I know I've failed you. I know that. You don't have to lecture me. No one is more mad at me than I am at myself. Last week I got sent to New York on Monday night for work. There was an emergency. I'm talking 5 bell alarm panic setting in across the company. I've been there til today, just straight up drowning in deadlines and meetings with the all powerful long reaching hand of the MAN buried up my ass working my mouth like a puppet.
I wanted to film school you on the Vikings. I truly did! That Amoeba defense was a thing of beauty. I wanted to make predictions on the Fins game. They would have been dead wrong, but that's neither here nor there. I didn't put anything on paper so you can't hold me to being wrong.
What I humbly ask of you today is to be the bigger man. Welcome me back into your open arms and say I'm sorry you had such a rough week JO. You can lean on us for strength and lets get back on track.
This I can do for you. I promise. Unfortunately, it starts with a deeply upsetting blog. With all the bullshit talk about how Miami is a house of horrors for Tommy and Pats, I wasn't hearing it. This is a hat and tshirt game. The Dolphins STINK. Our defense is rounding into form. There is absolutely no reason for us to lose this game. When we do lose these games, you can usually tell by the way Tom is playing. You know those games I'm talking about? He comes out there missing throws or ducking ghosts in the pocket. Everything looks out of whack. We can't move the ball to save our lives and I know the Miami curse of Aztec Gold has turned us into un-dead Pirates again. And not like Black Pearl Pirates. I'm talking like On Stranger Tides Pirates.
Well on Sunday Tom was comfortably taking a shit on the Dolphins defense from the opening kickoff. It didn't matter the defense thought they might catch cooties if they touched a Miami running back. As long as we are firing on offense I'm never worried, because we can obviously outscore them in the end. Water finds its level. They can't maintain. We can.
HOWEVA, what did I tell you guys the other week about the kicking game? It's this mythical barometer for how off the rails we are. Any time the kicking unit breaks down, we are in the sunken place. I don't mean Stevie missing a 50+ yard kick by the length of my knob. But what certainly does fall under that category is extra fucking points. Don't even think about starting this shit with me again Stevie. I swear when you miss one of those it kills you, ever single time. We still lose this game if that one goes in, the miss in the second half was much more damning, but I'm just saying. It's a mental issue. The PAT gets shanked and now everyone knows this is an everything goes wrong game. It's nightmare fuel.
By the time we were up 27-21 and driving to end the half after a blocked punt, still despite all the struggles from the defense, I knew this was about to be a blowout. Miami came out swinging. Bless them for their heart. But we are about to put up 34 points in the first half, and then our defense was obviously going to figure them out in the second half.
What sucks is we did! The Fins had 7 points in the second half. That's it. One good drive. We cleaned up the run D and got just about exactly what we wanted. I did not expect the offense to go ICE COLD. And you know where it started? That third down sack at the end of the half. We all read that Tom forgot how many time outs we had left. To that I would ask....WHAT????
You are Tom fucking Brady. You are the most situationally aware being to ever live. In fact you might have created the simulation that we are all living in. Either that or you are the string of code that the higher beings were waiting for. They've run this thing for millennia just to see if something like you could ever exist. You're the proof. Yet this man takes a sack and lets the clock run out costing me three points. It's not like there is a massive scoreboard on the field that shows how many time outs you have just in case you weren't sure. That's a bummer. Cause if there was I'm sure Tommy could have just looked at that.
And then before you know it, poof, all the chemistry was gone in the second half. Jules drops. Dumb penalties. Absolutely zero running game. Stupid play calls. Missed field goals. Horrible Red Area execution. It all adds up to 6 points in the second half which is about as acceptable as opening a present on Christmas Eve.
The real dick punch is our last series of the game. After the Flash Gordon PI, which was a DIME from Brady by the way, the game should have ended. But I screamed at my big screen TV in my living room (whispered to the tiny screen I was streaming it on in an office conference room*) you better get in here. The PI actually stopped the clock which hurt us a tiny bit. Not enough to matter, but now we were going to be forced to give them the ball back at some point.
I understand needing to keep the clock moving there, so I suppose you had to run, but I hate the calls so much. You guys know I always preach we should be able to power the ball forward for a couple yards every time no matter, but these hand offs are so cookie cutter I might serve them at my Christmas party next week. Give me a toss, a counter, something other than running it into David Andrews butthole three straight times.
Then, you are facing 4th and goal from the 1. There is about 20 seconds left. The FG and the very nice squib kick from Stevie ran that down to 7 seconds. Only up 5, but essentially an un-lose-able situation. But why don't you go for that?? Lets say we don't get it. Clock stops on a turnover, but now there are, what, 15 seconds left? Miami only needs a FG to win but they are on their 1 yard line with zero time outs. To me that feels equally un-lose-able. Like they need 60 yards minimum for a FG try and again, no way to stop the clock.
