The day after, a different theme is emerging.
All season, the drumbeat throughout the football world has been that the New England Patriots will march undefeated through the 2007 season.
That may still happen, but after their 31-28 narrow escape from the talons of the Philadelphia Eagles, many observers are hedging their bets.
Patriots Are Unbeaten but Don't Look Unbeatable is the headline in today's New York Times, while the Washington Post reads **Feeley, Eagles Show It Might Not Be So Easy for Patriots, After All**.
The Boston Globe tackles the issue as well.
"The natural question," today's Globe piece begins, "following the Patriots' nail-biting win last night is: Has a blueprint been created to finally slow them down?"
"Three points, man. The Patriots and three points," said Eagles Coach Andy Reid, whose team lost to New England by that same margin in Super Bowl XXXIX. "They are killing me with this."
"The Eagles also provided a clue about the best way to have a hope of beating them: gamble a little," the Times article continued.
"The Eagles blitzed, they went for it on fourth down early in the game, they attempted an onside kick in the second quarter. Much of it worked, keeping the Patriots off balance most of the game."
MSNBC picks up on that theme in a column today. Here's a sample:
And if Philadelphia didn't stop the Pats' run at immortality, **the Eagles demonstrated a couple of facts that we’d probably lost sight of in the glare of New England’s brilliance*. *
One is that the Patriots can lose. If A.J. Feeley doesn't go for the end zone with about four minutes left and end up throwing the interception that was almost inevitable, the Eagles may have been able to drive in for the go-ahead touchdown with the game clock running almost on empty.
The other is just how all-fired hard it is to go undefeated in the National Football League. This is something the truth of which we hold to be self-evident; after all, it's been done only once before, and that was 35 years ago when the season was two games shorter than it is today.
We'd kind of lost sight of that.
More of those same thoughts are echoed in a column in Monday's *Providence Journal*.
But on FOXSports.com, one writer says the close win will actually help the Patriots' chances of going perfect.
A Boston Herald column is calling for QB Tom Brady to win the NFL's MVP award this season.
And The Boston Globe focuses on WR Wes Welker's career night receiving.