Like It Was Scripted
So the Patriots lose Tom Brady. And Brett Favre plays hero in his Jets debut.
And now the Pats and Jets meet next Sunday in the Meadowlands.
Man. Just like somebody wrote it down beforehand to make the NFL season a little more dramatic, as if more drama is required.
So the questions were clear afterwards.
Was the hit on Brady fair or dirty?
Was Favre good or damn lucky?
The Brady hit first. Kansas City safety Bernard Pollard, blocked to the ground, made a hustle play by retrieving his momentum and hurling himself forward.
At Brady's knee, as it turned out, nearly a carbon copy of the play that shredded the knee of Cincinnati QB Carson Palmer in the 2005 playoffs.
A legal play, sure. But if Pollard had leapt in the air and swatted Brady across his well-protected head, there would have been a 15-yard penalty. Maybe a follow-up fine.
The Pollard hit is a play that just can't happen in any league in which quarterbacks are valued, which is every league.
If defensive players can restrain themselves from blows to the head, they can restrain themselves from those types of hits to the knee, even if they are in essence the result of extra effort.
Dirty? No. But something that needs to be legislated against.
Now on to Favre. The blind TD heave was Chansi Stuckey was a total fluke, and Favre admitted afterwards that there were times he "just winged it" in the victory over the Dolphins. After all, he just got his hands on the playbook.
He was 15-22 for 194 yards and two touchdowns, pretty solid, and it was a goofy game at times, with the Jets forced to run plays at different times because their placekicker was injured.
With Favre you just never know what is hastily designed, sandlot stuff, and what's just good karma.
But you throw that ball that he threw to Stuckey in the playoffs, and it gets picked off.
Green Bay can tell you all about that.
So the Pats and Jets play next week, and the jumbled AFC East also includes the interesting Buffalo Bills, very impressive in winning their opener over Seattle. Trent Edwards isn't the name that Brady and Favre are, but then again, he's probably readier to go than Matt Cassell and he's better than Chris Simms, or Daunte Culpepper, or whoever the Patriots turn to now.