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Tuesday, November 2, 2004
Page 2 Quickie: November 1, 2004

The Lead Item
Two Words For You:
399.  DAYS.

The Patriots' 21-game win streak is over and we don't want to hear anything about the Red Sox stealing their karma.

New England has been playing with leftover karma for weeks. While their streak in this age of increasing parity and randomness is more impressive than Miami's undefeated season, don't confuse the Patriots with being a historically great team. Witness:

*Entering Sunday, they ranked 20th in the NFL in yards and 12th in yards allowed.
*In 2003, they ranked 18th in yards in 7th in yards allowed.
*Their Super Bowl win in 2004 came against one of the weakest Super Bowl teams ever in Carolina.
*Of their 21 wins, 10 came by six points or less.
*Even going back to 2001 (when they did beat a good Rams team in the Super Bowl), they ranked just 19th in yards and 24th in yards allowed.

Bottom line: Patriots have been opportunistic in creating turnovers to win. But truly great teams crush their opponents; they don't rely on luck.

If the Patriots want to win a third Super Bowl in four seasons, they need to do it the old-fashioned way: start dominating.

NFL: Week 8
A Quickie tradition: NFL instant impressions & *Ben R.: Let's say it now  Steelers got the best QB of the 2004 draft. Only the great ones play like this as a rookie.

*Eagles still undefeated, but not impressed by win over Ravens, in which Baltimore outgained Philly.

*Chiefs 45, Colts, 35; 1,095 total yards (3rd-highest in NFL history). Wow. Remember when Tony Dungy was considered a defensive coach?

*Falcons 41, Broncos 28; 1,034 total yards. Wow. When did the NFL turn into the WAC?

Florida Fumbles
No, not the election (yet) -- college football. Miami, Florida State and Florida all lost on the same Saturday for the first time since Oct. 14, 1978.

Florida's loss at Georgia predictable but the 'Canes lost to North Carolina (which had never beat a top-5 team before) and the 'Noles lost to Maryland for the first time ever. It's not as easy to hate the Florida schools without Spurrier and Erickson, but well & this was kind of fun, wasn't it?

Heisman Watch
Freshman Sensation Adrian Peterson (yes, he's officially changed his name) had 249 yards and a TD in OU's 38-35 win over OSU, his eighth straight 100-yard game, and may have vaulted to the top of the standings.

Will voters hold his freshman status against him? Possibly, but it seems like old assumptions about bias may no longer be true, and being a freshman (as opposed to an eighth-year senior like teammate and defending Heisman winner Jason White) may actually help Peterson.

What's interesting is Peterson/White and USC's Matt Leinert/Reggie Bush could steal votes from each other, letting someone else sneak in.

Bonds & Balco
Court documents reveal BALCO execs allegedly admitted Bonds received and used steroids. Founder Victor Conte denies accuracy to ESPN.

At this, Bonds' public perception can't get any worse. He may as well come clean and tell us the truth  like, uhh, Pete Rose (never mind).

Vijay: Best Year Ever?
Vijah Singh's ninth victory of the year at the Chrysler Championship made him the first golfer to win $10 million in one year and an incredible $5M more than No. 2 Phil Mickelson. Singh's nine wins match Tiger Woods' 2000 total for most on the PGA Tour since 1950 (Sam Snead). But Tiger won three majors, Singh just one.

Schilling Update
Curt Schilling was walking with crutches and a cast during the Red Sox victory parade on Saturday; mind you  that would have been his scheduled Game 6 start. Schilling will have an MRI Monday with surgery possibly on Wednesday to repair the torn tendon sheath in his right ankle. --David Schoenfield