For the second week in a row the New England Patriots brought their fans to the edge of their seats with a 30 – 27 overtime loss against the New York Jets. Last week Brady and the Patriots beat the New Orleans Saints after a last minute touchdown drive, when Brady looked like the Tom Brady of old, really for the first time all year. That would be the Tom Brady who has 28 fourth quarter comebacks and 39 game-winning drives in his career. This week, not so much.
For the first four quarters Brady certainly looked more like he did in the first five games of the season than he did last week with zero touchdown passes and one interception. He was also sacked four times. Sure the Patriots have been dealing with injuries, including to their tight end Rob Gronkowski who did play today, but this is the NFL and like it or not injuries are part of the game. Gronkowski did have eight catches for 114 yards, but it wasn’t enough.
It’s a good thing the Red Sox won last night and are going to the World Series, at least now the amount of doom and gloom talk will be cut in half on the Boston sports stations tomorrow. There is sure to be the usual banter about what is wrong with the New England Patriots and with Brady, is his career over, should they find another back-up quarterback and maybe even a call or two saying they should have kept Tim Tebow on the team. Every play will be analyzed to death, Brady should have done this, Gronk should have cut to the left instead of the right, pretty much the same as after every loss. Wait, it’s pretty much the same after their wins too, go figure.
As hard as it is to understand at times but no matter if they win or lose; no one in New England ever seems to be happy about it. You have to say one thing about sports fans here in New England, they are passionate about their sports. By tomorrow they will have the game dissected, bisected, taken apart, put back together, chewed over and spit out. There truly people out there who can remember plays from years ago like they were yesterday and can even tell you how that one play changed the whole course of the season if not the world.
With all that in mind here are my predictions on the most important points of this week’s New England Patriots game that will be discussed tomorrow over the airwaves:
The third play of the game Tom Brady, after two completions threw an incomplete pass to intended receiver to Dobson, obviously a turning point very early in the game. Why? Wasn’t Brady’s left shoelace tied tighter than his right throwing off his balance? Think about it.
Also in the first quarter during the Jets first possession of the game, the Jets didn’t give the ball to Cribbs at all. Obviously because they didn’t the Patriots should have known that later in the game the Jets would snap the ball directly to him three separate times for a total gain of 14 yards. One of these plays led to a Jets field goal (the fact that after the first two the Patriots intercepted a Smith pass for a touchdown is completely irrelevant). Those three points were the difference in the game, if they hadn’t made it the Patriots would have won the game. Bill Belichick should have known as soon as Cribbs came onto the field this was going to happen and he should be fired.
But the biggest play which will be the one which shall be remembered by generations of New England fans to come will be the play which truly ended the game. Especially if the Patriots don’t make it to the playoffs, or if they do make it to the playoffs but don’t make it to the Superbowl, or if they make it to the Superbowl but don’t win it, or if they win the Superbowl but lose their first pre-season game next year is this one – the penalty. No, not the one in overtime when rookie Chris Jones was called for pushing his team mate forward, allowing the Jets to take a second chance at the winning field goal, rather it was when Jones committed another penalty when he was at Bowling Green in 2010. It should be obvious to all that his coaches there didn’t discipline him well enough then.
Now the Patriots are 5 and 2 for the season and we New England fans should start making our way to the Tobin Bridge and planning for next year, after all there is no way we can win now, unless… is Tebow still available?
Commentary by: Paul Roy