December 11, 2016

Sleeping With The Fishes

logoby Scott Benson
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Oy. Of all the weeks for Chris Warner to have off.

The Patriots just got blown off their home field by a team that had won one of its last twenty games. Let’s get this over with.

Patriots on Offense

A shit stew so vile its aftertaste may linger for weeks. If you like 13 play, 39 yard drives that stumble and lurch every miserable step of the way towards a crummy, worthless field goal, then this is your offense. On a good week.

Matt Cassel played so badly that he would have found a way to lose this game even if he had a good offensive line, which he doesn’t, not by a long shot. Let’s start there, with these Patriots – their offensive line sucks. Pro Bowl, my ass – they just got punked by a washed up has-been like Joey Porter.

You’d think getting creamed in the Super Bowl and almost single-handedly losing the biggest game in the world in front of millions of people would have been enough to light a fire under their asses, but apparently not.

None of this is intended as a defense for Cassel – he was horrible, and his lackluster, bewildered play was enough to extinguish in one day any hopes that he might rise to this occasion. But there can be no argument – the Patriots offensive line is five piles of useless right now, and the next time they give a long-term deal to any of these guys, they ought to have their heads examined. Mankins included.

It’s useless to even talk about the running backs or receivers at this point. They’re irrelevant until the Patriots can block somebody. Then maybe we can talk about the “unchanged” game plan that suddenly has just two pass plays – short, and shorter.

Patriots on Defense

The whole game was essentially won and lost on a series of plays run from some Harry High School horseshit formation that has no business even being on an NFL field. I can’t bring myself to break down a formation that features Chad Pennington and Ricky Williams both split wide as receivers, except to say THE F@#KING BALL IS GOING TO RONNIE BROWN, YOU F@#KING CORPSES!

The good news is that humiliation almost overshadowed the fact that the Patriots defense is soft and pink and tender right in the middle, just like a pig on a barbeque spit. With just about as much fight.

Patriots on Special Teams

Ellis Hobbs set a Patriots record for kickoff return yardage, only because the worst team in football scored so much on the Patriots home field that they had to kick off eleventy billion times.

Patriots on the Sideline

 Where do we start?

They couldn’t think of one single thing to do to avoid looking like amateurs against some college play somebody first saw at a sports bar?  It’s not that they were snookered once or even twice by a foreign formation. It’s that they ended up running out of different ways to allow touchdowns against it.

 For all their smartest-kid-in-the-class ‘sophistication’ on defense, they still get gutted like a fish when someone attacks the middle of the field?  Isn’t the middle of the field the first place you should focus on defending? I guess like a lot of people, I just don’t understand the Patriots defense. Here’s something else I don’t understand – how is it the Patriots have one of the best defensive coaches in the history of the league but their defense gets worse every year? At this point, they’re a limp dishrag. They don’t sack the quarterback and they don’t create turnovers, even though their opponents seem to have no trouble doing either.

That being a “tough team that protects the ball and plays defense” lasted one week before the quarterback started throwing Bledsoe-ian screen pass interceptions and rest of the ‘tough” guys laid like carpet in the Dolphins living room? How did Cassel go from game manager to game mangler in one week? By the way, isn’t putting Kevin O’Connell in there in the fourth kind of antithetical to “he’s our quarterback?” I’m hoping they had just given the job to O’Connell at that point, because if they didn’t, putting him in there was a stupid move. If Cassel’s really their quarterback, he should have finished the game – otherwise, your starting quarterback was just chased off the field by a team wearing aqua.

Yeah, those would be good places to start.

Patriots Next Week

The Pats draw the early bye week, meaning they now have two weeks to stew in their own juice. What emerges is anybody’s guess.

Comments

  1. Chris Warner says:

    Hey, Scott, remind me to thank my buddy for scheduling his wedding for this past weekend. Free Champagne and cake, plus we avoided witnessing a crapfest. Blessed event, indeed!

  2. Thought it was interesting that on ‘EEI’s football show, two frequent Pats critics were very positive about the Pats D while Tom Curran was a wet blanket, particulary about the middle linebacking (more critical of Bruschi although not yet enamored with Mayo). Gave me pause when I heard it.

    The inability or disinterest in getting to the opposing QB in recent years is a mystery.