And the plus is in this case the alternative is we just run the ball into the end zone like non morons and the game is lit-trally over. I know we ran like damn fools all night, but come onnnnnnn. You need to be able to get that yard. I'd roll the dice that we get in, knowing that if they pull of a FG after that I get lit up for the call, but I sleep soundly with the decision.
You know what probably kept Bill tossing and turning a bit last night though? Putting Gronk at safety on that final play. Here's the only possible logic. Bill thinks he wants Gronk at safety to stand in the end zone for the Hail Mary. There are 7 seconds left. The Dolphins can't stop the clock. They are going to run a quick out, take 5 seconds, step out of bounds, now in range for a Hail Mary, and then they wont sub. If they don't sub we don't get the right to sub players, so we wouldn't be able to add Gronk in last second, or risk an offside/12 men penalty. So he can just chill during this 10 yard out. Then he can do what I want him to do on the next play.
The Fins chose to go hook and ladder right away, which was smart in my opinion, and semi obvious if you want to be harsh, and then Gronk was the last man between Kenyan Drake and the most humiliating loss (reg season) of my Patriots fandom. He still should have made the tackle. All he had to do was touch Drake and he would have stepped out of bounds. But watching poor Gronk hobble around the field while Drake ran by him like he was Carl Fredricksen chasing after Russell made all that retirement talk way too real in my brain.
I've heard a lot of people saying Dev needed to be in there. He led the team in tackles. Playing center field is, kind of, ya know, his job. But think about what I just said. Bill might have wanted a big body back there for the final chuck. It would be sick if we had a Flash Gordon type receiver, maybe someone who did that job during opponents Hail Marys while Gronk was out injured, but sadly we don't have that type of player anywhere near our roster. If we did, he could have been back there, and I bet he would have done a much better job tackling a speedy running back in space.
I don't want to excuse the rest of the defense on that play either. Fucking gang tackle for me one time. Jonathan Jones should have had Stills on the catch. Wham bam thank you ma'am. Game over. But then he slips away and gets a lateral off. Then it was a comedy of errors. I refuse to watch the replay to take down the names. But JC Jackson was nearby. Van Noy was nearby. Both whiffing like assholes. Where is everyone else?! Swarm the ball like its a Christmas ham! You can't completely ignore the laterals, but you can't play the pitches that aggressively. Gilmore, who is dooooope so I hesitate to say anything bad about him, was hanging off covering a god damn OLineman!! Let him pitch it to that fat ass! We'll deal with that later. Right now, tackle the man who is carrying the football. Defense 101 buddy.
I know this blog hasn't been that expansive. It's one play focused. I just can't get past it. I'm sorry. You can't lose a game this way. It's humiliating. And it doesn't happen to this team. Luckily, I'm a child and I'm not in that locker room. Men are in that locker room. This game will do one of two things. It will either be the moment, finally, of a season of too many of them, where this group rallies together. They are done being the punch line of a joke. We have been DUMMIED by 3 teams this year, all of whom STINK. We just lost to another bad team in pee wee football fashion. Can you say hey, lets be champions. Get strength from this, remember how this feels, never feel this way again. That is something we can ride all the way to Atlanta. OR, you just showed the world you are mentally weak. You can be beat when it matters most. You are vulnerable. No one is scared of you out executing them anymore. That fear seeps into everyone on the roster, from 1 to 53, and this season is officially a wash.
If you asked me what I thought in the hour or two after this game, I would have said the latter. This team doesn't feel right to me. We suck on the road. We take stupid penalties. We don't execute in all the areas we always execute. With some much needed rest and getting back to my own bed, I have more confidence. It starts this week, that's for damn sure. You go into Pitt and do what you always do. Give them the body on the road, take care of the AFC East, and head into the playoffs strong. Yea, then I think this team still makes a deep run. But I got news for you. The one seed is dead. We got an absolute GIFT with the Houston loss, (and the fact that the Chargers are in the Chiefs division which is a garbage rule) so we still control the 2 seed. Without a bye, this season is LOL over. We are one and done in the playoffs without the bye. We knead it. I want less than nothing to do with going to Arrowhead for the AFCCG, but I low key think the Chiefs are ripe for the picking in the yoffs when defenses tighten up. So hold on to that 2 seed and I wouldn't be surprised at all to see the road to the bowl come through Foxboro, per usual.
We're on to Pittsburgh, but like, figure it out boys.