Welcome back to the world of the new, New England Patriots. The new New England Patriots evolved from that awful SB loss to the NY Giants, which marred an otherwise perfect 2007 season. That loss shattered the cloak of invincibility that once shrouded this team, and its great QB. The magnitude of that loss was so great that, in order for the 2007, 18-1 team to carry on with their lives, they had to force-feed themselves to accept losing. This was the Genesis of the new New England Patriots. Since then, with each passing season, the new New England Patriots have accepted, and grown accustomed to their new losing role. In 2008, Tom Brady appeared to be sleep-walking through game one against the dreadful Kansas City Chiefs at home...until he was rudely awakened by a lunging blow to his knee, ending his season. In 2009, the Patriots developed the art of becoming the ultimate homers. They won all eight home games, and become the masters of tanking games in the second half on the road. The Pats were vintage 2009 again yesterday in New York, against the hated Jets. In a game eerily similar to their 16-9 defeat from last September, the Patriots folded again in the second half...as they were outscored by an embarrassing 18-0 count. Meet the new New England Patriots, version 2010. Here are my grades: A.) OFFENSE: After completely dominating the first quarter, and the majority of the second, the new New England Patriots gradually fell back into their old, familiar pattern of play on the road...as their play gradually deteriorated in the second half. 1.) QB: Tom Brady was amiss when, during his post-game comments, he stated, "we stunk". Correction, Tom ...you stunk . Time to be a leader again, Tom, and accept personal responsibility for this stink-bomb. We're all getting tired of the post-game we'll get 'em next time rant. These second half melt-downs must end! Want to know why the Patriot fans aren't super-charged with emotion, Tom? Because they've seen too many of these Patriot "performances" in recent years. They are tired of seeing their once great team repeatedly being humiliated during the second half of road games. These new New England Patriots have shown themselves not to be worthy of the fierce loyalty and passion that Patriot fans used to shower upon the "old" New England Patriots. In this latest chapter in road game futility, Brady seemed to hold onto the ball for too long. He also threw his seemingly obligatory lousy long pass to Randy Moss, that end up getting picked. While some pundits wondered aloud whether young Jets' QB, Mark Sanchez, would be confused by the BB defensive schemes...it was Brady who appeared to be the young, inexperienced, confused hand. He completed just 20 of 36 passes for 248 yards, with two TD passes, two picks, and one fumble, after getting blind-sided in the 4th quarter by 53 year old Jason Taylor; GRADE: F 2.) RBs: So much for a balanced attack. Perhaps it's time for the new New England Patriots to come to the realization that, though a RB by committee plan can work...when each RB in the committee is age 33-34, they are not as quick, not as agile, and lack the stamina of their younger years. The combined efforts of Kevin Faulk, BenJarvis Green-Ellis, and Fred Taylor accounted for a meager 52 yards on 20 carries. It seems silly to expect the offense to be carried by a handful of 34 year old men: GRADE: F; 3.) OL: I listed three keys for success in my pre-game analysis. They were: 1. containing the Jets' running game; 2. getting some pressure on Mark Sanchez and; 3. doing an adequate job of protecting Tom Brady. Unfortunately, the Pats failed in all three areas. For the most part, the Big Uglies did their jobs...in the first half. But, these being the new New England Patriots, the wheels came off in the second half. Special kudos to Matt Light for his ole' block on Jason Taylor, causing Tom Brady to get hammered, and fumble. GRADE: D; 4.) TEs and WRs: As I predicted, Alge Crumpler and Rob Gronkowski were used for blocking purposes, more than anything else. Wes Welker had six receptions, but netted just 38 yards. Credit the Jets' defense for containing him. Randy Moss had only two receptions for 38 yards...but one was a beautiful, one-handed TD grab, on another of those all too familiar over-thrown Brady long balls. Aaron Hernandez proved to be a factor, with six receptions for 108 yards...as he seemed to play more as a 3rd WR, than as a TE. But, his attrocious blocking must improve. Still, he appears to be on the road to becoming a solid contributor. Don't blame Welker or Moss for their lack of production. They had no support, as Brady was awful, the Pats had no running game, and the OL did not protect as well as was hoped; GRADE: C+; B.) DEFENSE: You-all likely saw it coming after the Pats allowed a FG in the closing seconds of the first half. The tepid, 2009 defense was back...just as it was in the 4th quarter of the Cincinnati game...and the results were equally disastrous...as the Patriots allowed Mark Sanchez to look like Peyton Manning on steroids . Please... I don't want to see one single solitary post about how the Patriots' defense was "gassed" in the second half. The only thing that gas had to do with the Pats' defensive performance was the foul smelling odor emitted by the Patriots' defensive players on the field. Sometimes, when the offense is not going well...the defense has to step up. Remember those days, back in 2003-2004? 