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Breaking down last night's Patriots debacle

Tuesday 10/25/22

Just doing this between things.

I stayed up and watched not only the whole of the Patriots game--save when I was watching the Celtics implode--but all of the postgame show and the press conferences of Belichick, Jones, and Bailey.

I think that was the worst loss of the Belichick era. I am more convinced this is his last year. That was an embarrassing fiasco on national TV. Kraft cares about appearances, and the appearance of this team is of a shit show. Comical. No offensive coordinator, but instead Joe Judge--hard ass--and Matt Patricia, who looks like Papa Gino, has no clue what he's doing, and used to be your defensive coordinator and has never done this other thing before. Then you have your kid running the defense. I think this is it for Brady as well, and Brady and Belichick go out at the same time, ignominiously. Or what? Kraft keeps Belichick around until he breaks Shula's record, subjecting the fan base to four and five-win seasons, like he's Tim Wakefield in search of 200 victories and getting shelled again and again?

As I said, they likely do not have a quarterback on the team. But I actually felt bad for Mac Jones. I don't think he's an NFL starter, as I've written. But to pull him like that...I don't get it. Belichick's press conference was the first time I can remember him seeming scared. The reporters had him beat. The bully had been exposed. His body language, his tone, his obvious nervousness said a lot. He said that the two quarterback thing was the plan. I cannot believe that. Or is he out of his mind now as a coach? This isn't high school. The plan was to play Jones for three series, then pull him? Why? Is that believable? Belichick said he wasn't pulled because of performance or injury. Was this a preseason game? Did the Patriots think the Bears were such pushovers that they could treat this like a preseason game and win handily? That's delusional.

Why people thought the Patriots would win and this was a surprising outcome is beyond. First of all: They're another team now. Secondly: They're a bad other team. They're the Texans. They're the Lions. They're whatever. They're not much better than that, if they are. And they're in the same kind of institutional turmoil that other bad programs are. I use that word intentionally. The ship is a mess. You have a bad captain, bad senior officers. An unruly crew of cast-offs. It's disarray. Chaos. I laughed when there were eight or nine minutes left, they were up against it, big-time, and the Patriots were still huddling up--then they ran the ball, letting a half minute tick away, forty seconds, whatever, tick away.

When Bailey came in, he had his opportunity. That may be the last one he ever gets. That was his career, potentially. Had he played well, that job would have been his. To run with it. Now, I would assume it all goes back to Jones. Who is also not the guy, and who must feel like he's being screwed with by idiots. He has to deal with Patricia, has to deal with the lost-at-sea coach, has to deal with fans calling for his back-up, gets yanked. I would think he wants out. And I don't think he can play. But he doesn't deserve what happened to him last night. If you were going to pull him, because that was the plan--and again, I find that hard to even consider--or after he made one bad play, then you shouldn't have started him.

And if you were honestly doing a rotation thing? Well...what can I even say? Today I asked a friend if Belichick is so desperate to prove he's great on his own, minus Brady, that he's doing crazy things in an attempt to be seen as revolutionary, like people will say, "Wow! Belichick wins with a two-quarterback system! You never know which guy is taking the field!"

It's kind of sad. The coaching is awful. Look at the special teams. Wretched. The punter? What is going on there? He's been bad all year. "All." You know what I mean. He used to be a weapon. Not only is he a liability now, he's someone you can't have on your team when you're as bad as the Patriots are. They're not good enough to overcome awful punting, on top of everything else. There needs to be a couple free agent punters in Foxborough today, being worked out.

As for Zappe: He was one problem that is obviously bigger than any other, and it may not be one he can overcome. He's too short. The Bears stopped rushing him and stood at the line and just knocked down passes. Can't teach height. Yes, I know, Drew Brees. This guy is not Brees. I felt bad for him at his press conference. Both he and Jones acquitted themselves well enough, and certainly better than Belichick. I bet it's because they at least sort of buy into the idea of Belichick's greatness, and have some degree of trust, or at least not straight-up dismissal of the guy. But that's reputation. There's nothing Belichick is doing right now, post-Brady, that suggests he's not a bad coach. One of the worst. Cam Newton? That was a bad coach move. Last night? Bad coach.

Jones is a good teammate. Give him that. He could have acted like a dick, and he didn't. He was supporting Zappe.

Belichick also said that Jones would have come back in, but the score got out of hand. No it didn't. Not until late. (The Bears were charitable--they could have made it 40, but took a knee.) That was a total fabrication.

But worse than any of this, was how the Bears ran on the Patriots. The most important thing in football has always been, will always be, stopping the run. Bad teams can't do that. That's been a sure sign of weaker--and bad--Patriots teams. Even during the Brady years. This team can't stop the run. They are going to finish last in that division. I don't see how they couldn't. This is a bad team, with a laughable operation. They are going to have to clean house. Bye Belichick, bye friends of Belichick, by kids of Belichick, bye kids of Belichick's friends, bye quarterbacks, by guys who aren't that good anymore like McCourty.

They have to start over. That will start with Kraft saying, "enough." If he does. Who knows. Hope I'm wrong, but I don't think this will be better any time soon.


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