Had to take a break a vent. I've never been so disappointed in Tom Brady til I read his whine about how the Pats have spoiled the fans, and how winning in the NFL is hard. Oh...boo-hoo, Tom: http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2012/10/22/tom-brady-maybe-we-spoiled-people/
Is isn't like this team is losing close games to the NY Giants, Packers, or 49ers. They are having a tough time with lightweights, such as the Cardinals, Seahawks, and, yesterday, the Jets. This team is consistently failing to stick the dagger in these weaklings...allowing them to hang around. They were within an inch of blowing out the Ravens in Baltimore.
So...whats' wrong with the Patriots?
1.) OC Josh McDaniels: The Pats can't seem to decide whether to be a smash mouth team, or to go back to the spread offense that has worked so well over the past several seasons. This indecisiveness reflects in the play-calling, and has rendered the offense far less aggressive and dynamic. Tom Brady has, and always has been, best in the shot-gun. The running game should be used as a diversionary tactic to the staple passing attack. Draws and screens are fine. But, shortening the game with the run allows inferior teams to hand around. The Pats, with their firepower, should be blowing teams like the Seahawks and Jets away. There's little chance for 4th quarter heroics when a team is down 3 TDs;
2.) Tom Brady: The guy is hearing footsteps...which is affecting his accuracy. Never Mr. Mobility, Tom isn't very good behind the center. Teams know that when Tom goes behind the center, that it's a running play. He's best in the shotgun. Turn him loose! He's a Hall of Fame QB! Why aren't the Pats putting the game in his hands, rather than in the hands of RB Stevan Ridley and the "D"??
3.) DB Coach Josh Boyer: Can somebody please tell me why this guy still has a job? The secondary is awful for the 2nd straight year. For whatever reason, he's not getting the best out of his guys. Even when a coach is given lemons to work with, his job is to make lemonaide;
4.) Conditioning: The Pats repeatedly are dying in the 4th quarter. Could this be a reason?
5.) This Team Isn't Hungry: Other teams appear to want it more. The 2012 Pats are constantly allowing teams to come from behind and beat them;
6.) Where is BB?: I can't believe BB isn't going off on his guys. They haven't looked like the Patriots all season;
7.) Brandon Lloyd: Time for McDaniels to go back to the Billy O'Brien (remember him?) offense, and stop worrying about making Lloyd happy. He's a complimentary piece...nothing more;
8.) Pass Rush?: Horrible. Guys like Mark Sanchez and, God help us...Russell Wison, are being made to look like Joe Montana. This team has one guy who can pressure the QB...Chandler Jones. Blitzes, anybody?
9.) DBs: Still a disaster...and still get beaten deep on a regular basis (see Josh Boyer, above);
10.) Lack of Leadership: Spare me about how winning is hard, Tom. After that debacle in Seattle Tom, in which the likes of Richard Sherman did everything but spit in your face...I really expected this team to destroy the Jets. But no...it was the usual, tepid, go through the motions, and let them hang around, performance. Such play hasn't been seen in these parts since 2002. Other than Brandon Spikes, I see no player willing to take the bull by the horns, and get this thing turned around. This team has far to much talent to be playing this way. The only thing that appears to stand in the way of them and another SB appearance is their unwillingness to pay the price to win, and Houston's 6'8" DE, J.J. Watts.
Where have you gone, Rodney Harrison, Tedy Bruschi, and Willie McGinest?