Jermaine Wiggins98.5 The Sports Hub
I think if the Patriots don't make the Super Bowl, I think it's a failure.
I look at this team one year removed from being in the Super Bowl, I think this year's team is a far better team than they were last year. Look at some of those guys that they had this year who were also there last year, guys like Devin McCourty, Kyle Arrington, Jerod Mayo. They've seen the Super Bowl, they know what it takes to get there, they've seen that road, and they got that much more experience.
Offensively, I think they're a better offense this year, because now they actually run the football. They got a 1,000-yard rusher vs. last year, when they didn't have that.
So when I look at this team, it's a perfect road for them. I look at it as it is a disappointment because I know that they should be able to get back to that point, just based on the road and based on the team being one year older in terms of experience.
Michael Felger98.5 The Sports Hub
That's a tough standard. I have a general rule of thumb, and that is in any sport, if you're a good team -- if you're a legit, championship contender -- I think you've done your job if you've made your final four.
If you've made your conference final, if you've made the AFC Championship Game, if you've made the ALCS in the case of the Red Sox, I think it's really hard to get on a team and say they had a bad year or they failed.
To me, that's the level. In the rarest of rare cases, I think that you can expect more. Like for example, the Miami Heat. I don't know if the Patriots rise to that next level of being the Miami Heat that they should be considered to be automatically in.
If the Pats go to Denver and play a good game and lose -- let's say Peyton Manning decides to not choke -- in a tough place to play against a great player, I'm going to have a hard time getting on the Patriots for underachieving.
(Both Felger and Wiggy's arguments taken from Tuesday's Felger & Mazz Show)