Schadenfreude helps ease the pain of Pats loss

Schadenfreude helps ease the pain of Pats loss
September 18, 2012, 2:53 pm
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Theres a certain type of medical treatment that fans in New England thrive on after a difficult Patriots loss. Unfortunately, the antidotes not readily available after every defeat. In fact, its been almost a year since it was even on the market.

But last night in Atlanta, it was re-released to the public to rave reviews. And while the packaging might look different, the name remains the same. Its simply called: Watching Peyton Manning throw interceptions.

Come on, admit it, seeing Peyton come back to Earth last night eased at least a little bit of your Patriots pain. As did watching the Jets get waxed by the Steelers on Sunday (although would have been nice if it wasnt the Steelers) and the Ravens choke down the stretch against the Eagles. Sure, none of that will help heal Aaron Hernandezs ankle, uncover the truth behind the Welker nonsense, teleport Brian Waters from his Texas ranch or give Gostkowski another chance from 42, but even in our darkest moments, NFL Schadenfreude serves as an undeniable source of happiness.

And the truth is, through two weeks, very few of the Pats AFC rivals have escaped early season hardship. As of today, there are only two undefeated teams remaining in the conference Houston and San Diego. Both have been dominant so far, with the Texans outscoring opponents by a combined 57-17 and the Chargers up 60-24 in their two contests. Then again, neither team has been challenged. Youd assume that more than a few teams would start 2-0 against the likes of Jacksonville, Miami, Tennessee and Oakland.

Then again, youd have assumed the same about a team that drew Tennessee and Arizona. Regardless of whom theyve played, Houston and San Diego have done the job and deservedly sit atop the early standings. Meanwhile, reality intervened with the Pats, leaving them at 1-1, in a horde among nine other AFC teams (including their three division foes and other presumed contenders like Baltimore, Pittsburgh and Denver). But whatever, its early. We know how much things will change over the next 15 weeks. We know that a 2-0 start guarantees nothing except no worse than a 2-14 finish. Take last year for example. After two weeks, the Bills, Jets and Redskins all stood at 2-0. They finished out the season a combined 11-31.

Starting today, we'll put Week 2 behind us the heartbreak against Arizona, the joy of watching the Jets, Raven and Broncos fall flat on their face and turn our attention to Sunday night in Baltimore, a match-up that will either bring New England a glorious natural high or send us into a depression that will make this week look like a breezy day at the beach. We can only hope for the best. But if the best isn't in the cards, here's hoping that vitamin Schadenfreude is still available in bulk.

Rich can be reached at rlevine@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Rich on Twitter at http:twitter.comrich_levine