could start with the fact that the Patriots offense could only mange 18 points even though Brady threw for over 300 yards? Or how about the fact that the Patriot’s supposedly improved defense gave up 20 points to the Kevin Kolb, who throw for a touchdown and ran one in? Maybe the missed field goal was the most shocking thing? You did see the fantastic look of shock on owner Robert Krafts face?
Taking everything into account, the most shocking thing was the Patriots lack of aggression at the end of the game, by deciding to take the conservative route and kick the field goal. What was Belichick thinking? He never takes the conservative route! The Patriots had the ball at the Arizona 30 yard line with about a minute left in the game, and what do they do on second and third down? They center the football and then have Brady spike it, instead of taking a shot at the endzone. That’s exactly what they get for playing it safe—especially when, over in New York with the ball game tied, Eli Manning was leading his team to the game winning touchdown.
Speaking of Eli, is he now the safest bet to score at the end of the game?
Eli played horrible for most of that game, but with everything on the line and the game tied at 34-34 I had no doubt that he would lead the Giants to a victory. Sometimes sports come down to a simple gut check, and I bet every fan in the stadium had full confidence that Eli would lead that game winning drive. In contrast, I wasn’t completely sure that Brady could get the Patriots to score during the final minute of the game. I thought he would but I wasn’t as confident as I was with Eli, and maybe Belichick felt the same way because he had no hesitation with kicking that field goal instead of going for a TD.
And to take another QB from the opposite end of the spectrum, when the Eagles were driving into Baltimore territory trailing 23-17, I had no reason to believe that they would win the game. I can’t speak for every Eagles fan, but I am positive most of them were expecting Michael Vick to throw a game ending interception somewhere along the way-- I know I was.
Taking only these first two games into account, here is my list of the top 5 QB's I would want to lead a game winning drive with my life on the line.
5) Cam Newton
3) Alex Smith
2) Peyton Manning
1) Eli Manning
Yes I know this is a weird list and that none of these QB’s with the exception of Eli was considered top 10 coming into the season, but there is a changing of the guard at the quarterback position.