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They never had a chance to use the signals they taped from the Jets.And while they might very well have had tapes from years past before they were submitted to Roger Goodell and subsequently destroyed, every single team playing the Patriots from Week 2 on that season would have changed its signals to avoid any possibility that New England would have a competitive edge. Spygate was overblown in a similar way to the subsequent Deflategate scandal several years later, with Tom Brady likely expressing a preference for deflated footballs in a similar vein to Aaron Rodgers' preference for inflated footballs.It's exceedingly unlikely that the Patriots were the only team stealing signals.

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After looking back on Tuesday at the on-field success of the 2007 Patriots, on Wednesday I'm evaluating the ways that team influenced how we think about Bill Belichick, Tom Brady and the Patriots franchise as a whole a decade later.

It seems impossible to imagine for a team that has been favored to win 85 of its most recent 100 games, but the Patriots were lovable underdogs once upon a time.

(Lawyer Milloy, one of the team's four Pro Bowlers, said after the win that the Pats had no standout defensive players.)This was a team named the Patriots wearing red, white and blue jerseys and winning a Super Bowl during a season interrupted by the Sept. Patriots guard Joe Andruzzi was the brother of three New York City firemen, one of whom narrowly escaped the collapse of Tower 1.

The NFL and Fox changed the theme of the Super Bowl that year from a Mardi Gras motif to "Hope, Heroes and Homeland." Patriots owner Robert Kraft jumped on board, saying before the Super Bowl, "I'd like to think it's part of God's handiwork we're in the Super Bowl and we have the name Patriots." After the game, Kraft let everyone in.

The story quickly ballooned and eventually included destroyed videotapes, a threatened Congressional investigation, and an endless stream of present and former players who had opinions to share about what happened.

The story polarized any discussion surrounding New England, particularly as it became clear that the 2007 Patriots were a special football team on the field.

Neutral fans were unquestionably sick of the endless Brady-Manning/Patriots-Colts hype, but that's true of any rivalry that enjoys as much national attention as those two teams did at the time. I don't think there's a need to reiterate in detail what happened as part of the Spygate scandal, given that it was covered at great length for many months in 2007.

In short, the Jets complained that the Patriots had been taping their defensive signals on the sideline, which was against league rules.

Neither side has much of a point; as always, the truth likely lies somewhere in the middle.

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