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Patriots 2022 postmortem and 2023 predictions

Monday 1/9/23

Embarrassing again yesterday for the Patriots. I was working (began at six; at seven at night was sitting in a cafe still working, not having eaten all day; just work, and stairs, and push-ups), but checking the updates. They are predictable in how they will be inept. You can gauge a lot about a Patriots game without having to watch. I did see the end, though.

I don't know if it's the record--it could be and it likely is--but I wouldn't think that a team has ever given up more than two kickoff returns for touchdowns in a game like the Patriots did yesterday. Maybe somewhere over the last century someone gave up three, but that's pretty iffy. You have to be so bad in today's NFL to give up two in a game, since the kickoff return hardly exists now. It's pretty challenging to give up one all season. It's a poorly coached team.

I saw some "expert"--right--on Twitter say that Mac Jones was having a great game, can't blame him. Why you'd post this with so much time to go, save that you're a moron, I don't know. Then again, question asked, question answered.

Jones at the time was 12 for 15. The thing is, I would have been 4 for 15, because all Jones does is throw the ball three yards as a check down. It's like throwing the ball to your buddy across the room.

He threw three interceptions, and everyone was saying they weren't his fault, they weren't that bad. I don't care about the nature of your interceptions. I care that you threw three. That speaks for itself. We're kind of all done at that point. The specifics won't matter. You threw three interceptions.

One of them was a pop-up. Jones loves the pop-up. The weakest-armed quarterback this century. I find it stunning how weak his arm is. I find it stunning how more people don't talk about this. I find it stunning--though less stunning all the time--that his coach doesn't seem to know this.

I would have begun this morning by removing Belichick and the staff. He's done. You're stretching out the mediocrity and the sloth and the bad judgment and the complacency if you keep him, his kids, his buddies, his buddies' kids. Stop the slop. End it. More on that in a moment.

The Patriots closed out last year by going 2-4. They closed out this year by going 2-5. Remember how they always used to get better as a season went along? So what does this tell you? It tells me it's high-time for a change. The roster is weak. The players don't trust the coaches. The coaches don't trust the players. You have a dysfunctional operation.

After one of the Jones interceptions, the Bills--who tried so hard to give this game away--fumbled on their eleven yard line. The Patriots--again, so predictable--couldn't punch it in. They love the field goal. You have a team that is inept offensively. A team that looks like it is playing in 1947.

After the game, I saw the postgame show, with Ted Johnson--now there's a meathead--Michael Holley, and Matt "At the End of the Day" Cassel. They said it was great. What an encouraging game. I couldn't believe what I was hearing, save that I could, because I know all forms of stupidity aren't just possible, but some pretty extreme forms almost always occur whenever one listens to others speak or reads what they write.

You found that encouraging, did you? The historical ineptitude in covering kicks? The first round quarterback with the three interceptions? The non-existent running game? The terrible coaching? The Matt Patricia play selections?

How about when the Bills needed it, Josh Allen eluded the rush, rolled out, and threw the ball on a beautiful line way down the field--and across the damn field--into the hands of his receiver who had toasted your DB? This was encouraging?

Nothing was encouraging.

Belichick has done something I didn't think he'd be able to do. I was wrong. He won't go down as one of the very best coaches. I mean one, two, or three. A few years ago, he was number one and by a lot. He's eroded that. Their last playoff win was a Super Bowl victory. Belichick has had ten seasons without Tom Brady. He has one playoff victory in those ten seasons. That was in 1995, against the Patriots.

What else can we call this? This is the man who popularized the phrase, "It is what it is" in America, and he sucks now. It is what it is.

This team beat one playoff team. And that was the Dolphins, who also suck, last week, and who crept into the playoffs yesterday with their 11-6 victory over the hapless Jets.

You got crushed at home on Monday Night Football by the Chicago Bears, the team with the number one pick in the draft now. You could not beat anyone good. You could beat bad teams with lesser quarterbacks in low-scoring games that were ugly as ass to watch. I don't mean good ass. I mean "Ugh, is that a wart, what's happening there?" ass.

Here are some of my predictions. The next time the Patriots win a Super Bowl, both Bob Kraft and Bill Belichick will be dead. Kraft definitely. I think it's going to be a while. Kraft will bring back Belichick. He will put conditions in place. Matt Patricia will be relieved of his play calling duties. Remember that show The Fall Guy? Patricia will serve as the fall guy for the Patriots.

Kraft will bring in whomever to run the offense. Let's say it's Bill O'Brien. He'll let O'Brien pick his own staff. The offensive line coach, etc. Jerod Mayo will probably leave. I'd leave if I were Mayo. Belichick has disrespected you, sir. He has put nepotism before you in terms of value. Kraft might step in and make Mayo the defensive coordinator, if he doesn't first become the head coach of the Broncos or someone. Then maybe he stays.

The move away from Patricia will delay the inevitable by at least a year. Probably a year. Here is that inevitable: Mac Jones will be a back-up, likely somewhere else. Mac Jones cannot be a starting quarterback in this league. He's not good enough.

When people see a problem and multiple options for why that problem exists, they think it's either because of A or B. But it can be because of A and B, and to remove A, doesn't mean that B would work, or vice versa. They both suck.

That is Patricia and Jones. It will take Jones without Patricia for people to realize that Jones is an insurmountable problem himself. But you have to remove anything else as a possibility for people to see this.

He'll be better. But he won't be good enough. Can't throw. There's nothing to his game. Doesn't have intangibles. Can't run. You have nothing with this guy. You also have New England and weather. You have Buffalo. You have the Jets. You have weather games in the northeast and the man with the licorice arm.

I watched Allen throw that pass yesterday, and I laughed. He's what? Three times better than your quarterback? Four? Jones would have had to rent a car to drive the ball that far, if he hadn't been strip-sacked in the first place.

The Patriots will again be near this .500 mark next year.

To me, if you're Kraft, you have a decision to make. You start the process of change so that you can see success again in your lifetime, or you accept mediocrity--and boring mediocrity, and frustratingly-made mediocrity--and you let this guy go for this stupid all-time wins record, and you wait until he gets there.

This current set-up--even if you change particulars like Patricia--is not going to work.

As always with negative predictions for the hometown teams, I hope I am wrong. As wrong as can be. I have no problem eating these kinds of words, a big bowl-full. That's how sports are.

Maybe now people can start talking more about those remarkable Bruins. So there is that.


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