If prosecutors are right, Aaron hernandez killed two people just weeks before heading back to Patriots training camp. Hernandez hasn’t been proven guilty of anything, but if you were to assume he actually did shoot and kill Daniel Abreu and Safiro Furtado in the South End on July 16, 2012, did it affect his performance on the field?
Here are Hernandez’s stats for the 2012 season:
|Sept. 9||@TEN||W 34-13||6||59||1|
|Sept. 16||ARI||L 20-18||0||0||0|
|Sept. 23||@BAL||L 31-30||DNP||DNP||DNP|
|Sept. 30||@BUF||W 52-28||DNP||DNP||DNP|
|Oct. 7||DEN||W 31-21||DNP||DNP||DNP|
|Oct. 14||@SEA||L 24-23||6||30||1|
|Oct. 21||NYJ||W 29-26||5||54||0|
|Oct. 28||@STL (London)||W 45-7||DNP||DNP||DNP|
|Nov. 11||BUF||W 37-31||DNP||DNP||DNP|
|Nov. 18||IND||W 59-24||DNP||DNP||DNP|
|Nov. 22||@NYJ||W 49-19||2||36||0|
|Dec. 2||@MIA||W 23-16||8||97||0|
|Dec. 10||HOU||W 42-14||8||52||2|
|Dec. 16||SF||L 41-34||10||92||1|
|Dec. 23||@JAX||W 23-16||1||13||0|
|Dec. 30||MIA||W 28-0||5||44||0|
|Jan. 13||HOU (AFC Divisional)||W 41-28||6||85||0|
|Jan. 20||BAL (AFC Championship)||L 28-13||9||83||0|
That’s an off year by his standards, but there are multiple factors that could explain the dropoff that don’t involve a guilty conscience. Hernandez was injured for part of the year, missing games and getting fewer snaps in others. He was also used as a decoy in some games, which freed up other players to earn gaudier stats and touchdowns.
Speculation can be fun, but any connection between two murders and on-field performance would be a stretch at best.Scalese can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @BertoScalese.