Another year, another loss to the Denver Broncos. I'm tired of this. And I hope the Patriots are getting tired of it, too.
The Razor's Edge tailgate party was cautiously optimistic before the game. Several of us made predictions of 3-point win margins (for the Patriots, of course), but we were nervous. After the game, we trickled slowly back to our tents, where in the post-apocalyptic parking lot setting -- low-flying helicopters, honking traffic, shattered glass, the smell of spilled beer, piles of still-smoking charcoal -- we talked about the game and tried to find the good aspects.
There weren't many. Hey, Troy Brown is still terrifically reliable out there, isn't he? And the final drive showed that we can still use the short-pass offense once in a while. The defense did a decent job, despite giving up a few big scoring plays to Denver. Our beloved Tedy Bruschi looked great for someone with a just-healed broken arm. Ty Warren had some nice plays, as did Doug Gabriel, and our punt coverage worked well.
Okay, we were trying a little too hard.
But the bad parts came so easily:
* Where was Tom Brady's accuracy? I can understand not having established a rhythm with his new receivers, but even when guys were wide open, some of his throws were just way off! That's not the Brady we're used to seeing.
* Where was our famous new running game? Granted, half of it departed the field with Corey Dillon, but even before then, it wasn't looking good. Of course, we didn't have much of a passing game to fall back to, which is probably what Denver was counting on.
* Another blocked kick? What a confidence booster for Gostkowski.
* That scoring drive at the end of the game was nice and all, but let's get real -- Denver played a soft defense at that point in the game, knowing the outcome was all but locked up. We couldn't pull that off earlier in the game.
* That third-quarter play that everyone initially thought was a safety clearly wasn't, even from the beginning. The Denver player's forward motion was stopped at the two-yard line before he was pushed back into the end zone, and per the rules, that's where the ball was spotted. The crowd around us booed the referees; very classy. And Rosevelt Colvin kept pumping up the crowd against the refs -- shouldn't he have known better?
* That said, the refereeing wasn't very good, and the Patriots came out worse on several plays because of it. (But let's not fool ourselves into thinking that's why we lost.)
One more thing: China? Um, why should we think that it's a good idea to send our boys halfway around the world for a preseason game, when they could spend that travel time at home, practicing or resting?
Well, that's the news this week from the Razor's Edge. And now I'll reveal my Pollyanna tendencies: Maybe this loss will light a fire under some of the Patriots -- Brady, I'm talking to you -- and we'll beat Cincinnati next week!
Jenifer Tidwell can be found at the Razor's Edge tailgate party during game days. You can also find her on occasion in the forums under the name of BruschiBackerJen or on her personal website at www.Jtidwell.net