12 thoughts on the Patriots coin toss loss to the Jets…
It is clear as day by choosing to kickoff in overtime that right now Bill Belichick does not trust his depleted offense. With no Edelman, no Amendola and a patchwork offensive line Belichick had no faith in the offense to go down and score. He feared a quick 3-and-out, giving the Jets field position to convert a game winning field goal. His defense did not do its job, allowing the Jets to March down the field for the game winning touchdown.
The end of the first half was further proof that Belichick does not trust his offense. The Patriots got the ball at their own 16 with 1:53 remaining and 2 timeouts. Belichick was content to let the clock run out instead of aggressively attack the Jets defense. I bet if Amendola and Edelman were in the lineup the decision would have been different there.
The biggest loss on Sunday could be the injury to Sebastian Volmer. The big left tackle went down with a reported sprained ankle. He will have an MRI on Monday. If Volmer is out for the playoffs, an already depleted line is in big trouble. Who will protect Tom Brady’s blind side in the playoffs where you will have to face elite pass rushers?
Tom Brady has taken quite a beating the past few weeks. With limited weapons he is holding the ball longer and getting beat up. Sunday he was sacked twice and hit another five times. Not what you want to see happen to your 38 year old quarterback.
Brandon LaFell has fallen off the map. Against the Jets he was targeted just once and made one catch for 19 yards. Instead of stepping up with the injuries to their receivers LaFell has stepped back with just 35 catches and no touchdowns in 10 games. He looks like the receiver who Carolina gladly let walk away.
The running game was non existent. The Patriots rushed 22 times for 63 yards, 2.9 yard average. Hopefully Stephen Jackson can shake off the rust and at least give them the appearance of a running game.
The knock on Chandler Jones is that he tires during the season and does not finish strong. Are we seeing that again. After a blistering start Jones now has 2 sacks in his last 6 games and has not had a sack in 5 of his last 6 games. He needs to get back to being the player he was early in the season if the Patriots hope to be champions.
Jabaal Sheard has been the Patriots best defensive player this season. The free agent pick up from Cleveland has exceeded all expectations. He has 8 sacks and 4 forced fumbles and has been a consistent force on the Patriots defense all season long.
The Patriots usually dominate in the seasons final weeks under Belichick as Patriots teams usually get better every week. I know they have had a lot of injuries but losing 3 of their last 5 games is not a good sign heading into the post season.
So who do the Patriots and their fans root for Monday night as the Bengals and Broncos face off in Denver. The Patriots and Bengals both have 3 losses, the Broncos have 4. The Patriots own the tie breaker over the Bengals for the number one seed, the Broncos own the tie breaker over the Patriots. Confused who to root for. Me too.
That game Monday night should not matter one bit. If the Patriots beat the Dolphins in Miami on Sunday they are the number one seed in the AFC. I know that Miami has been a house of horrors for the Patriots in the past but the Dolphins are a horrible football team. They lost at home to the Colts Sunday who were down to their third string quarterback. If the Patriots lose that game there are a lot bigger problems on the team then we think.
Which brings us to the playoffs… Right now the six AFC playoff teams are the Patriots, Bengals, Texans, Broncos, Chiefs, and Jets. Do you think that any of those five other teams can beat a healthy Patriots team? I do not. But the key for the Patriots is health, not home field advantage. If Amendola, Edelman, and Volmer are back on offense, and McCourty and Chung on defense I do not see any of the teams in the AFC beating the Patriots.
The Super Bowl is a different story as I think the Panthers and Cardinals are the two best teams in football right now.