Well, it is quite clear that the Patriots on the field this year – are FAR from the pragmatic epic pass-catching offense that we had last year.
Simply put – 5 of Brady’s favorite targets are gone: Welker, Hernandez, Gronkowski, Lloyd and Woodhead. After considering this, would anyone be surprised that Brady had such an awful game? I think many were quick to jump on the bandwagon of “Brady’s getting old” and “his best years are behind him”.
BULLSHIT. If Belichick supported his hall-of-fame quarterback with some ACTUAL talent that can stay healthy (*Cough Amendola *cough *cough) then we might actually see some positive traction by the Pat’s offense. However, THANK GOD FOR JULIAN EDELMAN! Luckily someone brought their energy and tenacity to the game last night, otherwise we would’ve never formulated a true offensive strategy. Edelman clearly was channeling Welker while in the slot, and thus was very effectively used and heavily relied upon by Brady.
In stark contrast is the Pat’s defense. Where would be we be without them at this point? My feelings? 0-2. Without the charge lead by Wilfork, and the epic fumble recoveries, and interceptions by the Patriot’s defense, we would have undoubtedly lost our first two games… regardless of Danny’s epic pass-catching in the 4th quarter of game 1.
Also, we have to hand partial credit for our win to the Jets, and their quick-tempered and poorly timed penalties. According to the official Gillette Stadium game clock, the New York Jets lost their cool with 38 seconds remaining in a winnable battle they let slip away against a frustrated Tom Brady.
Jets center Nick Mangold tackled New England Patriots cornerback Aqib Talib below the knees on the Patriots sideline following Geno Smith’s third fourth-quarter interception in Thursday night’s 13-10 loss to the vulnerable-looking 2-0 Patriots.
Mangold’s tackle ignited a wild melee that ended with left tackle D’Brickashaw Ferguson and guard Willie Colon getting ejected – even though the dumb-asses sat on the bench instead of heading to the locker-room, like any level-headed player might with only 0:38 left on the clock.
“Mangold tried to make a tackle, he goes to try and take the guy, the guy turned his back, he went into the back of his legs – and it wasn’t intentional,” Jets coach Rex Ryan said. “He just tried to make a cut tackle. He went out of bounds. And then all heck broke loose apparently. And our team was the only one involved in it.” Clearly Rex has bouts of insanity every so frequently as well… because that CLEARLY was intentional below-the-waist tackle as he was tip-toeing out of bounds already.
Also, I want to give partial credit for the win to Sanchez. YES, Sanchez! His injury was a blessing in disguise. That’s because the 1-1 Jets truly lost it when Smith reverted to rookie form with his three-interception, fourth-quarter meltdown. It began with the first of two ill-advised throws intercepted by Talib. On third-and-5 from the New England 27-yard line with 11:22 remaining, his team trailing by the final margin, Smith had his Mark Sanchez red-zone implosion.
Smith was flushed left by Patriots defensive tackle Vince Wilfork, then threw back across his body into a tight window with receiver Clyde Gates covered. Cornerback Kyle Arrington deflected Smith’s pass and Talib intercepted it. That snuffed the Jets’ best last chance to score either the go-ahead touchdown or tying field goal.
“I just made a decision that ultimately cost my team,” Smith said. “We came out, competed hard. But with the mistakes that were completely on me, we didn’t get it done.” The former West Virginia star finished 15 of 35 for 214 yards with a 27.6 passer rating. “I don’t like to look at this as a learning experience because I think I’m ready for this,” Smith said. “I know I’m ready for this. And I’ve got to take care of the ball. I’ve got to give us a chance to win.”
The Jets are starting over with Smith now that incumbent starter Mark Sanchez’s dislocated throwing shoulder requires surgery. Sanchez declined to discuss his condition with reporters afterward. Though Sanchez said Thursday he will try to rehab his dislocated right shoulder, I’ve heard speculation that eventually Sanchez will need surgery on the shoulder, and it’s likely to land him on season-ending injured reserve.
Thursday night’s game was there for the taking for New York. Rookie defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson heard disgust hissing from Brady after each dropped pass or missed scoring connection with his injury-depleted cast of pass catchers. With his receivers whittled by free agency and injuries to a group of unproven rookies, Brady longed for the trusted hands of Wes Welker, Rob Gronkowski and Danny Amendola. When wide open rookie receiver Aaron Dobson turned the wrong way in the end zone on what should have been a 12-yard, second-quarter touchdown, Brady clapped his hands to his helmet and screamed.
Now one thing I will bitch about when it comes to the Patriots is, is that they only converted just 4 of 18 third downs. 4/18!! … as in 22% … as in WHAT THE FUCK. Brady’s namesake and reputation was because of his epic ability to convert on third downs (about 70% success last year), and deadly aim when in the red-zone to capitalize on touchdowns. Simply put: that didn’t happen.
“The defense was tremendous; we kept Tom Brady off the field,” Richardson said. “He was throwing balls to the ground, they were dropping passes. He was frustrated.” There was good reason. Amendola and running back Shane Vereen (broken wrist), who combined to catch 17 of Brady’s 28 completions in Sunday’s win against Buffalo, sat out with injuries.
At another point, Brady slammed his helmet to the ground when he returned to the bench following another sloppy series. “I have to do a better job with my body language,” Brady said. “I definitely can improve that. I wouldn’t say it’s a real strong point of mine right now. We’ll just try to keep doing better.” When Talib’s second interception sealed the game, Ferguson and Colon lost it far worse than Brady. They could face stiff fines from the league office.
Ferguson was ejected for throwing a punch at Wilfork, while Colon bumped an official.
“I hope I don’t get suspended,” Colon said. “I hope it is not the case. I lost my temper. I lost my cool out there, and we can’t have it. It hurts your team, and I know better.”
Ferguson only knew that he got ejected, not the reason why as he walked to the team bus afterward. “I don’t really remember what happened, I just know at the end of that I got ejected.”
After the game, Rex Ryan was asked about at least six drops by Smith’s receivers, including a fumble by Stephen Hill that set up Patriots kicker Stephen Gostkowski’s first of two field goals. “We’ve got to hang onto the football,” Ryan said. “Would it have changed the outcome? I don’t know. But I would have liked to have found out.”
Yeah, i’m sure you would’ve liked to see it Rex, but shit, that’s not reality, is it?
The reality is that your team fumbled, intercepted, and dropped its way to a loss, albeit it was an ugly win for the Patriots, but a win nonetheless.
To be honest, I didn’t give the Jets-Patriots game a second thought before hand, but after the disgusting show of events last night, I seriously am concerned at how well they will line-up against an actual good team, with a veteran QB, a good receiver-core (like Manning-Welker) and a work-horse RB offense (like the Texan’s with Arian Foster).
I did have much confidence in the Pats going into week two, but now I have to take an honest look at the team and see if I think they’ll go as far as last year after gutting the core of our passing game. Do they have a chance? As long as Brady and Belichick are still kicking, then hell yes, Do I have my doubts? That’s a rhetorical question.
Thanks for reading,