Patriots get all the breaks when it comes to the NFL

For the fifth year in a row, the New England Patriots entered the season with one of the eight easiest schedules in the NFL.

In fact, this year the Patriots have the second easiest schedule in the entire league, while boasting the most wins of any franchise in the entire NFL over the past five years, according to ESPN preseason polls.

Unfortunately, this isn’t the only bias exhibited by the league towards this squad over the past decade.

Every year since Tom Brady took over as starter I can definitively point to at least three games in every Patriots season since where calls were clearly missed, highly questionable, or blatantly favored by the referees towards the Patriots in crunch time.

Without the blessing of the referees, and some timely and proven intentional cheating via spygate, who knows if this pseudo-dynasty would ever have won a championship at all.  It stands to reason by an evaluation of some simple statistics that they may not have.

Brady has been among the league’s worst during crunch time in his recent career, posting a 15 quarterback rating. Quarterback rating on a scale of 100, where 50 is average.  In the last five minutes of one possession games in his last five seasons.

The much-criticized Mark Sanchez has twice the rating in that same time frame. Maybe it’s time we stop showering both this squad and quarterback with so much praise.
On Sunday, the Patriots got away with yet another game by the sheer grace of officiating against the New York Jets.

It’s an opinion even held by former Patriot safety and current NBC analyst Rodney Harrison.  After a “highly questionable pass interference” call by the ref in overtime, “who was 25 yards away from the play and not the one who was four yards away.”  The Patriots were yet again allowed to extend another clutch drive via referee donation.

This led to the game winning points.

While this yearly trend does indeed look to continue, the Jets still can’t take a moral victory away from this loss.

Mark Sanchez proved once again that he is not a franchise quarterback and is a liability when thrust into the position of winning the game for his team. Expect to hear the Tebow chants get louder and louder in New York.

However, the Jets are still in contention in their division and almost won that game against the Patriots. Don’t look for head coach Rex Ryan to make any hasty decisions at the quarterback position just yet.


Will Reeve
Staff Writer
Published Oct. 24, 2012