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Jerome Bettis on Falcons vs Patriots.


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Patriots-Jets was fantastic, but Falcons-Patriots will be a barometer game if I ever saw one. We all think New England is a much better football team than they've shown over the past two weeks, but we're not really sure. Is this a team that's getting by on its history? Or is this a good team in hibernation?

Conversely, the Falcons look pretty good, yet people are still asking the question: When will they falter? No one's giving them the benefit of the doubt. That's history speaking, too.

So this is a barometer game for both franchises. If Atlanta wins, it validates them as a legit football team. If New England wins, they're still on top.

Personally, I'd bet on the Patriots pulling it together, but they'll have to overcome a defense that's changed too much. Man, could they use Richard Seymour to make a few plays right now. Was cutting him loose a mistake? I think we'll know for sure after this game.

Now, if New England loses at home, and starts 1-2, then that's a serious uphill battle. On NBC last night, Rodney Harrison said no one in the Patriots' locker room is worried yet. Really? You have to know those guys did not sleep well last night. The Jets called the Patriots out. They said, "We're gonna whip you." And they whipped them.

If New England loses to the Falcons, too, nobody will be sleeping, period. Then the fear creeps in. These guys are used to being on top. They may not know how to handle losing. It's uncharted territory.

Read more: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2009/writ...l#ixzz0Rqz5TwOw

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Yeah it does, if we win we will be 3-0 against teams that were 11-5 or better and two division champs from last year. If we win We celarly are a sold good football team that could go far in the playoffs.

We are already a legit team, win or lose. No victory against the Patriots is necessary. Fins and Panthers are now 0-2, if we beat the Pats then they will be 1-2. Not exactly the same as knocking off an undefeated Pats team and if anything then the writers and sports heads will start to question how much the Patriots are sliding, not how much we are improving by beating teams in decline.

Last year no longer matters.

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We are already a legit team, win or lose. No victory against the Patriots is necessary. Fins and Panthers are now 0-2, if we beat the Pats then they will be 1-2. Not exactly the same as knocking off an undefeated Pats team and if anything then the writers and sports heads will start to question how much the Patriots are sliding, not how much we are improving by beating teams in decline.

Last year no longer matters.

agreed

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We have to remember guys we have been around since 1966 and have NEVER had back to back winning seasons. Even though we know we have a good team there is a lot of other people to convince.

If we beat NE we make a statement. Historically they are good and we are bad. But we now have the best young QB in the leage leading a potent offense and a defense that's on the rise. We beat NE we establish ourselves this year as a contender. Win or lose we have a real shot at the SB this year and beating NE will let everyone else know early on that we are coming

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We are already a legit team, win or lose. No victory against the Patriots is necessary. Fins and Panthers are now 0-2, if we beat the Pats then they will be 1-2. Not exactly the same as knocking off an undefeated Pats team and if anything then the writers and sports heads will start to question how much the Patriots are sliding, not how much we are improving by beating teams in decline.

Last year no longer matters.

Well seeing as how we'd be responsible for 3 of those teams losses, it would speak volumes about where we are this early in the season. These first 3 games were looked at by many as 3 of our toughest and thats true. It will validate us more I think.

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I agree. One game against the Pats will not determine whether we are legit or not. I think we proved last season we are a legit team.

Beating them at their place will be beyond tough.

After losing to the HATED Jets, Belichick is now on a mission, probably sleeping no more than 4 hrs. a nite. The guy is a FANATIC to say the least. He will treat this game as a "watershed" game of this young season. If they win they will be on their way to a winning season. Lose it to a good but very young "upstart" bunch from Georgia and it will be like starting over...........from scratch.

Total misery for the demented Belichick.

This he can barely think of.

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Beating them at their place will be beyond tough.

After losing to the HATED Jets, Belichick is now on a mission, probably sleeping no more than 4 hrs. a nite. The guy is a FANATIC to say the least. He will treat this game as a "watershed" game of this young season. If they win they will be on their way to a winning season. Lose it to a good but very young "upstart" bunch from Georgia and it will be like starting over...........from scratch.

Total misery for the demented Belichick.

This he can barely think of.

Belichick is like that every week. I doubt he is preparing for us any more or less than he does any team. Same goes for Smitty and the Falcons.

As for the article this kind of stuff happens when a dynasty team starts to fade. Happened when Young retired in SF. Happened when Aikman left in Dallas and now is happening with the Pats. The Steelers will get the message when their defense starts to get old and slow, probably next year. We've got a good 10 years before we start hearing that nonsense.

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We are already a legit team, win or lose. No victory against the Patriots is necessary. Fins and Panthers are now 0-2, if we beat the Pats then they will be 1-2. Not exactly the same as knocking off an undefeated Pats team and if anything then the writers and sports heads will start to question how much the Patriots are sliding, not how much we are improving by beating teams in decline.

Last year no longer matters.

I totally agree.

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We are legit win or lose

Totally agree. If we win (and I'd say its even money) then we are 3-0 against teams that were all 11-5 or better last year. Even if we lose that means against that good a set of competition we ended up 2-1 with a division win, undefeated at home, and going into a bye week to then face the 49ners. I'll take that as a good start anyday.

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I love our team. Always have and always will.

However, if you want to talk about legitmacy, it begins with a Lombardi trophy. We get that and then we can claim to be a legitimate team. Anything less than being the best is failure. Why aim to be a little better than mediocre? Settle for nothing less than being the best and all the success and accolades will follow. Just my opinion.

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I don't mind Bettis saying that a win in Foxboro would make us a legit team. Fellow Falcons, quit being so emotional about every time our team is mentioned. We have had a bad history. When we had good seasons, you can question how good the team were that we beat. I feel that with this schedule, if we go in and peat the Patriots. That will not only look good to the rest of the NFL, but also to the entire team. We have the team that everyone wants in the NFL. The best chance offense. The Patriots or Saints don't know have it. Balance on offense makes you a more legit team. Our Defense is not at it's best, but what's that old saying? The best defense is a good offense.

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