Baseball Thinking

Monday, January 11, 2010

What has happened to the New England Patriots?

What has happened to this team? What has happened to Bill Belichick? And Tom Brady? Brady is 5-4 over his last nine playoff games. During a playoff loss to the Baltimore Ravens, Raven players caught three passes – from Brady. QB Joe Flacco only completed an additional 4 to Raven receivers! Seven completions, with 4 coming from the right quarterback. To put that in perspective, hours later, Arizona Cardinal QB Kurt Warner completed 29 of 33 pass attempts. He had more touchdowns (5) than incompletions (4). Warner almost had the same amount of incompletions to his receivers as Brady had completions to Raven players! This is not your fathers Patriots team. Yesterday, they were beat bad, like boys against men.

During the week leading up to the game, Belichick praised the season of Derrick Burgess. This resulted in snide comments and head shaking from the rest of the defensive corps as Burgess was the last guy BB should praise. Burgess was a no-show during the Ravens game, even though BB told us he thrived against the run. The Ravens ran for close to 250 yards of 50 plus carries. Do the math.

Bridge year has become a dreaded term in New England. Was the 2009 Patriot season a bridge year? I think not, as BB signed a bunch of mid-thirty has-beens, like Fred Taylor and Shawn Springs. This is a team with no clear direction, no firm leadership, and a lack of commitment (and talent) from the coaching staff. The Patriots resemble the St. Louis Rams, not a former champion. Pathetic.