It was only September when the Patriots were accused of cheating. That's not all that long ago. Belichick paid a $500,000 fine! New England was docked a first round draft pick. Yet all anyone can talk about is how this Patriots team might be the greatest team ever.
I'm not trying to say the Pats don't have a talented team, but if you cheated the very first week of the season, what's to say they still haven't been doing something against the NFL rules. And even if they haven't been, who is to say they paid the price yet?
What they did I think is right up there with baseball players using steroids or even an NBA ref shaving points. They tainted the game. They tarnished the integrity of football. How does a team like that get a pass just because they won a lot.
OF COURSE THEY WON A LOT! They've probably been gathering film on other teams league-wide for years. So even though they got caught the first game of the season (which was not the first time the Pats got in trouble for doing something like this), Belichick may very well still have a full library of tapes on all other teams.
The Pats offense was prolific this year. No kidding! They had the defensive signals for other teams. If the offense knows the coverage the defense is in, it's not hard to expose them.
I'm under the belief that the Patriots did not need to cheat to win this season. In fact, they may have very well gone undefeated regardless. They have a very talented team. But maybe they've been just a little too good. Example: There's no way they would have lost to the Dolphins regardless of any spying or scandal or anything like that. But what about the Colts? What about the Chargers? What about the Eagles? Hell, what about the Eagles in the Super Bowl a few years ago???
And that's the key. The Patriots success and their cheating scandal are not mutually exclusive. They are instead very much intertwind. You can't separate them. So before you declare this the greatest team ever, make sure they aren't also the greatest cheaters ever too.