1.) DL: Solid job...in the first half. But, unfortunately, each game has two halves. The team weakness at DE again shown through...as the front three, and front seven in general, could not stop the Jets pop-gun offense by air, or on the ground. The Jets ran 32 times for 136 yards...an average of 4.3 yards per run. If that stat makes you sick, try this one on for size...LT ran 11 times for 76 yards!! If Logan Mankins can play DE, the Pats should sign him immediately; GRADE: F; 2.) LBs: Jerod Mayo showed once again that he's not a leader, or a star. In this huge, emotionally charged game, he chipped in with a very pedestrian five tackles. ILB Brandon Spikes was solid, leading the team with nine (9) tackles, including five solos. Rob Ninkovich continued hustling, and looks to be a good role player. But, once again, the OLBs, aside from Tully Banta-Cain, were invisible. Wonderful missed tackle by last Sundays' hero, Gary Guyton, which sprung the hated LT on a 31 yard jaunt, setting up the Jets' go-ahead TD. No run containment...little pass-rush...poor pass coverage. To all you Patrick Chungsters/"how come we can't find a good OLB in the draft" types...Green Bay OLB Clay Matthews had another monster game, and is already being touted as a candidate for "Defensive Player of the Year". GRADE: D; 3.) SECONDARY: Don't you-all love that soft zone that the Patriots always seem to play in the 4th quarter? Darius Butler made me long for the days of Ellis Hobbs with his horrific play. Braylon Edwards and Dustin Keller both schooled him...in what was by far his worst performance as a Patriot. It was disturbing to watch Mark Sanchez zero in on him throughout the second half. Should this continue, the Patriots might have to draft yet another CB in the first round in the 2011 draft. Patrick Chung can hit, and is a sure tackler. But, as I pointed out repeatedly during the pre-season, he has major issues in coverage. Jets TE Justin Keller led his team with 7 receptions for 115 yards. That's an average of 16.4 yards per catch, folks! For those of you who may claim that the secondary was "gassed" in the second half, breathe in these stats...as Jets QB Mark Sanchez completed 21 of 30 passes for 220 yards, three TDs, and no picks...for a 124 QB rating. Love that Patriots' defense!! GRADE: F C.) SPECIAL TEAMS: Brandon Tate continues to shine as a return man, averaging nearly 25 yards per return today. Good job by Julian Edelman with a pair of 13 yard punt returns. The Patriots' kick coverage was good, as usual. There's got to be growing concern over the performance of Stephen Gostkowski. Any kick outside of 35 yards has been an adventure for him, thus far. His 37 yard first quarter FG miss was a point taker and a momentum breaker...and is unacceptable. Zoltan "The Magnificent" has a solid day on the job, averaging 48 plus yards per punt. GRADE: C-; D.) COACHING: The Jets were able to hold the Patriots scoreless in the second half, hold the ball for two-thirds of the half, score 18 points of their own...and were able to do this without their all-world CB, Darrelle Revis. One has to wonder why this happened yet again?? Why has BB has been unable to cure his teams' second half road blues...which has gone on ever since the above discussed SB loss...when the Pats "D" allowed the not so great Eli Manning to march his team 83 yards in the games' final two minutes, for a game winning TD. Why do these calamities always seem to happen on the road? Is it poor coaching, lack of talent, lack of motivation, lack of heart, lack of desire, lack of intensity, bad defensive schemes, or a lack of confidence? Based on how this has become such a chronic problem for the new New England Patriots, I have to believe that it's a combination of all of the above. Whatever the reason, SOMETHING NEEDS TO CHANGE...AND FAST!!! I for one am sick and tired of the new New England Patriots. GRADE: F E.) PLAY OF THE GAME: With the Jets trailing 14-10 midway in the 3rd quarter, facing a 3rd and one, from their own 12 yard line...Mark Sanchez hit TE Dustin Keller on a deep sideline pass for 39 yards and a drive sustaining first down...keeping what would be a TD drive alive. F.) PLAYER OF THE GAME: Mark Sanchez...high marks also for Dustin Keller. Thoughts on this debacle?? Here are the horrid game stats: http://scores.espn.go.com/nfl/boxscore?gameId=300919020
Posted by TexasPat3
You nailed it. Get ready for similar reviews. The Colts, Chargers, Ravens, Steelers, and Packers are in the future. And those are just the automatic loses. Throw in the Jets and the Dolphins as probable loses and the Bears as a possible lose.