The New England Patriots‘ first-edition dynasty ended, officially, during the 2008 season, far sooner than anyone wanted it to.
Following an unblemished regular season, Tom Brady was knocked out in the opener the next fall, giving backup QB Matt Cassel the chance to shine — and shine he did, proving that Bill Belichick really is one hell of a schemer, no matter who’s under center.
Having a perfect-season offense helped propel Cassel’s Pats to 11-5, too, but we’ll still be forever grateful he kept New England in the playoff conversation.
Still wild they didn’t make it. W-I-L-D.
Thanks to that flashpoint campaign, Cassel made himself a major part of Brady’s Patriots story, but apparently not major enough to be showcased in TB12’s 349-part documentary (estimating) “Man in the Arena” about his championship journeys.
The journeyman reached out to Brady on Twitter after his latest episode aired with one important question: “Where am I at?”
Patriots QBs Tom Brady and Matt Cassel trolled each other.
Also, can we get Matt Cassel verified, please? Looking at this is uncomfortable.
Cassel was perfectly serviceable in his one season under center in New England. According to everyone’s favorite stat, QB WINZ, he was credited with a 10-5 record, buoyed by 21 touchdowns, 11 picks, and 3,693 passing yards. He beat the Broncos, Niners, a Brett Favre Jets (on the road!) along the way, and was an OT loss to New York away from snagging a surprise postseason berth.
Alas, even without a ring or a banner, he managed to parlay that season into a long career, which started in earnest with the Chiefs the very next season.
As for his place in the documentary, Brady answered that question with a hilarious retort, like only he can.
Alright! Glad we can all laugh about it now!
Pollard, of course, was the absolute villain who hit Brady low and knocked him out for that 2008 season, paving the way for Cassel. As if taking out TB12 wasn’t enough, Pollard also injured Rob Gronkowski during the 2011 playoffs and made Wes Welker hurt himself juking trying to avoid an incoming missile from the hard-hitting safety. “Why’re you hitting yourself?” we assume Pollard cackled in Welker’s general direction.
Luckily, Pollard’s long gone, and the devastation he wrought seems to be giggle-worthy between two old friends. Creating an extra dynasty from the ashes and adding four more rings (and counting) will do that to a person.