In a span of six days, the New England Patriots outscored 81-10 two teams with combined records of 18-5.
And so it’s suddenly 2007 all over again in New England, without the pressure of remaining unbeaten and with a quick-strike offense that allows quarterback Tom Brady to get rid of the ball before a withering pass rush can rattle him.
Among those noticing the vibe coming from the 2010 Patriots is owner Robert Kraft, who spoke with reporters at the Patriots Charitable Foundation’s 18th annual community holiday party.
‘There’s a karma and a chemistry with this team that’s pretty special,” Kraft said, per Karen Guregian of the Boston Herald. “You can feel it when you walk in the locker room. Both before the game, and after the game. What’s evolved over the last 7 or 8 games, there’s a sense of confidence. These guys, the locker room is a very positive atmosphere.
“It’s a nuance that’s hard to understand if you don’t see it all the time. It’s sort of like walking through a factory and you can see whether the morale of the workers is positive or not. It’s a very upbeat kind of feeling. There’s a camaraderie. You see how new people come in, and they can integrate very quickly into the system because it’s so inviting.”
Asked whether that sense was absent in 2009, Kraft said, “I think so yes, from my point of view. It wasn’t the same last year.”
In our view, the Patriots have managed to assemble on offense a collection of unselfish players who don’t lobby for the ball, but who trust Tom Brady to deliver the pig to whoever is open. The presence of Randy Moss, who shot his hand into the air calling for the ball on almost every play and who would sulk and mope if not involved early and often in the game plan, prevented that feeling from fully taking root.
With Moss gone, Wes Welker and Deion Branch and Brandon Tate and Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez and Alge Crumpler and Julian Edelman and BenJarvus Green-Ellis and Danny Woodhead and Fred Taylor wait their turn, patiently but eagerly. More often than not, when their number is called, they respond.
And so the Patriots are rolling. And there seems to be no stopping them. The fact that it seemed that way three years ago and they ultimately failed will serve only to strengthen their resolve once the playoffs commence.