But whatever the reasons are and whatever excuses I can make, the fact of the matter is the Patriots have gone undefeated and the records poured in.
Tom Brady tied a season record for touchdown passes and Randy Moss for touchdown catches when the two combined on a 4-yard touchdown on the first play of the second quarter against the New York Giants on Saturday night.
It also gave New England a record for most points by a team in a season -- 561.
The play gave Brady 49 TD passes for the season, tying Peyton Manning's 2004 record. Moss now has 22 touchdown catches, tying Jerry Rice, who did it in 12 games during a strike-marred 1987 season.
The play gave the Patriots a 10-7 lead over the Giants and 561 points for the season. The old mark was 556 by the 1998 Vikings.
On the TD pass, Brady turned to his right and threw the ball high to the right corner of the end zone to Moss, who jumped over the Giants' Aaron Ross to bring it in.
But....there was more to come....
Randy Moss received a 65 Yd Pass From Tom Brady followed by a Laurence Maroney run for A two-point conversion. With this TD pass, Brady passed Manning's record for most touchdown passes in a single season and stands alone with 50 touchdowns. In addition, Moss gained his 23rd touchdown pass, making him stand alone in the record books for most touchdown receptions.
More from ESPN:
With one mighty heave, Tom Brady and Randy Moss took care of the record books. Now it's down to business for the unbeaten New England Patriots: stamping themselves as the greatest team in NFL history.
The Patriots completed a perfect if somewhat joyless journey through the regular season Saturday night, finishing with a remarkable 16-0 record following a thrilling 38-35 comeback victory over the New York Giants.
New England became the first NFL team since the 1972 Dolphins to win every game on the schedule, and that one was only 14-0. This victory required a comeback from a 12-point deficit engineered by the brilliant Brady, and smashed the Patriots' league mark for consecutive victories.
Validation of their inexorable march through the season can only come by adding a Super Bowl championship, their fourth of the decade. Do that and there'll be no challenge to their spot at the top.The statement above raises an interesting debate. If the Patriots should lose in the playoffs, will their perfect season be in vain? Will they be remembered as the greatest team in history or as the team who went undefeated in the regular season, but then lost in the playoffs? Anyway, I'll discuss this in a later article IF they should happen to lose.