'11 Colts making '08 Pats look better

Bill Belichick guided backup QB Matt Cassel and the Patriots to an 11-5 record after losing Tom Brady for the season in Week 1. AP Photo/Michael Dwyer

The sorry state of 2011 Indianapolis Colts only highlights what Bill Belichick accomplished without Tom Brady during the Patriots' 2008 season:

This season's Colts motto already has been established -- "No Peyton Manning, no chance" -- and team president Bill Polian takes the hit for this one, his failure to adequately address the backup quarterback spot making this a lost season in Indianapolis.

For Patriots followers, it should lead to a greater appreciation for what the team accomplished in 2008 when Tom Brady sustained a season-ending knee injury on the 15th offensive play of the opening game. The Patriots turned to backup Matt Cassel and finished 11-5 that season. They weren't able to beat the top teams and missed the playoffs, but they were still competitive. At least they had a chance.

Now imagine what it would be like to follow the Colts this year. You're seven games in, the team is 0-7, and there's nothing to look forward to the rest of the way other than possibly being a part of the Andrew Luck sweepstakes.

Clearly, the Patriots don't need anyone to toot their own horn; the consistent results in the Bill Belichick era speak loudest. Belichick has directed the Patriots to a winning record each of the last 10 seasons. The only other NFL coach to have at least 10 straight winning campaigns with one team since the 1970 merger is Tom Landry, who did it with the Cowboys from 1970 to 1985.

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