I guess Bill Belichick will be just fine without Charlie Weis and Romeo Crennel? It was “business as usual” for the Patriots on Thursday night, as New England opened the 2005 season with a 30-20 win over the Raiders.
Oakland took the opening kickoff and drove for a TD, marking the first time New England had allowed an opening-drive TD to an opponent, in 37 games! However, the defense settled down after that, allowing just a 73-yard TD ‘bomb’ to Randy Moss in the second quarter and a concession TD (leading 30-14) with about three minutes remaining in the game. As for the offense, Brady passed for 306 yards with two TDs (no INTs) and Dillon ran for two scores, despite rushing for just 63 yards.
New England has now won 35 of its last 39 games (counting the postseason), including 21 straight at home! No team in the Super Bowl era has ever won three straight championships and in NFL history, only Lombardi’s Green Bay Packers have won three consecutive titles. Green Bay won the NFL title in 1965 and then won the first two Super Bowls, following NFL title-game wins in the 1966 and 1967 seasons. Can the Pats make it three straight Super Bowls and four in five seasons this year?
I guess so but it’s not easy these days to even make the playoffs year in and year out. New England has won three Super Bowls in four years but in 2002, the Pats failed to even reach the postseason. Only three franchises have made it to the postseason in each of the last three years. Philadelphia tops the list with five straight playoff appearances, followed by Green Bay (four straight) and Indianapolis (three straight).
The Eagles finally broke their NFC title-game hex last year, beating the Falcons 27-10 in the NFC Championship Game, where they had lost the three previous years. The Eagles are easily the NFC’s best team again this year but are facing the fact that four straight and five of the last six Super Bowl losers have failed to post winning records the following year!
The Bengals own the longest playoff drought, having last been to the postseason in 1990. They’ll enter the 2005 season with a stretch of 14 consecutive playoff-less ufabet เว็บแทงบอลมือถือyears. Behind Cincinnati is Arizona with six straight non-playoff seasons. Buffalo, Detroit, Jacksonville and Washington have each missed the postseason the last five years.
The San Diego Chargers ended an eight-year playoff drought last season, by improving from 4-12 in 2003 to 12-4 in 2004. A turnaround like the Chargers experienced last year has not exactly become the norm but it’s not a rarity, either.