Ah, Sunday Night Football. What's more fun than spending all of Sunday drinking beers and eating wings in front of a million screens, eyes free to wander anywhere because the Pat aren't on yet, while you getting ready to watch our boys pummel a bottom feeding team on national tv? The nerves don't set in until dinner time, but then you just order more pizza, throw on a Pats jersey, and get comfortable on the couch. Then THAT happened.
I have no words. There are no words. A lot of comparisons are getting throw around today about where this ranks on the all time stinker list. Recency bias is playing a huge part, but I don't remember feeling this way after either KC beat down. It felt like something was wrong, no doubt, but it didn't feel like we don't give a shit. And that's exactly how this team looks.
There is no effort. No urgency. No pride. We were out snapped 48 to 74. The time of possession was 20 minutes to 40 minutes. We had 209 total yards. We had 12 first downs. TWELVE! I've sat through episodes of The View more entertaining than that game.
As a young boy I was told if you don't have something nice to say, don't say anything at all. So really, I should never speak of this game again. But since I love you guys I refuse to say silent. That being said, I will take my saint of a mother's words to heart and start with pretty much the only nice things I can say about that steaming pile of cow dung.
Bentley bounced back. He looked exposed in coverage against Jacksonville as they ran crossers in front of his face all day. But covering a tight end 20 yards down field, getting your head around, and securing a much needed interception is not a play made by a guy who can't cover. I'm back on board the 5th round steal train, and lets hope that thing keeps chugging because we might need him more than we thought.
Gronk did what I asked him to do last week. I said if teams are going to double cover him and completely take him out of the game that's fine. It's something we need to be prepared for and other guys have to step up and win one on ones. But even when teams attempt to throw a ghost cloak over Gronk, I demanded he "get his" like all other elite talents. And 2 for 15 is not going to cut it. So yes, Gronk was quiet on Sunday. He was frustrated. He wasn't a factor in the red zone (not that we ever got there.) But he did finish with 4 for 51, and that is a line I can live with when teams are making it their sole priority in life to deny him the ball.
OK, enough of the pleasantries. We are a JOKE right now. Tom has nowhere to throw the football. It's humiliating. To me, he had time yesterday. I know he was sacked twice, but they were coverage sacks. He bounced around in the pocket and went through his progressions and couldn't find a single white jersey in space. Normally when Tom starts analyzing the field like that there's no better sight as a Pats fan. It's a lock completion. Hell, even the refs start to move the chains early. But on Sunday I was reduced to hoping he could just throw the ball out of bounds close enough to a receiver to avoid a grounding flag.
However, I wouldn't be doing much job if I didn't grab Tom by the leash, drag him against his will to the trash that's strewn all over the kitchen floor, stick his nose in it, point at it and say "DID YOU DO THAT? DID YOU? DID YOU DO THAT? NO. BAD BOY. NO." After that interception. I get it man. It must suck to punt every three plays because we can't move the ball. It must suck to only be able to throw check downs to running backs. It's infuriating for the fans, so I can't imagine what he feels. But Flip was double covered, and that throw was bruuuuuuutal. It wasn't even close. Give him a chance to fight for the ball maybe? And now here we sit with 2 interceptions in week 3. Our entire season's quota filled. Delightful. I guess the good news is Tom will probably break the consecutive completions without a pick record considering he isn't allowed to throw another til September 2019.
I was reading today that Patricia knows what kind of adjustments our defense makes. So he gave us pre snap looks because he knew how we would react, and then he tried to be unpredictable off of that. Zig while we zag. Fine. That all makes sense. He has a pretty intimate knowledge of our system. Is it identical to when he was here? Of course not. But he knows a thing or two. I'm not even made that he had a few tricks up his sleeve to expose us on occasion. My issue is how is this not a two way street??? We know how his defense makes adjustments. Why can't we give him certain pre snap looks, anticipating what they were going to do coming out of them? It puts my mind in a bottle that his inside knowledge of our system had a major impact on the game and we were able to do nothing with our inside knowledge of his system. Maybe we tried. What do I know? But I'm having a hard time believing we were tricking him into match ups we wanted all night, while simultaneously moving the ball 0 yards per play (number approx.)
Hey Josh, another thing...
...keep giving the ball to Sony Michel. I dare you. Especially on third and one. It's really been a joy for me to watch because I love punting so much. Underrated part of the game if you ask me. I could not be more out on this kid. He went 14 for 50, with a drop, which is another dog shit effort. He occasionally makes a guy miss, I guess, which can't be said for Brandon Bolden so I'm not taking it for granted, but THAT is a first round running back?? Uhhh, what's the return policy on those? Because with absolutely no spark in the passing game it would be nice if two straight runs didn't automatically mean third and long. DIDI was pricey but this is hard to watch.
