Take your popcorn and … eat it

In Sunday’s “Battle of the 81’s” neither the “real 81” nor the “other 81” really sparkled. With the game finished and in the books, T.O. can start fielding the questions he avoided all week.

However, the appropriate first question for T.O. wouldn’t be about who’s the better No. 81. In my book, for now, that’s a closed case –– to the victor goes the spoils and the “other 81’s” team came out on top.

The big question right now is this: “Just how good are the New England Patriots?”

Well, Mr. O., what would you say? I had my popcorn ready and I was giggling every time Brady and his bunch got past your Cowboys’ DBs.

Dallas did put up the best fight the Pats had faced all year. They handed New England their first deficit of the season early in the second half.

It just didn’t last long.

After the Patriots proceeded to pummel the Cowboys to the final whistle, outscoring them 27-3 during the last 20 minutes of the game, it became clear that the 81s on the field were moot.

The numbers were basically the same. Each drew the bulk of their opposing defense’s attention. The biggest difference, though, was that New England had many other passing options. Just look at Wes Welker; he had a career game while the “other 81” was being dogged around the field.

I’m sorry T.O., but your team didn’t have it today, and I’m hard pressed to believe it really would have mattered.

A heavily guarded Randy Moss only made Tom Brady’s job easier. And –– minus his fumble in the first half –– he certainly made it look easy with almost 400 yards in the air and five, count ‘em five TDs. He even managed one for the thumb, what a guy! I bet the last one was for Gisele …

But back to the game, which really was a game until the Patriots got up by two touchdowns with less than five minutes to play.

The bottom line –– and I really am not that interested in what T.O. has to say about it –– is that the Patriots are absurdly good right now.

It’s surgical, it’s mechanical and it’s scary. It’s so scary, I like it, no, I love it. It’s fun to watch, maybe even too much fun.

I’ll take it either way.

Now, we get to play the waiting game with all eyes on Nov. 4 and a matchup between potentially undefeated Indianapolis and probably-still-undefeated New England.

That game could be the biggest regular season meeting between Brady and Peyton Manning ever. I bet even T.O. would sit back and enjoy that one with a bowl of popcorn but you can pass on the Orville Redenbacher.

I’d recommend the extra-dry Humble Popcorn. Trust me, it’s so hot right now.

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