Did you guys hear Tom Brady just broke the record for the most passing yards in the history of the NFL? Me neither. For some reason the record for the most important stat (2nd most important?) at the most important position can be broken and the NFL doesn't feel the need to announce that to the general public. Drew Brees (great dude) broke the passing record for regular season yards and we now get that day off from work next year. Undoubtedly, it is a bigger deal to break the regular season record because not everyone is guaranteed those playoff games, but that certainly doesn't mean the regular season + yoffs record should be ignored. And may I be so bold as to add that it wouldn't have been ignored had it been any other quarterback? One could argue that its because the league hates the Patriots and Brady, but I will argue that its because they know a record like this means nothing to a god-like being with five super bowl rings and counting.
So allow me to be the first person to say congratulations Tom. Congratulations and thank you. For everything. By the time you hang them up you will own every single passing record that matters. This is just a stepping stone. You aren't the hero Gotham deserves, but you are the one it needs.
Now on to the real action. Was I surprised this game was 10-10 at half? Yes and no. No because the Jets always give us issues and we have suuuuuuuucked on the road. Yes because Gronk was back and we had a bye week and McCown was starting at quarterback. The announcers who I will not name because I hate them said during the broadcast that Brady v McCown was the highest combined age for opposing quarterbacks in NFL history. One of my favorite NHL stats ever is what siblings have the most points? The answer is Wayne and Brent Gretzky with 2,861 points combined. For those keeping score at home, that would be 2,857 for Wayne and 4 for Brent. True story.
I bring that up to say that I honestly believe pretty soon Brady will be breaking the combined age record multiple times a year, despite his opponents being 30 year olds in their prime and Tom coming off his MVP season at age 47.
I was so happy to see Hoags do something. If you have been reading me, or anything about the Pats for that matter, over the last few weeks all anyone can talk about is Chris Hogan's 8 millions snaps (number approx) with a fat ZERO targets. And as much as it pains me to say it, it hasn't been because he isn't open. At least not all of the time. There have been plenty of video clips of Hoags nude, including a huge fourth down against the Titans, where Tom just misses him. Tom has said as much in his pressers. So yea, Hoags was only targeted 2 times this week, but he caught both of them for 47 yards. That isn't the break out I day dreamed about during my post turkey nap, but its better than nothing. Baby steps. I'll take it.
On the other hand, one thing that was a little weird in the passing game was Brady trying to connect with Wiggle. A man who was 2nd in the AFC in receptions before the bye week and who has been damn near the only automatic thing about the Pats all season was targeted 5 times but only caught 1 pass for 5 yards. There was one play where Wiggle stayed in to block for a beat and then slipped through the line on a delayed release. He went up the middle and broke left. The Jets defense realized they had no one accounting for him so their nose tackle Mike Pennel dropped into coverage and attempted to follow him. It was man coverage behind Pennel, so if Wiggle could get free there would be nothing but space behind him.
Brady was under pressure, but the pass missed low and outside because it wasn't a great throw on the move and Wiggle didn't have much separation. In case you're speed reading, Mike Pennel is a NOSE TACKLE. He is 6'4" 333 lbs. Under no circumstances should that man ever be close enough to read the name on Wiggle's back with one eye covered. I'm not worried, we won big and Wiggle went for 73 yards on 9 carries on the ground. I'm just saying, what a weird game for us to struggle with our bread and butter. That would be like me sitting down to the Thanksgiving table and forgetting how to butter my bread.
Sony Michele looked way better this week than he did in his first attempt at a return. He went for 133 on 21 carries with a tuddy. He even caught 2 passes! And it should have been about 200 on the ground if not for some brain fart penalties seemingly every time the PlayStation broke one for 30. I'm still hard on this kid. It sucks that he was a first round pick. It sucks that Nick Chubb is roughly 500,000 times better than him. But he is good. He's probably the best early down back we've had since Corey Dillon. I'm not saying he's CD, not yet at least, but I am saying he's going to be valuable as the weather gets colder. Especially since our passing attack is still not running with a virus scan coming back clean.
The penalties really did suck in this game. 11 for 105 yards is about as un-Patriot-like as The Kings Speech. Bill said after the game he would have called the same penalties. I trust his eyes more than mine, but I do remember being frustrated with the calls at some point between my 15th and 16th Bud Light. The OPI on Wiggle felt harsh, especially to anyone who was watching the Bears game on Thanksgiving, when 'Allen Robinson XIV' had a flag picked up for the exact same thing.
Flash Gordon had another solid game. He hasn't had quite as much of an impact down field as I thought he might. Who knows, perhaps we're saving those routes, or perhaps we saw enough of that during the Cookie era. Those routes take a long time to develop and Brady took enough hits for my liking yesterday anyway. But holy smokes can this dude make catches in traffic. We run him on a lot of quick slants and back shoulder throws. He usually has a corner back in his pocket mostly because its such a quick throw without any moves. But it feels like he always comes down with the ball, and that is for one simple reason. He catches the ball WITH HIS HANDS. It's incredible. He snatches that ball like Viktor Krum in the Quiccitch World Cup. Its a blur and I love it. Even Jules catches too many passes off his chest plate if I'm allowed to be critical. I know he comes down with them, but the good lord gave you two hands. Use them. Please and thanks.
