by Chris Warner, Patriots Daily Staff
In less time than it took for Wes Welker to crutch-walk off the field after the coin flip, the home team trailed 7-0 and looked about as alert as a sloth on a hot day. Just a terrible game all around.
New England tried to make a game of it (although “tried” may be too strong a word). In the end, though, their mid-game improvement failed to make up for their awful start in the 33-14 loss.
Some notes, if you’re up for them…
An Inferior Brandon: Just how many tackles is safety Brandon Meriweather supposed to miss? Whether on Ray Rice scooting for 83 yards or Willis McGahee barreling for a first down, Meriweather failed to support the run defense.
Oh Brother, O’Brien: Horrible offensive play-calling by Bill O’Brien, and continued missteps on special teams courtesy of coach Scott O’Brien. While the former showed Wile-E.-Coyote-like persistence in calling unsuccessful screen and draw plays, the latter put out a kick-return team that struggled to get the ball past the 20 in the first half and gave up a 30-yard return in the second.
Fare Thee Welker: Oh, hell. It looks like Wes Welker really was the team MVP.
Upbraiding Brady: Sure, he was under pressure. Yes, his coaches made play calls as if they were consulting a Magic 8-Ball. In the end, though, Tom Brady never got his timing and never rose to the occasion, finishing 23 of 42 for 154 yards, two TDs and three INTs, as well as a lost fumble. That’s four turnovers if you’re keeping track at home.
Of course, some of his lack of production can be put on the less-than-Atlas-like shoulders of…
No Moss, No Moss: What a quitter Randy Moss turned out to be. Zero receptions in the first half. An apparent lack of effort throughout. Maybe he’s hurt, but with his half-assing it, we could never tell.
If a football game resembles a street fight, the Ravens were the Warriors while the Pats were the cast of “West Side Story.” One was prepared for anything while the other looked like it expected the same rehearsed song and dance. Randy Moss just joined the chorus and failed to stick out in any discernible way.
A Shiny Julian: With his six catches for 44 yards and two TDs, at least Julian Edelman came to play. He and Kevin Faulk (14 carries, 52 yards; six catches, 37 yards) provided the only semblance of competency on offense.
Die, Dynasty: It’s over, and that’s just fine. Now, New England can focus on improving their defense while adding tough-minded offensive guys who can actually play the grind-it-out game that Brady alluded to earlier this season.
Yes, PD friends, it’s over. But when one thing ends, something better gets the chance to begin.
To our readers, thanks for checking out Gut Check this year, and thanks to Scott, Bruce and the entire PD gang for all the support.
Email Chris Warner at firstname.lastname@example.org