The Patriots Are Back?

In my many years of being a Patriots fan, I can honestly say I don’t think I’ve ever watched a season that has me more twisted up than an M. Night Shyamalan movie than this one has. One week this team plays like dog shit, the next they play great, followed by a week of mediocre play when they had no reason even being in the game, followed by laying and egg, followed by a vintage Patriots performance.

I DON’T KNOW HOW TO FEEL!

The Patriots and Ravens have always gotten the hype meter up in years past. But this meeting felt different. For the first time in the Belichick/Harbaugh Era, these two teams took the field with one team being below .500. As a Pats fan you wanted to get up for this game and go in confident, but you’re lying if you said you were more than cautiously optimistic at best.

But of course, the minute you count this team out….

They go Classic Patriots on our asses and put on the performance of the season.

In case you didn’t know, the Ravens had the best scoring defense in the league going into this game. They also have a very good rushing attack lead by Lamar Jackson on the offensive side. With everyone (fans AND media members alike) shitting all over this Patriots defense because of their performance last week, this was clearly going to be a blowout in the Ravens favor, right?

And speaking of defense, JC Jackson clearly can’t be a #1 corner after watching his performance last week against the Jets, right? He’s overrated and not as good as everyone thinks and has a lot of growing up to do Mike! Or at least these are all things I saw normal people and experts say all week!

Ugh, or how about Belichick not being able to draft!? Led by local nincompoop Tom E. Curran, Patriots “fans” came out in droves this week to bitch about how Belichick should have drafted better during this unprecedented run of NFL dominance which brought New England 6 Super Bowl Titles, 9 Super Bowl appearances and countless other milestones. Sure that’s all great, BUT WHY DIDN’T YOU DRAFT METCALF! MICHEL STINKS! WHAT ARE WE DOING WITH THE TIGHT ENDS!? **eye roll emoji** Let’s not talk about the undrafted players that have also hit for Belichick though, right Tom E?

Damn, if only Belichick knew what he was doing, the Patriots would have so many more cool, household names right? I’m not sure if media members or disgruntled fans alike know this, but Bill’s job isn’t to draft people you know or are flashy on screen. His job is to draft players who fit his system. And does he hit on everyone? Not at all, just like the entire league. But his drafting of linemen, backers and corners has to be commended. Is he a receiver wizard? Not even close. Tight ends? We’ll see what Asiasi and Keene turn into. All I’m saying is calm down on the draft criticism.

I just can’t get over how good this team played all around last night. The defense made Lamar Jackson look human (which has been happening more and more this season. Almost like once you take away his running options, he’s a very mediocre QB. Something that you were chastised beyond belief for saying the last year and a half). Jackson relies on his speed and elusiveness to win him and the Ravens games. What happens when you take that away? Last night. That should give Pats fans hope when going up against other running QB’s like Murray, Watson or the inevitable rematch against Mahomes in the playoffs.

Speaking of playoffs, that is very much back on the table for this team. For the first time in what seems like forever, they’re going to need some help from other teams to get them there, but I think they can do it. And if they do, I can promise you that no opposing team is eager to go up against Belichick in the playoffs. We may have lost our prized infinity stone in Tom Brady, but we still have our own Thanos wielding the gauntlet, and I’m okay with that.

There’s no segway needed to get into this play if we’re being honest..

If you thought I was going to get through this blog without talking about this, you’re as dumb as a Ravens player bitching about an illegal pick when he was blocked BEHIND THE LINE which is, has been and always will be legal.

Over the last few weeks, Jakobi Meyers has equally made fans jump out of their seats and scratch their heads all at once. Why was this man not on the field more? How is he all of the sudden this good? We will never know the exact answers to these questions, so let’s just be happy Meyers has finally come out and proved himself to be a reliable option for Newton. Also, when called upon, he can throw better than half the NFL QB’s starting at the moment.

N’Keal Harry is at a crossroads in his Patriots career at the moment. He is tremendous at blocking, this is true. But he’s going to have to fight for playing time if he wants to stay on this team. He needs to be cleaner with his route running and show that he can be just as reliable a target as Meyers, or else this may be another talented draft pick that falls by the wayside with the Pats. Time will tell.

And I know they say you should never lose your job due to injury, but I don’t see how Sony Michel is the starting running back when he comes off the IR. Damien Harris is just…different. He makes holes when there doesn’t seem to be any and accelerates like he was shot out of a cannon when there is one. I like Michel, but Harris has to be your starter going forward.

OH! I almost forgot. You know who else seems to be recovering from his Kryptonite? Superman.

You know what wins you games late in the season? A good defense and a potent running game. What does this team have? YOU GUESSED IT! A good defense and a potent running game! I’m not saying they can make some noise in the playoffs, but I’m also definitely NOT saying the can’t make some noise in the playoffs. I’m also not saying we need to blindly think everything is fine with this team. It isn’t. There are many holes and issues going on up in New England. Some of that is due to opt-outs, some of it is due to COVID tests, some of it is due to coaching/on-field play. It’s fine to criticize, but to go so far as to say that Belichick sucks or that this team sucks is blasphemous. (I reserve the right to look past all the mean things I’ve said out of anger when this team has frustrated me beyond belief during these games. You, too, as a fan have that same luxury.)

SO are the Patriots back? I don’t think they ever went anywhere. This is a roller coaster season. They are what they are. An inconsistent team with all the talent to compete but with enough moving parts to where they may fall flat some weeks. There’s valid reasons for the inconsistencies to go along with inexcusable reasons. They could lay an egg for the remainder of the season or bulldoze their way to the AFC Championship Game. At this point, neither would surprise me. Of course I hope for the latter, but who knows. All I can say is that this team LOOKS to be figuring it out. And if they do and start to play up to their potential, we’re in for a fun ride to end this season.

#LFG. We’re onto Houston.

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