  3. Scott, you nailed it on the friggin head. It looked like the Pats took the bye week one week early.

    The defense was as stout as John Madden’s bowel movement after a night at Mickey’s House of Fried Cheese. When you let a QB with one foot in the proverbial QB grave like Pennington go a very efficient 17/20 for 226 (11.3 yds per attempt; 13.3 per completion) for a QB of 113.8 (especially when you consider the lack of a true #1 WR), a eval of the entire unit needs to be done.

    The O-Line and the lack of any type of offensive game plan was more disappointing. How can you allow the Miami D to dictate to the Pats’ O so emphatically? The running game was almost abandoned from the get go. The LT and RT decided to do play Dance Dance Revolution than use that footwork to get in front of people and it seemed that Cassel aged 15 years in between starts with his less than thrilling reaction time and bad judgments.

    Overall, it is good that there is a bye week coming up since they’ll need to work on many things before October 5th.

  4. I think that yesterday at Gillette I witnessed the first aftershock of the Brady injury and the toll taken by the “undefeated” 2007 season which ended in a listless Super Bowl defeat. No matter what anyone says this is usually the case in the NFL when Lady Luck starts blowing on other teams’ dice. I think that the article and some of the commentary are overreactions to something that almost had to happen early this year. How the team responds now becomes the key to the rest of the season. I do not think that they are just going to roll over and die. The coaches and players are way too good for that. There is yet no reason to think that they are not good enough to at least reach the playoffs.

  5. I’d like to think that this will be the only patriots article I read for the rest of the week, well put.

    My only disagreement, and a minor one, is that it makes no sense to risk 1-1 Cassel in the 4th Q of a blow out and have to finish the season with O’Connell and Gutierrez. With the cheap shots flying around, the risk was real. I think it does make sense to start getting O’Donnell (oops) and Gute some action under live fire because they may get called up for real sooner than we would like.

    I can’t believe the Pats are going to be this bad the rest of the way, they have some talent and good coaching, just not this week. Every year or so they lay an egg like this but usually they get better… hard to imagine but I have to hold on to something…

  6. I suggest the Pats use the bye week to do 3 things.
    A. call up “Uncle Vinny” and promise him anything to get him to unretire.
    B. Get John Lynch back in here to stop the run. Meriweather sucks.
    C. Get Jr. off the freakin’ surf board and get him to replace Mayo who also sucks.

    The last few drafts have produced big time busts. Including Watson and Maroney. Get them out of here.

  7. This was Cassel’s first loss since High School, lets not jump the gun.

  8. I agree with Nopointe as far as hold off on replacing Cassel. He deserves more than a couple of opportunities to run the first team offense.

    Although I disagree with Jack in regards to Lady Luck and such. The loss yesterrday was not a result of misfortune; it was about one team executing its gameplan while the other lagged tragically behind then failed to make any second half adjustments to firm up the already porous defense or misfiring offense.

    With the bye week coming so early, the remaining season will be long and grueling and if the Pats don’t start getting mentally tough to handle it, they will be leapfrogged within the conference and the division for any type of postseason activity.

  9. Sorry Bob, but you’re on your own with Mayo sucks. That’s just ridiculous. He’s three games into his career. I don’t agree about Meriweather either. Yeah let’s give the young players about 20 games of rope before we kick the chair out from under them and replace them with 40 year old players. Maybe what sucks about that defense is not the young players but the old ones. I can think of a few people who pretty much define suck, but those are the heroes from the old days. Easier to ignore that and shit all over the young guys.

  10. I’m sorry Scott. I’ll defer to you. I was just upset after re watching the tape of the game. Maybe after a cold one things will look different.

  11. In their first starts post-apocalypse (as it was seen in both cases), Brady and Cassel put up nearly identically-modest-but-effective numbers in victory. In their second starts, Brady and Cassel put up nearly identically horrible numbers in blowout losses to the Dolphins.

    http://www.pro-football-reference.com/boxscores/200109300nwe.htm

    http://www.pro-football-reference.com/boxscores/200110070mia.htm

  12. Thanks for the article Scott. My first thought at halftime was that I’ve been too spoiled the past 8 years then realized that SF and Detroit fans would have been pissed off too. Worst job of being out-coached since… the Super Bowl but I’m still a huge BB believer. Cassle reverted to pre-season form and yeah guys, let’s block someone. Sheesh, do we need two cement head FB’s to stop a defense? Nothing positive about this game. Nothing.

  13. I don’t see BB pulling Cassel as an indictment on Cassel because he also pulled Moss. Maybe he just wanted to protect the starters.

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