Now, That Was the Patriots

AFC champs reverted to old DNA for win
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 21, 2008 11:39 AM CST
New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick, left, quarterback Tom Brady, center, and running back Laurence Maroney, right, celebrate after winning the AFC Championship football game 21-12 against...   (Associated Press)
camera-icon View 2 more images

(Newser) That’s the best team of all time? The Patriots who showed up yesterday didn’t look much like a juggernaut poised to cap off a perfect season that included scores like 52-7 (Washington) or 56-10 (Buffalo). Instead, in grinding out a 21-12 victory over the Chargers they looked like something better, ESPN’s Gene Wojciechowski writes: the old Patriots.

“This is what we consider Patriots football,” said linebacker Tedy Bruschi. The Patriots did what their Super Bowl-winning teams did: They hung in there, adapted, and got clutch defensive plays. When Bill Belicheck met Bruschi after the game, there was no “18-0, baby!” celebrating. “Great job in the red area,” was all the coach said.