by Scott Benson
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.