Sex tapes: 1. Super Bowl rings: 0.

That’s the New England Patriots record since the last time the team won the Lombardi Trophy in 2004. The Brandon Spikes sex tape has turned the Bill Belichick era, or at least what remains of it (which probably isn’t much) into a farce. Belichick bet the team’s fortune on building a ferocious defensive line to replace the ageing linebacker corps as the heart of the defense and by extension the team. That didn’t work out, in part because defensive linemen just don’t have the all-over-the-field impact that a linebacker corps can have and in part because the defensive linemen have never been able to concurrently approach their potential. With Ty Warren out for the season the line now consists of formidable nose tackle Vince Wilfork and a bunch of could-be-goods and role players. The bet is that the offense can carry the lo… pick up the sla… fill the ga… score… damn it! The hope is that the offense can put up points like it’s 2007 while the defense spends yet another year not putting pressure on opposing quarterbacks.

This is shaping up to be an tremendous season.