We Fell Short... But We Did Come Close
posted at 2/6/2012 7:07 AM EST
We Fell Short ... But We Did Come SO SO Close this season. I was proud of our Patriots team this year. They fought hard, were tough and never gave up. They came back several times from behind. Our high powered offense could really put up points and control the tempo. The team was competitive in every game and lost only 4 of them by a total of 19 points ... by 3, by 8 and by 4 twice (to the Giants).
The 'double edged sword' was that almost every game was a nail bitter. We started off slow way too many times. The defense was difficult to watch as we let the other teams march down the field. My brother and I invented a rule of thumb that we were never comfortable unless we were up by 17 points - three possessions - with 5 minutes left.
Part of the disappointment with being so good is that when you loose, you can find specific plays that could have made the difference. We expected the offense to put up that last score or the defense to get the 'game changing' or 'close out' turnover ... and we did it most of the time ... way more than almost all of the other teams ... but in the playoffs, that last loss hurts the most.
In this Super Bowl, despite poor starting field position the entire game, and
a) a bizarre safety on our first play that put us 0-2, and
b) an inexcusable '12 men on the field' penalty that negated a strip and fumble recovery ... allowing the Giants to go up 0-9 (failure by D-coaches and D-captain for not counting and that 12th guy for being in the wrong place)
... we Battled ... scored the next 17 points to gain Control including:
c) a brilliant end of the second quarter drive to go up 10-9 at the half, and
d) an strong drive to start the second half and go up 17-9
... and then we let the Giants back in. If only:
e) Tom threw it a bit further to Gronk and we had a TD instead of an INT
f) or Wes caught that ball at the 20 yd line with around 4 Minutes left allowing us to run the clock
g) or Rob N's timing was a fraction of a second better and we held them at their 11 on that last drive
h) or the football gods didn't grant the Giants another 'miracle catch'
and even then ... we had a chance at the end. We came so close.
The Good News ... a great team chemistry ... and a lot of young stars with a desire to redeem ... led by a great bunch of veterans including the league's very best QB ... and Josh will be back to improve the play calling.
My wish list:
i) A Healthy Gronk and a Healthy Brady (didn't his throwing seem a bit off after the bye week?)
j) Positive Resolution with Wes's contract [yes it is a business, and yes teams like the Jets and Colts suffered when they were held up for big $$ contracts to only a couple of guys - but what might have been if Deion had been with us in '05, '06 and '07 ??? Plus we wasted $10 million this year on Ocho and S Ellis and we have cap room.]
k) Healthier years for Chung, Spikes, Dowling and Carter ... their loss of game time hurt the D a lot
l) Using our high draft picks this year - with the exception of Meriweather, most of our first round draft choices turn out to be great players - with the Rookie rates in place maybe we will move up instead of down this year: Defensive help please - we won Super Bowls with stronger defenses.
m) a vertical threat at WR to keep opposing defenses honest ... we rarely hit on any bombs this year ... there must be a WR out there that will believe in the Patriots Way and learn our offense ... Ocho didn't work but was a good team mate (B Lloyd might be nice depending on what Josh thinks).
Thanks for letting me get this all off my chest!!