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Greenwood: Patriots have as good a chance as any other good team

Alan Greenwood

A dispassionate weekend of NFL gazing – also known as the Patriots’ bye week – confirmed a strong suspicion:

There is no great team this season.

That’s especially encouraging news since, as we have were reminded recently, the Patriots are not a great team. They are a good team, in a pack of good teams, that share even chances at winning a championship.

Toss the San Francisco 49ers into that basket, regardless of what happened Monday night when they put their perfect record on the line against Seattle.

(Purely as an aside, they have not yet broken ground on the Jimmy Garoppolo wing in Canton, Ohio. With Tom Brady having reached at least the beginning of his career’s twilight, the man is looking legit.)

It seems premature to call any game crucial in Week 10, but the Pats need a win Sunday at Philadelphia. For one thing, these are not the Eagles who beat them in Super Bowl LII. At 5-4, they are one of several poster teams for mediocrity.

For another, the Pats now have to stay ahead of the Ravens, the team that exposed all their weaknesses last week. They need the bye week, and they need home field for the ensuing two playoff games.

WHEN DID GOOD BECOME AN INSULT: News last week that Dwight Evans is one of three new candidates under consideration by the Baseball Hall of Fame’s modern era committee dredged up an old discussion.

Telling an old pal that Evans had a really, really good career but is not a Hall of Famer brought an expected assault on the stupidity of that view. It served as a reminder that no one should tell an Evans fan that ol’ Dewey was really, really good, because before the word “but” sounds, the conversation will turn very ugly.

Luis Tiant was dropped from the committee’s ballot. Before ducking, it says here that Tiant deserves greater consideration for the Hall than Evans.

TIME TRAVEL: Nov. 11, 1939 – A rare journey into the pre-Buzz Harvey days for Nashua High School football.

“Nashua High winds up its home season today meeting its old rival Lowell High at Holman Stadium this afternoon. Usually when these two teams clash fans see about the best football a Royal Blue eleven shows all season. Nashua High teams are always at their peak when the day rolls around for the clash with the Spindle City team.

“A crowd of over 3,000 is expected for this windup clash. Nashua has a game remaining on its schedule with Haverhill in that city next week before calling a halt to the season.”

Note that Harvey, the proud Holy Cross grad, had yet to bring Purple to Nashua High.

The Royal Blue suffered its third loss of the season against Lowell, 26-12. “Bright spot of the afternoon from a Nashua standpoint took place in the closing minutes of the game when Coutsonikas gathered in a short pass tossed by Moriarty and raced 65 yards along the sidelines to score.”

The next week Nashua fell to Haverhill to finish 4-4.