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There's no such thing as running up the score in the NFL

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Brace yourselves, I'm actually going to defend the Patriots for a moment here. I came across this story on Yahoo! that I found to be a complete joke.

Are the Patriots running it up on opponents?

There's a growing sentiment around the NFL that the New England Patriots are piling on, needlessly tacking on points at the end of games to flog their opponents to a much greater degree.

Did Bill Belichick really have to bring Tom Brady back into Sunday's game at Miami, his team still up 21 points? Or how about the week before against Dallas, when Kyle Eckel plowed in from the 1-yard line with 19 seconds left to play on fourth down, the team already ahead by two scores? Wouldn't taking a knee have sufficed?

While Belichick eloquently has defended those plays, there's still a pretty good case to be made against him. The Pats could very well be found guilty of running up the score in more than a few of their first seven games.

I'll tell you why the Pats haven't been running up the score this year, because no such thing exists in the NFL. In college? Sure. When one of these powerhouses like Clemson takes on a little mid-america west team and beats them 70-14 that's running up the score. When you see one of these big high schools destroy another high school 70-0 that's running up the score. These are amateur athletes, some of which are at tiny schools with little money and few scholarships. Some colleges are almost like pro teams with their ability to spend and recruit around the country. 99% percent of those kids will be joining the workforce in a few years.

In the NFL however, all teams are on a even playing field. They all spend virtually the same amount of money on players, they all split up the same TV money, and they're all in the same top level. On a player's level, these are all highly paid pro athletes. It's not like some big bad blue chippers beating up on a division 1-AA school with no scholarships. These guys were all the best of the best at every level of football they ever played.

No NFL team or NFL player has any right whatsoever to get their feelings hurt over another team "running up the score." They are big, fast, and well paid enough to do something about it. In high school and college that's not the truth.