Week after week, I have been writing Monday articles excited about a Patriots win, yet unable to rejoice after any sort of “telling” victory. My skepticism was confirmed yesterday, by a couple of young bucs on the Cleveland Browns — Peyton Hillis and Colt McCoy. The 38-14 loss was a terrible one for the Patriots, who needed a win to maintain their place in the division with their upcoming schedule — probably the most difficult in football from here on out. But at the end of the day, you’ve got to give the Browns credit — they played a great game.
While Colt McCoy is a bit undersized, everyone seems shocked to see him playing well in the NFL. Not I. To me, Colt has undergone the best possible training to be successful in the NFL. He set nearly every major college quarterbacking record while at Texas, but the haters note that only occurred because he was a 4-year starter. To me, that’s exactly the point — if you are a 4-year starter at a college like Texas, you are pretty damn good in the first place. Then you have 4 full years to develop, in a first class organization, and to learn to win. To draw from another sport, I see Colt’s path as the antithesis to Michelle Wie’s. Hailed as a phenom from age 12, Wie tried to jump to the LPGA tour as quickly as possible. While she’s had some success, ultimately she never learned to win at the various stages leading up to the LPGA tour. While Colt could have left Texas early, he became that much more mature, that much more of a winner for having stayed. And having a completion percentage over 70% three games into your NFL career is proof enough.
McCoy aside, this was Peyton Hillis’ game. I knew relatively little about this guy before this game, but he made be a fan. Sure, the Patriots made him look pretty damn good but he made himself look pretty damn good as well, en route to 184 yards and 2 touchdowns. This is a guy who never fully got to prove how good he was in college at Arkansas — after a great start to his college career he had to take a back seat to Darren McFadden. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him make a name for himself in the NFL.
If I were a Browns fan, I’d be very excited about my team’s young quarterback and running back. As for the Patriots, they’re going to have to make up for this loss against a tougher team in the upcoming weeks.
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