…there are definitely some things that need to be addressed. The reason not to panic is that the Pats were still in the game with Brady throwing 4 ints. To be still in the game with this stat is absurd. Also everyone plays the pats like it’s the super bowl. We are the class of the league and get the best from every team, every single game. However...
Now here the is key that needs to be addressed and the difference between the 3 SB teams and the 09-11 Patriots. First some quick background; BB is part of the Parcell’s tree and the overwhelming philosophy here is that in the NFL, if you don’t make mistakes the bad and mediocre teams will beat themselves. Then there are the elite teams, you have to beat these teams. What the Pats were good at and what brought the super bowls was that we were not a team that lost games; the other team either lost them or we won them in the 4th quarter. Now we are a team that makes mistakes and lose some games. We lost to the Bills, we were not beat, we lost. This needs to change and can only be done so on the field by the players, this is not on the coaching staff, they coach as though they do not believe the team will do it late in the game and so far the team has proven the coach correct.
In addition to the inability to not make mistakes and lose rather than be beat, the defense needs to change its philosophy slightly. There is one thing that a bend but not break defense cannot do and that is give up touchdowns. This philosophy which I believe in, is that FG are almost as good as stops. If you say that the opposing offense will get 10 possessions and you stop them without points on 3 drives and the rest are FGs then the opposition is scoring 21 pts. With the faith in our offense this is surmountable. If they trade another 2 stops/turnovers for a TD then its 4 FG and a TD for 19 pts. The key here is that the D are studs in the red zone. Also inherent in this is a lack of long TDs and big plays to begin with. We are not succeeding in this. The other inherent fault with our D is that in a tie game late, the D needs to play as though they are in the red zone from the opposing 40 yard line as a FG is game over. They have shown no ability to do this and simply allow the opposition to drive down into the red zone at the end of the game. If they continue to operate this way then BB should have kicked in onside at the end tied and should have gone for it on 4th and 2 against the Colts 2 years ago as well.
Now as for the defense, there is fault also to go to the offense or at least the play calling. We do not establish the running game even when up big. I am not saying that we start running in 3 times and punt to run some time off the clock but we are in jeopardy of becoming the Colts of the 2000s where we score but score quick and do not let the D rest at all. We do not have a D that can handle this. It’s not that beneficial to score quick if the D is so tired that they let the opposition score quick as well. Even though we won the first two games and with the exception of the hysterically gassed MIA D, we are seeing our D gassed in the 4th quarter and at times the opposition D looks relatively fine. We have the personnel to run the ball effectively and TB12 is amazing with the play action so I do not understand why we do not run it a bit more, especially in the 3rd Q where every game it seems TB12 and the O come out lackadaisical. Here let a RB get the team fired up and tired the D a little. The run is like body shots in MMA and boxing they set up the KO later, we seem to just head hunt with the passing game.
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