As we waited to find out who the Patriots would draw in the Divisional Round, the three of us at Foxboro Blog decided to have a little "round table" discussion to look back at some of the more memorable moments in 2010. Up next is the topic of the biggest story from the season.
Jason: The biggest storyline has to be Brady, Brady and more Brady. From the Justin Bieber haircut and the Ugg sponsorship in the early season, to the record-breaking streak without an INT and MVP-caliber play throughout the second half of the season, he has kept everyone talking all year. I don't hear too many people talking about his hair anymore (maybe it's the beard?). I, for one, am convinced that Brady is actually the reincarnation of Samson. His hair is the source of his strength. We can only hope Gisele does not go all Delilah on him and cut it in his sleep prior to the Super Bowl. That's right guys, Bible references. See, we're not all pop culture and Rex Ryan feet jokes around here. And I don't even think we crossed the line into blasphemy. That's a win.
Rick: The biggest storyline of the year has to be the whole Randy Moss saga at the beginning of the season. In week 2, I noticed that Randy Moss was not going to stay for very long in New England. In the first half of that loss to the Jets, Brady was clicking on all cylinders to Wes Welker and Aaron Hernandez. But, then a voice in the huddle said I need the ball. That led to 2 INT's and a division loss. I wondered then that Moss might overstay his welcome in Foxboro. Then, in the Monday night game against the Dolphins, Moss got in a heated argument with offensive playcaller Bill O'Brien after having a first half of 0 catches. So, I remember on twitter when the Moss to Vikings rumors began and ultimately finalized and was stunned New England got only a 3rd round pick. A lot of people and experts thought the Pats would not be contenders this year and were stocking up for the 2011 NFL Draft to try again next year. Well, it turns out the Pats didn't need Moss because they went back to a TEAM dynamic. New England finished 9-2 without Randy Moss while Minnesota and Tennessee struggled with the diva wide receiver. Plus, we can't forget his press conference after the Bengals game and then saying he missed the Pats after blowing a touchdown with the Vikings in a return to Foxboro. Thanks for the memories Moss, but the Patriots are doing fine without you.
Derek: I wanted to be creative here and come up with a third "big story", but Tom Brady just dwarfs them all. This off-season there were rumors swirling that the Patriots might not re-sign Tom Brady and that he may choose to go to a West Coast team. He was getting ragged on left and right about his hair, his wife, and his "Hollywood" lifestyle. I'll be honest, part of me wondered if Brady's best days were behind him. He definitely wasn't the same during 2009's "comeback" year, and he just had so many new things in his life to distract him from football. Then you factor in the Patriots "rebuilding" season and all the inexperienced players on the roster, and it seemed like the Patriots would need another 2-3 years to become legit contenders again. By that time, Brady might have been showing signs of decline.
Needless to say, we all couldn't have been more wrong. We totally underestimated the will and drive of Tom Brady. I know how badly I want another Super Bowl. After watching the Pats blow the 2006 AFC Championship, lose Super Bowl XLII, having Brady tear his ACL, and seeing our locker room implode last season, I honestly believe that I'm hungrier for this team to win a title than before they won their first one. I just never imagined that Tom Brady would want it even more. Despite all the reasons he has to mail it in and live his fantastic life, he has been there every day, working harder than everyone and setting the tone for this team. That's why he's the league MVP. That's why I say that he's even better than he was in 2007. And that's why I believe the Patriots are going to raise the Lombardi on February 6th.
The Patriots may be all about the "team", but this season, they're also all about Tom Brady.