Originally posted on isportsweb.com  |  Last updated 11/8/13
Nobody lurks in the shadows of the NFL quite like the New England Patriots. Following Wednesday’s entrée of a World Series victory for the Boston Red Sox, what better for dessert than a Patriots blowout victory over the struggling Pittsburgh Steelers? Week after week the Patriots seem to grow a little more. Week after week the Patriots seem to get ignored a little more. But the scary reality for the rest of the league is that week-by-week the Patriots gain steam, biding their time. They know that winter is coming. When the cold comes rolling through Foxboro Tom Brady and company bring it to a level that, year in and year out, few teams can match. This past Sunday it was obvious that the Patriots were looking ahead to a much deserved bye week and were looking to earn it. They came out and executed in all phases. For the first time the offense reminded us of the good old times. Brady connecting with Rob Gronkowski on a 19-yard touchdown brought about a feeling of nostalgia. Watching Stevan Ridley running with such purpose brought Patriots nation back to the days of “Clock Killing” Corey Dillon, eating opposing defenses for dinner in the bitter Foxboro cold. Production from players such as Ridley and Gronkowski is expected from fans and coaches alike. The wild card heading into this season was the young players who were burdened with producing well beyond their years. At first only the wide receivers were in this crowd, but as injuries have plagued the team on both sides of the ball the dynamic has changed. The culture an NFL player is placed in at the developing stages of their career can determine what path they will be placed on, as proven by the Jonathan Martin situation with the Miami Dolphins. The Patriots are all business and seek out young players that will thrive in the atmosphere. There are hits, and there are misses.  The first and second year players on the Patriots have survived through some rough patches during the first half of the season but a dominating win over the Steelers is what many hope to be a turning point. Those who find pleasure in rooting against the Patriots mock “The Patriot Way”, but for the fans who have watched it grow under Bill Belichick’s tenure, it is a cult with Brady as its leader. Although it is hard to swallow, he grows older by the day and his window is closing. The only thing that can extend that window is the talent around him, and this young group of players seems to get the idea. In the NFL, your career can end just as fast as it starts.  With an average career length of 3.3 years the reality is that very few players are indispensable. Having Brady under center is an amazing advantage for any team. For a young player who hopes to win a Super Bowl it is important to know that they might not get a chance like they one they have this season. Whether it be rookie pass-catchers Aaron Dobson and Kenbrell Thompkins or fill in defensive lineman Chris Jones and Joe Vellano, this could be there only chance. As Dobson sprinted past Steelers cornerback Ike Taylor for an 81 yard score he wasn’t just scoring his second touchdown of the game. He was letting it be known to anybody who was watching that he was here to put in the work necessary to develop chemistry with Brady. If Dobson is lucky enough to have a lengthy NFL career the chances are he will not play with a quarterback like Brady ever again. Every snap matters to the 2013 Patriots and that is refreshing. Teams in the past have had holes that were covered up by an explosive offense and gaudy numbers put up by Brady. Things are different this year. The Patriot Way is back on track.
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Jordan speaks out against shootings, donates $2 million

Report: Cromartie may be forced to retire due to hip issue

Greg Jennings announces retirement from NFL

Vikings OT Phil Loadholt retires after seven seasons in NFL

Report: Yankees, Cubs in 'final stages' of Chapman trade


Report: Fitzpatrick got ‘multiple contract offers’ from Jets

A-Rod: Ortiz deserves Fenway statue, street named after him

Report: Bosh's camp 'angry and suspicious of Heat's intentions'

JJ Watt pens dramatic letter to fans about back injury

Le’Veon Bell vows to win appeal: ‘I’m not going to miss games’

Dallas Cowboys' team employee bus involved in fatal crash

Cubs to acquire Aroldis Chapman from Yankees

Aldon Smith denies appearing in video with marijuana blunt

Twitter signs deal with to stream live MLB and NHL games

Julian Edelman is dating Adriana Lima?

NFL reportedly determines Peyton Manning didn't use PEDs

KD, Draymond Green booed in L.A. during Team USA exhibition

Top storyline for each NFL team heading into training camp

Eight MLB veterans that need to be traded before deadline

Andre the Giant drank six bottles of wine before match?

Cristiano Ronaldo spars with Conor McGregor in gym

Adam Silver is the new standard-bearer for league commisioners

Iowa football player held at gunpoint by police while playing Pokemon Go

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

One Gotta Go: Do NBA players really love NBA2K?

Effect of ban on Russia could span beyond the Olympic Games

One Gotta Go: NBA players hate Facebook too

QUIZ: Name every city to host the NBA All-Star Game

One Gotta Go: NBA players settle the fast food beef

One Gotta Go: NBA players make tough choices on their favorite rappers

One Gotta Go: NBA Summer League is not about that Game of Thrones life

The top NHL free agents available as offseason winds down

WATCH: NBA jersey sponsors that need to happen

Expansion draft playing heavy hand in the current NHL offseason

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker