by Chris Warner, Patriots Daily Staff
It’s Christmas Day. We New England fans know we have a lot to be thankful for, especially those of us who have followed the team through the lean times of previous decades.
So, with the Patriots up two games with only two remaining, let’s review our thank-you list for the gifts bestowed on us this season. We might throw a few last-minute (like, really last minute) wishes in there, too.
Home Again, Home Again: New England is undefeated (7-0) at home this year, which makes us grateful that their potential division clincher could happen at Foxboro vs. the Jaguars. All we wanted for Christmas was a two-game lead, and we got it.
But, man, it would be nice to beat the Jaguars, just to give a break the last week of the regular season to those who need to rest hurt body parts. Like, for example…
Tom Thumb: Or finger or ribs. Whatever is ailing quarterback Tom Brady, it’s not his guts. Though he hasn’t been his accurate self of late, our Tom has fought hard to keep the team in contention. A home win ensures a game on the sideline and – we hope – some much-needed recuperation.
Noel? No, Welker: We can’t even begin to show our appreciation for league-leading receiver Wes Welker (109 catches, 1189 yards). The little elf has been the most reliable player on offense, the best gift a fan could want.
Joey Galloway: Oops. Sorry. Never mind.
Taylor Suited? Even the possibility of running back Fred Taylor returning to contribute vs. his old team makes us gleeful. Taylor has the second-highest rushing average on the team (second to Kevin Faulk – another perfect present, by the way). We’d love to see him recover some of his old form in time for the playoff run.
Now, we’re not necessarily asking that the Pats go far in the playoffs. We’re just saying, you know, that might be kind of a nice little something to try on for the New Year.
Double Double You: Looking forward to the defensive line getting back to its stout self with Vince Wilfork and Ty Warren. Unlike Buffalo, Jacksonville’s offensive linemen have actually played together several times this season, so fancy defensive formations might not have the same effect. Speaking of which…
Christmas Rush: Thanks for the team’s most effective pass rush all season. The Pats notched six sacks at Buffalo. We almost want to ask for it to happen again, but we won’t get greedy.
Although, I mean, it would be really cool.
Silver Bells, Silver Belichick: Most of all, we feel thankful for a coach who came in 10 years ago and rescued this franchise from the point where fans started preferring anonymity over ridicule. Bill Belichick, thanks for coming to Foxboro. And thanks for this year. We really can’t ask for anything more.
Except, see, there’s this Jaguars game on Sunday…
Email Chris Warner at firstname.lastname@example.org