The New England Patriots season is finished. The fairy tail-turned-nightmare is finally done. I know technically they still have a chance to make the playoffs and technically if they got in anything could happen. But for all intents and purposes, the Pats season ended today when they lost to a 2-7 Texans team.
This was a disaster by all parties involved. Offense. Defense. Coaching. The who kit-and-fucking-cabootle. In a game you absolutely needed to win, you reverted back to the same old bullshit that’s plagued you the entire season.
Half-assed tackling. Missed assignments. Mental errors. Getting too cute on offense. I mean, the Texans were allowing the most yards in the league against the rush on first down. After taking advantage of that during their first drive, it’s almost like the Pats realized they were performing too well on offense and decided to essentially abandon the run for the rest of the game.
Speaking of running, one of the only few good things to come from, not only this game, but this horrendous 2020 season is one Damien Harris. I have enough negativity to fill and entire COVID-free Gillette Stadium, but we’ll start with something good to cleanse the palette..
Damien Harris needs to be your starting running back for the remainder of 2020 and beyond. Sorry Sony Michel, I love ya, I really do. But you’ve lost your job.
When this offensive line can’t set an edge, Harris finds it. When there’s no hold to run through, Harris makes one. You think you can tackle him one-on-one? Good luck. The kid makes positive plays almost every single time he touches the ball. Which BEGS the question, WHY DID HE ONLY GET 11 CARRIES THE ENTIRE GAME!?
The Houston Texans have the worst run defense in the NFL. The Patriots have averaged 161 yards on the ground this year. So of course after the first drive, this offense morphs into a pass first offense with a QB who very clearly is subpar in that department. I don’t care who you want to blame. McDaniels. Belichick. Newton for not audibling out. EVERYONE GETS BLAME TODAY!
This brings me to Newton. Yes I understand he had a few good passes. I’m sorry, but when your mistakes outweight what you do right, you don’t get a heap of praise from me. Cam had a great throw today. That’s all I’ll say positively.
Cool. You did your job. Again, if you have a few bright spots in a season that’s otherwise been filled with darkness, it may suck, but you’re not going to get the praise you or anyone else thinks you may deserve.
I don’t know what his issue is, but I genuinely believe this man has ZERO peripheral vision. None. At all. He does not see the pass rush unless it is directly in his eyeline. And even then he sometimes misses it! How many times do I have to sit here every Sunday and watch Newton sit there in the pocket when there’s a pass rusher within pissing distance of him before he even senses something might be wrong. I’ve never seen such a talented, veteran quarterback seemingly lose all sense of pocket awareness at this point in their career. It’s baffling.
To keep with the Newton problem, buddy…you gotta stop missing open receivers. Please. A few shoelace throws to N’Keal Harry (we’ll get to you shortly..) and a few easy screens/open receivers Newton just flat out missed, and I’m about ready to pull the plug and toss Stidham in if this team loses again.
Cam Newton isn’t the only offensive player I have a bone to pick with here. N’keal Harry, please step to the front of the class and take your verbal beating like a man..
You want to know what’s great about this play? You see both Newton and Harry show absolutely zero football awareness. Awesome!
First off, Newton had zero idea there was a rusher coming for him until he was on the ground sacked. Embarrassing. Secondly, Harry just runs right by the blitzing defender who’s on his way to crush Newton. Actively avoids making contact with him actually. I understand that Harry was in a passing route and didn’t have any blocking assignments, but one would think seeing a defender run right pass your face would force you to do something offscript. Could he not chip him real quick? Just bump him off his rush so Newton has an extra second to maybe throw you the ball so you can get some production? Nah, all that size and muscle for nothing.
Staying with Harry, for a first round pick, I am confidently ready to say he has been a
bust severe letdown. I won’t call him a bust, because that implies he can’t salvage his Patriot career (however long he has left). If you’re rarely going to make any positive impact on the game, I can live with that. But what I can’t live with is you making a negative impact with penalties or mental mistakes. The video is nowhere to be found, but late in the 4th, Harry broke his route off a full yard behind the yard to gain. The refs inexplicably gave him enough yardage for the first down after he was stopped in his tracks but a smaller corner, but that easily could’ve brought up a stressful 4th down.
For someone who is as physically imposing and clearly has a pretty good catch radius, I need him to show he’s worth the number 1 pick. What I do not need though, is Harry having more targets than Jakobi Meyers.
