(Photo from Boston.com)
If it's all the same to you, I'm going to go ahead and blame Bernard Pollard for this most recent string of Patriots' misfortune. I realize that Pollard was nowhere near Welker when his knee went kablooey and rather fell on him afterwards but it's way easier to blame him than to direct my ire at the turf. So from now on, any Patriots injuries will be blamed on Bernard Pollard. If I so much as bang my shin on my coffee table while getting up to get a drink during a Patriots game, I'm blaming it on Pollard. Apparently, Pollard feels terrible about being involved with the Brady injury last September and the aftermath of the Welker injury. And that's great and all, but you'll forgive me if my sympathy doesn't lie with Pollard and his bruised feelings. I trust you all understand.
I can't be the only one whose excitement over winning the division and making the playoffs was squashed when Welker pulled up and grabbed his knee, can I? Because I'm also sure I'm not the only one who's noticed that the difference in the team this year when they're playing well and when they're not is Welker. There is nothing that pisses off opposing fans so much as the slant route to Welker because, for some reason, no one can ever seem to stop it. And while Julian Edelman will do his very best Welker impression, there's no substitute for the real thing.
What I'm saying is, I'm worried, guys. I'm real worried. Especially since Ray Lewis and Ed Reed are salivating over the opportunity to eat Tom Brady whole next week. And the longer this team goes without making up for 2007 (and doesn't it sort of feel like that's what they're always going to be trying to do?), the more painful that loss becomes. None of this is helped along by the fact that it's time for the "Decade's Best" lists and no one can resist the urge to shove that David Tyree catch down our throats every chance they get. Personally, I've stood up and left the room so many times when it comes on that I'm pretty sure HJ thinks I have ants in my pants. What can I say? I can't watch it.
Now, it's true that the Pats could surprise everyone and go further in the playoffs than anyone expects. If we've learned anything about them over the course of the last ten years, it's that they can certainly surprise you. But I suspect this time, it might take a little more than they have.