As you can see in the “About Me” section of this blog, this is my 15th season as a Patriots season ticket holder. Last night was the Patriots pre-season home opener against the Tennessee Titans. I have to tell you, in the past 14 years, last night was probably the best preseason game I have ever been to. The thing is, somebody forgot to tell Rodney Harrison and the Pats defense that this was a preseason game. Rodney was all over the field, with a nice pass deflection and a huge hit and sack on Vince Young. It was one of those hits that left the crowd going “oooooo”, “ohhhhhh”, “ouch”. Poor Vince got nailed again and sacked hard by 38 year old Junior Seau. A different series, the Titans got down the Patriots 2 yard line. It felt like a playoff game, the crowd was screaming, the pats defense was pumped and stopped the Titans on downs 1-3. The Titans decided to go for it on 4th down. Vince Young rolled right, and looked like he had a clear path to the endzone. How do I know this? Well, my seats happened to be right in front of the action 15 rows back. Just as Vince was about to dive into the endzone, a wall of patriots came out of nowhere and completely leveled him. From my perspective, it almost looked like he was snapped in half backward. I just can’t believe he got up from that play. I was sure he was seriously injured.
This game did not seem like a preseason game at all. Especially by the play of the defense. The Pats will say otherwise, but I still think the Pats were seriously pissed by last year’s season finally against the Titans. That was a brutally physical game in which Rodney Harrison was knocked out with an injury for the rest of the season by a cheap shot by one of the Titan’s receivers. IMO, that one cheap shot cost the patriots another trip to the superbowl. The AFC championship game was so close, just one play could have changed the whole complexion of that game, and I know a healthy Harrison would have turned the tables. I think the Patriots wanted payback. Keith Bullock didn’t help matters by saying he was gonna level Reche Caldwell in an interview before the game. If you have followed the Pats for the past few years as I have, you know that the Patriots take any insult, however so minor, very very very personally. They usually make their opponents pay for it. Last night was no exception.