Re: Patriots @ Ravens REPORT CARD
posted at 9/26/2012 12:29 AM EDT
In response to TexasPat's comment:
Sorry guys...I just didn't have the time to do a Card this week. Big doings going on at work...with long busy days on the job.
Suffice to say that, like you, I'm extremely disappointed and disheartened by yet another one of those excruciating, last minute, 4th quarter blown lead games. There's been far too many of these types of losses, ever since that awful SB 42 loss, in 2008. Whether the Pats are losing these close games as a result of lack of talent, poor coaching, or lack of will is debatable.
Frankly, the 2012 Pats aren't that good. Their OL is mediocre at best, and, as we saw Sunday night, their defense is still a work in progress. With this latest catastrophic loss, the Pats may have blown any chance for a playoff bye. There is no more margin for error. This team must decide right now whether they are to be legitimate SB contenders, or mere playoff fodder, at best.
Frankly, the 2012 Pats aren't that good.
The 2012 Patriots are very good. Perfect? No way. Have a few things to fix? Absolutely. But they are still one of the more talented teams in the NFL. They have lost two games by a total of 3 points.
Their OL is mediocre at best...
Perhaps, but the OL will come together. Four of the five positions have different starters than from the previous year. They are extremely well coached. They may not be dominant, but they will gel in time. They have never been an OL of stars, but they have consistently been among the top-5 units in the league.
...and as we saw Sunday night, their defense is still a work in progress.
True (but since they are 3rd in the AFC in points allowed, it is true for everyone else). Just as it was last year. But their defense at the end of last year was FAR better than it was at the beginning. I expect the same will be true this year. Difference is, the defense at the beginning of this year is much better than it was at the beginning of last year. And without a couple of horrific penalty calls on 3rd down stops, they would have given up 14 fewer points and more than 100 fewer yards to the Ravens.
With this latest catastrophic loss...
This is nothing but queenly drama. The loss was nowhere close to "catastrophic." The Pats lost by 1 point on the road to one of the top dogs in the AFC. At this point, they have one conference loss and no division losses. The Ravens and the Cardinals (yes, the Cardinals...look at the results) are among the best teams in their respective conferences. The sky is not falling.
...the Pats may have blown any chance for a playoff bye.
Monumentally untrue. They were a 1-seed last year at 13-3. There are not going to be two 15-1 teams in the AFC this year. No team in the AFC (with the possible exception of the Texans) have the depth to withstand the loss of an impact starter like Aaron Hernandez without feeling some detriment. Still, looking at the schedule, the Pats have a credible shot at 12-4 or 13-3, and it honestly would not surprise me if they ran the table and finished 14-2. I fully expect them to be the 1 or 2 seed.
There's been far too many of these types of losses, ever since that awful SB 42 loss, in 2008.
Let it go. What happened in 2008 has no bearing on what is happening in 2012. It is about as relevant as the Sugar Bear Hamilton loss in 1976.
This team must decide right now whether they are to be legitimate SB contenders, or mere playoff fodder...
Nonsense. That is precisely what they should not decide. What they should decide is to commit to 60 minutes of smart, mistake-free, well-coached football on Sunday, and beat the Bills. (I'm pretty sure that is where Bill Belichick's head is at, as well.)