I’m going to go where no Patriots beat writer or local media member will go and I’m going to put this game squarely on Tom Brady. To me, the Patriots were unable to convert on a few, critical, first down throws because Brady was throwing them in the dirt or it was just inaccurate. The problem is it’s not the first game this has happened and is seemingly becoming more of a problem in Brady’s post season play. Tom Brady has been outplayed by every QB in the playoffs for three years minus Tim Tebow. Of course it doesn’t help when Wes Welker drops two first down balls and one that was a 20+ yard play and it shouldn’t come down to one man, but this is what the Patriots are; a Tom Brady or bust team. One thing I will say is Brady really needs to work on his deep throw this offseason because it’s pathetic.
The Pats looked like they were the team that had played 5 more quarters of football; they were slow on offense and gassed on defense. With post season struggles becoming more frequent the Patriots needed to rely on their defense which allowed 4 touchdowns in 4 trips in the red zone; in short, not good. The main areas the Pats should focus on this offseason is better players in the secondary, pass rush and viable deep threat.
A lot will be said about Talib and Gronks injuries, but Injuries happen in this game and you need to live with them. If I had to be completely honest, as I watched, I couldn’t help but think the Patriots players are a little soft. As soon as a team comes in with aggression and plays hard they go down like bowling pins. Earlier this week I wrote that this would be a tough one and said I wouldn’t be surprised if the Ravens won, but I stand corrected, I am surprised. I’m not surprised that the Ravens won, but I am surprised that they won by a convincing 15 points and that the Patriots offense looked inept.
There are a bunch of questions leading into this offseason such as Welker, Talib and Edelman’s contract statuses. Don’t be surprised if you don’t see any of them back next year. Talib and Edelman can’t stay on the field and Welker drops critical balls in critical games and isn’t worth the kind of money he wants. One thing for sure is the team that was ready and wanted it more won tonight.