There is no way in any of the 14,000,605 realities that Dr. Strange saw that, at this point in their careers, N’Keal Harry should be targeted more than Jakobi Meyers. None. Unacceptable. I’m surprised Izzo didn’t have more than him just as a middle finger to the entire Patriot fanbase.
The last thing I need to say about the offense actually has nothing to do with the players. This is on McDaniels and Belichick. What the hell as the playcalling been, not only this game, but for the entire season for the most part. I’ve done what I can to defend it, but I’m at my wits end. WHY DID YOU GO AWAY FROM RUNNING THE BALL AFTER THE FIRST DRIVE!? I don’t care that you got down by two scores. You want to know how to come back from being down? You score. What do you need to do to score? Gain yardage. What do the Texans give up a shit ton of yardage defending? THE GOD DAMN RUN!
I understand you eventually need to throw the ball to get back into the game, but why not run the ball to open up some easy play-action passes for Cam? Why does it seem like this team too often goes away from what they’re doing well just to dabble in trying something else!? You have a tremendous running offense, why are you forcing your mediocre QB to pass? We’re past the point of trying to keep the defense honest or try to mix it up just because. At this point in the season, you need to run with what works until the other team forces you to change. Too often this year the Patriots are the ones who are halting their own success and that’s infuriating.
There is credit to be given to the coaches though! I’m a sucker for a good trick play..
Before I move on to the defense. Ryan Izzo..I have to shine light on this. When you’re route is literally designed to legally pick a defender which would spring your running back, YOU NEED TO LEGALLY PICK THE DEFENDER AND NOT FORGET YOUR JOB.
This was on a 3rd down by the way. Would’ve liked to have that one back I’d say.
My last gripe with the offense, and special teams for the matter, is one Gunner Olszewski. This man needs to be far, far away from receiving any sort of kick. A muffed kickoff that could have went horribly wrong is one thing, but costing your team tie when they have little left to win a game in inexcusable.
With 19 seconds to go you need every little bit of time you can salvage. Not taking a fair catch just so you can gain an extra 3 yards or so is never and will never be worth it. That’s a very, very bad mistake. Especially seeing how this game ended…
Just like I did with the offense, I think it’s best to point out a positive or two when talking about the Patriots defense before blaming them for their part in this horrendous excuse for a performance today.
I got nothing. I’m sorry. I guess this was a cool hard hit from Dugger?
Hardly any pressure all day and even when they got some semblance of heat on Watson, they couldn’t finish the play and Watson scrambled for a nice run or a completion, looking completely disinterested in tackling for most of the game and wide open tight ends won’t get you and kudos from me neither, so look elsewhere if you want a “good effort” compliment. It’s not secret this team is trying hard, most of the tie, but when you are 4-6 and you just lost to a 2-7 Texans team you had no business losing to, you can take your effort and throw it out the window as far as I’m concerned.
Were you wondering what the Patriots chances were to make the playoffs after this uncharacteristically terrible loss? No? Neither was I, but I happened to scroll upon it on Twitter so now you have to find out too.
7%…..SEVEN PERCENT. What a disgrace. I don’t care about all the valid reasons as to why the Patriots are playing a tad under what we’re used to in this region. I subscribe to many of those reasons. But in no way should you have lost to the Broncos, 49ers or Houston today. And if Cam can hold onto the ball, maybe you beat the Bills. And if you run anything other than the most predictable play you could’ve ran from that spot on the field, you probably beat the Seahawks too.
But we are forced to play the cards we’re dealt, and we have been dealt a 4-6 record going to play Arizona with the absurdly talented Kyler Murray. And to add insult to (literal) injury, looks like Burkhead is going to be out for a while as well as Wynn. Arguably your best offensive lineman going out in the same game you lose your offensive MVP so far this year is a cruel, cruel fate that only 2020 could conjure up.
The high of beating the Ravens last week is all but gone. It’s been replaced with the sick, looming feeling of demise. The bell has been rung. The fat lady has sung. The toothpaste has been squeezed from the tube. The gauntlet has been snapped. The New England Patriots are playing for entertainment at this point. Self-imposed mistakes along with COVID opt-outs and little to no time to integrate their young players has resulted in this: mediocrity.