People love to hate the New England Patriots. They love to point at all the times the Patriots have seemingly benefited from questionable calls, and many are convinced New England must have done a deal with the devil because they always seem to get the calls they need to win big games. Just don’t count Denver Broncos linebacker Von Miller among that group.
Writing for The Players’ Tribune, Miller completely ripped that narrative to shreds.
“Like … are you one of those people who gets mad because it feels like the Patriots get every call? Well, regardless of what the Internet says, it’s not because the refs are helping them out,” Miller wrote. “It’s because people do dumb stuff when they play the Patriots.”
Miller also makes it clear the reason the Patriots are so successful is that “they don’t beat themselves.” He said you need to play “the perfect game” and also get a bit of luck to pull off the miracle.
“You need the football gods to bless you. You need a helmet catch or something crazy to go your way at just the right time. Because Tom Brady is good at reading defenses, but he’s not the best — Peyton was the best at that. Tom is definitely cerebral, but he may not have the strongest arm. He may not be the most accurate.”
Now, fans of the Oakland Raiders won’t buy this. Not one little bit. Heck, Jon Gruden is still furious about the call that went against Oakland back in 2002 that birthed the “tuck rule.” The Jacksonville Jaguars and their fans won’t buy this. Not after the huge penalty disparity between them and the Patriots in the AFC Championship Game.
But quite honestly, it’s the truth. New England is coached better than any team in the NFL. They don’t make nearly as many mistakes as most teams, and as Miller pointed out, they seem to be sharpest when the going gets toughest. That’s the legacy of Bill Belichick and Tom Brady. That’s what makes them great. When the game is on the line, their focus ratchets up to legendary status.
So do the Philadelphia Eagles have “the perfect game” in them?
Vegas and many bettors believe they do. This scribe certainly does (read about that more here). But at the same time, it would be foolish to count out Brady and Belichick pulling out another miracle at the end, too.