If you were looking to create a dream team or a fantasy football squad, it would include the combo of the best quarterback in the league and the finest wide receiver. You’d want those guys to be go-to, big play moneymen.

Of course, the New England Patriots don’t have to create that in a dream or fantasy. They have it in quarterback Tom Brady and wide receiver Randy Moss. It’s not just that both had phenomenal, record breaking seasons in 2007 or that together each helped make the other better or that they proved that they could break a game wide open on one pass route. There’s more to this duo.

Randy Moss was living his dream season last year. Everything went the guy’s way. He worked hard, kept focused and proved to be a team player and a New England Patriot. He caught more touchdown passes, 23, than any player ever has in one season. He made 98 receptions for 1,493 yards. He used his spectacular athleticism to pull balls out of the stratosphere, to deke out defenders and to create opportunities that should not have existed.

Brady, who has lived a few dream years already, must have felt like he was on peyote. He completed 68.9% of his passes, hitting receivers 393 times for 4,806 yards. He threw just eight interceptions, which is truly an amazing accomplishment. He ended with a rating of 117.2 and, oh yeah, he broke the single season touchdown record set by Peyton Manning, by throwing 50 scores.

But for both Randy Moss and Tom Brady the season fell short. Moss was as close as he’s ever been to winning that coveted Super Bowl ring. He came within one game. The big game certainly could have been tipped the other way on one catch by Moss from one throw by Brady. But Moss went home without attaining his ultimate goal. Don’t you think he’ll be extra motivated this season to prove that he and the Patriots can win it all?

And although Tom Brady has three Super Bowl wins and a whole lot of honors, you know that the one championship defeat is the thing he’ll carry with him throughout 2008. In Brady’s mind all of those accomplishments of 2007 equal nothing. The real goal was never achieved.

Of course, the entire Patriot team will enter the 2008 season with a chip on their shoulders. Not only did they lose the big game but their boss Bill Belichick is being disrespected by the media, other teams and the US Senate. Spygate won’t go away and that’s good for the Pats. They will use it to create an “it’s us against the world” attitude. And that’s how the Patriots have won in the past and how they’ll do it again this season. Watch out! They probably won’t go 16- 0 but chances are that the Pats will seal the deal on their fourth championship of this century.

Paul mroczka
Sports Pundit member

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