However, I should probably be glad Edelman has use of his hands at all after that fall he took after that incomplete pass. I saw him swinging his shoulder around and I instantly assumed he landed hard on said shoulder. When they showed the replay I legit couldn't process what I was looking at. He landed perfectly on his elbow. I mean perfectly. His arm, elbow to shoulder, was exactly perpendicular to the field turf. 90 degree angles on either side. Classic geometry. And his entire body weight landed on that elbow. I've watched it a few times now. I genuinely can't understand how it didn't explode his arm up through his shoulder. Like bone should be sticking out of shoulder skin. That must have been extremely painful. I know he played the very next snap, but it looked like he ran off after that. I can't be sure. But he played 60 of 70 snaps on offense so he couldn't have missed much time if he went out at all. He's a scrappy little MFer, and if missing 4 games for roids strengthened that shoulder, I will make that trade all day every day off camera every way.
Lets talk a little play calling shall we? It's nice to have Gronk back. That opens up a lot of the playbook. I'm glad we weren't trying trick plays. I'm sure as SHIT glad we didn't throw to Brady again. I don't need us coming up with ways to have the right shoulder of our entire franchise being driven into the ground as if we were morons...
But Josh still left a little to be desired. The ones that really bothered me were the hand offs to Patterson on first and goal. First of all, Patterson: get off my team. Second of all, this is not the time to hand off to Patterson. If you want him to have his fun between the 20s be my guest. I mean don't, he shouldn't play, but I commend him for developing a skill and being an insurance policy for us. But that's all he is. An insurance policy. Not a tuddy vulture. And the other Mr. Krab meme moment was when we got the ball at the end of the first with a chance to horseshoe. We had 3 time outs and 2 minutes left. We were pinned deep. Not great, but fine. We go run on first down. Jets burn their second time out. We go run on second down. Jets burn their final time out. We now have 3 time outs and with about a minute 40 on the clock. You get a first down here and its full green light. I would have thrown already, but I suppose I see the argument to force the Jets to use their clock stoppages. HOWEVA (extreme Stephen A Smith voice) it is inexcusable to run again on 3rd and 4. Sony was stopped and we had to punt and the Jets tied the game. Brady was LIVID walking off the field, as he should have been. The only person on the planet more mad at Josh was me. I live and die for hoseshoes and Josh just ripped one off my hoof.
Quick side note on that play. It was a putrid play call, but it was perfectly blocked and my mother could have run for a first down. Sony had a seam in two different directions which would have gone for 10+ but decided to run directly up the asshole of his blocker, which I did not appreciate.
In a game where we held the Jets to 13 points you'd think the defense was solid all around, but we continued to struggle with Tight Ends. Chris Henderson (from? THE U) went for 7 catches on 8 targets for 57 yards. No tuddies, so we will live, but it felt like he was open every time he ran a route. No one in these parts like's to look ahead, and I know it will be a different game plan all together, but I'd be lying to your fat face if I said wasn't dreading seeing Travis Kelce again in January.
I noticed some interesting play time decisions on Sunday. I'm not going to argue them. I say it all the time. The coaches see these guys in practice. Sometimes it's game plan specific. But I'm just saying I was surprised. For example, I was surprised to see John Simon get 27 snaps to Wise's 25 snaps. I was happy to see Wise get a sack yesterday. I was really counting on a that massive Trey Flowers second year jump from him this year. He's shown flashes of it. He really has. But overall the production hasn't been there. I still believe in him strongly, he will be a cog on this defense for the next two years, but I wanted more from him this year. I was also surprised to see JC Jackson get 21 snaps to Jonathan Jones 13. You all know I love both those dudes, and I think JC Jackson is a ball hawk, but that has been JJ's job most of the year. Hopefully they're both dead soon though, with the return of Duke Dawson. He was active this week but scratched because he wasn't ready to go. I've got both eyes glued to that situation moving forward.
I was surprised to see Danny Shelton play 9 snaps. Only 14% of the defensive plays. I didn't pay enough attention to game flow or the packages we were running, but that feels low. Is he a bust? I felt like he was a great rotation guy who was a former first round talent who we picked up off the trash heap. But 14% isn't gonna cut it big dog. I could look up how many snaps he's played the last few weeks to see if this was an anomaly or pattern...OR I could continue eating this plate of Thanksgiving left overs while I type and not really give a fuck about the answer. I will give you zero guesses as to my decision.
This play right here is without a doubt the worst play in the entire career of MY BOY Trey Flowers. I say that based on every play he has ever made thus far, and every play that he will ever make until the day he retires.
Leave your feet one more time bro. I dare you. That's Josh McCown. What in the actual fuck do you think you are doing? Leave your hands in the air, close down on him, and sack him. I gasped when this happened. Lit-trally gasped. It looked like the kids in my flag football league who are playing for the first time this season and don't know that leaving your feet in front of the QB is pretty much the one single thing you can't do. Let's all agree to never talk about this again.
You've heard this before, but check this out again. When Tom, Jules and Gronk all play:
The last 20 games we are 19-1
The last 10 road games we are 10-0
In their careers we are 62-12
In the last 60 (!!!) Patriots games those three have only been on the field together 18 times.
WTF. Here's hoping the Kingston Trio stays together through February this year.
Here are the facts. We are currently the 2 seed. The Steelers loss to the Ponies was great, but with a head to head against us coming up it didn't matter that much. We still have to beat them. The Chiefs could still drop one and we have the head to head. We must win out. The season starts after Thanksgiving. Everyone knows this. We are currently 1-0. LFG.