|Despite the way the season ended, Belichick is "real proud" of this Pats team. (AP)|
The way that one game -- or even one play -- changes historical perspective in the NFL is fascinating. Eli Manning can do no wrong right now and Tom Brady can't really do anything right. The Patriots are a team that hasn't won a title in seven years, which might make them chokers.
But that's not stopping Bill Belichick from expressing that he's "real proud" of this season's Patriots team and all they accomplished.
"[I'm] real proud of them," Belichick said. "I thought they worked hard all year, they competed well all season. We won a lot of games and even the ones we didn’t win, we fought right to the end and played very competitively. We did that last night, just came up a little bit short. I have all the respect in the world for the team and all the players and what they’ve done for over six months.
"It’s not about one game or one play or anything, it’s the whole body of work. I really, really enjoyed coaching this team and have a lot of respect for them."
Look, Belichick should be proud of this team. Despite having no vertical offense and having no defense whatsoever, they managed to land the No. 1 seed in the AFC, run the table in the playoffs and get within a play or two of winning their fourth Super Bowl with Belichick running the show.
Earlier in the season, there was an argument to be made that this was Belichick's finest coaching job to date. Suddenly it's not because they couldn't close? That seems odd.
But it's the nature of the beast in the NFL, particularly when the hype machine runs 24/7. Still, you can't fault Belichick for being proud of a team that overachieved despite significant weaknesses, especially when they nearly won another Lombardi Trophy.
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