Where was James White? I saw his snaps went up in the second half when we got way down, so they ended up comparable to Sony. But 4 carries and 3 catches doesn't seem like enough action for one of the few play makers you have actually suiting up on Sundays. We felt it the most on third down. Wiggle has been Mr Reliable in that spot for years now. I don't love the idea of going away from that for an unproven rookie who is so far outside of the Brynes Family Circle of Trust he's gonna be taking lie detectors in my basement soon.
Have I told you guys how pumped I am took Rex Burkhead with a high pick in fantasy this year?! See the thing about Rex is when he actually got a chance to carry the load in Cincy for about 2 games he rushed for like 200 yards each game! He's a bell cow back who can also catch! We can split him into the slot. We can run him between the numbers. He can do it all! And we got him for peanuts. Bill does it again!! I legit told someone I think Rex is better than half the starting running backs in the league. I thought he would really shine with DIDI gone and Jules out for a while. Whoops. He's invisible out there. He can't get open enough. He's not explosive. And most importantly, he's ALWAYS hurt. He left this game with a neck injury, never to return. If memory serves he already picked up a concussion this season, so we'll see how long this nags at him, but I'm gonna need something out of these bum RBs not named James White if we are going to have any balance at all when the WR cavalry shows up. I'm not in the trade for Bell camp just yet, but I'm more than willing to say out loud that this Jeremy Hill injury is killing us.
At least we're consistent though. We can't run on offense and we certainly can't stop it on defense. I thought we got gashed against the Texans, but I chalked it up to that's what we were giving them. Quick note on the Texans game. Remember when we were all counting that as a great win against a playoff team? Ohhh right, they're 0-3 and just got their ass put in rice by the Giants. Anyway, the Jags ran at will against us too, because they manhandled our front 7, but it didn't stand out as much because Bortles was shitting on us through the air so magnificently. Well, it was more of the same Sunday night. Absolutely no pressure on the qb, and we let the Lions have a 100 yard rusher for the first time since Barry Sanders.
The holes these guys were running through were so big it was hard to tell when they were "holes." They just looked like open field. Fillingsworth was on the broadcast being like 'man look at this cut back lane' and I'm like bro that's just the field. Are we supposed to have players there?? Apparently we were, but they were busy being blown off their spot by one of the worst OLines in the league.
Who's at fault? All of them I think. Without MY BOY Trey Flowers there was going to be a slight regression, but no one is doing their job. Maybe Wise. But that's it. And by the way, Derek Rivers got into the game. For 13 snaps! Oh you missed him? Me too. Hard to spot the guy who looked like he was trying to rush the passer wearing freshly laundered socks on a tile floor.
Though I'm not sure anyone looked slower than HIGH. This is truly the only thing that terrifies me about this season. I keep telling everyone the D will figure out it. We have the same team essentially, but we added a premiere Sam linebacker. But the dude is 3 steps behind the play on every snap. Is he hurt?? Please be hurt. Please don't go full Meyo and all of a sudden be out of the league in 3 weeks. Because I counted on this guy being the lynch pin that holds this unit together. I don't know what I'm more shook by. The fact that HIGH can't set an edge to save his life, or that he's lost the green dot on his helmet to Bentley, a rookie. Something is not right with our guy, and I don't know what it is, but that needs to be figured out immediately.
How is J-Mac getting significant reps at CB2? I know Rowe was out, who stinks anyway. And I know J-Mac graded out so high at corner last year. But apparently the coaches think he is horrible at the position, hence his treatment during the preseason, so out of respect for Dev we dragged his brothers corpse onto the 53 man roster. But now he's the better option out of Jonathan Jones or JC Jackson? It doesn't add up. All I know is when you've got J-Mac and Cyrus Jones lined up at corner back on big third downs:
Are we in a full panic attack? Nah. That sucked so much. Jacksonville sucked so much too, but I expected that one to a degree. This was a kick to the dick. And if we lose to Miami and go 1-3 we will be in a tough spot. Like for real tough. But even then I wont freak out. I've seen this movie too many times. The reason it's a classic is because the ending is so good no matter how often you watch. So lets take a deep breath, calm down, and beat the Fins. The AFC East is ours to lose. I still feel that way about the AFC. The Chiefs are the start hot kings of the world. Season starts after Thanksgiving guys, and we got plenty of time til Turkey day. Lets be better next week.