Four Downs with Bryan Rose: Titans at Patriots
Nothing seemed to go right for the Patriots this Sunday afternoon. Let's take one last look before we pretend this game never happened.
Oh man... this was not good. I will be honest, I was lucky enough to not watch the game live thanks to a Friendsgiving party. But thanks to the magic of DVR and YouTube I was unfortunate enough to hate-watch the 34-10 routing of the New England Patriots. It was hard to keep this to just four
high lowlights but here is what stood out the most.
It's not just Tom who suffers from leaving Foxboro, but the analogy wouldn't work as well if I compared the whole team to one fictional character. Nevertheless, the New England Patriots are only the New England Patriots we are used to when they are playing in New England. Compared to the pathetic 26-10 loss on Sunday Night Football to the Detroit Lions, this game felt like the early 1990's Patriots teams. Zero offensive chemistry between Tom and his receivers, poor execution on the defensive side of the field, and an all around lack of effort lead to one of the more embarrassing losses in the Brady-Belichick era. On second thought, they weren't even Clark Kent. The Patriots on Sunday resembled that really bad Green Lantern movie featuring Ryan Reynolds. You've seen them do so much better, so why did they flop so badly this one time?
The Patriots "bend, don't break" style of defense has helped them formed the dynasty that we know of today. Let the offense gain as many yards as they please, but they won't score. Contain the quarterback, and once we force him to move, he's done for.
However, this defensive philosophy doesn't work if the quarterback in question excels when forced to move out of the pocket. Marcus Mariota's style of play was bad news for the Patriots before the game ever began. With the pass rush being almost nonexistent, this put a lot of pressure on the pass protection to make plays. And to save you some research-- they didn't. Gilmore was slaughtered on the outside, and the rest of the secondary wasn't anything to write home about either. Hopefully there will be some regrouping after the bye week.
Another week, another instance of Bill opening his bag-of-tricks to try and supply a spark for his offense. This time, Tom Brady was on the receiving end of a pass, where the fans were reminded that Tom Brady should never be on the receiving end of a pass. This marks two weeks in a row where the Patriots offense resorted to a gimmick play to try and get things going on offense.
This is not a good sign for Tom, Bill, and offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels. More than halfway through the season and the offense did not seem to find chemistry. If things do not turn around in the upcoming weeks, expect an early exit in the playoffs.
It seems the all-holy algorithm that has created this years schedule has heard our prayers. Just like when we were blessed with a visit from the Miami Dolphins and Indianapolis Colts after losing two straight, the upcoming two weeks seem to be in the team's favor. A greatly needed bye week is followed by a trip to see the Jets in the Meadowlands. The Jets are coming off of a 41-10 "football game" against the Buffalo Bills. Quarterback "Savior" Sam Darnold is leading the league in thrown interceptions, which should be a good way to get the defensive side of the ball back on track.