I'm not the kind of guy to throw the word "inexcusable" around that often when it comes to a Patriots loss. I know that they are going to lose some games, and some of those losses are even going to be questionable due to shoddy play or just overall flatness.
But I'm going to go ahead and call yesterday's loss to the Seattle Seahawks inexcusable. Just flat out inexcusable. When all your opponent needs to do to score points on your defense is throw the ball deep at will, then you have absolutely no business winning games. When no offensive lead is safe because all your opponent needs to score a touchdown is to throw a long ball, then you have absolutely no business losing games. When your entire team doesn't play up to par and you fail to effectively manage the clock and come out of the red zone with no points twice, you have absolutely no business winning games. When the 31st passing team whose offensive strategy is "go long" lights your secondary up, you have absolutely no business winning games.
I'm not going to say I'm happy that the Patriots lost yesterday. I'm never happy when the Pats lose. But the team that deserved to win won it, plain and simple. The Patriots shot themselves in the foot so many times yesterday that I would have felt very, very cheap if Brandon Lloyd had somehow managed to come up with that insane diving catch in bounds and Gostsowki had kicked a game winner. Because when your defense simply can't cover the deep ball and lack the very basic fundamentals of effective safety play, you come away from the game with a loss and that's a loss you deserved. Granted, it wasn't all on the secondary at all - this was the very definition of a team loss - but when the 31st passing offense in the league is able to throw long passes at will against your team, it's just easier to place the blame there.
Let's get to the notes.
- Me, nervous for a Seahawks game? Who would have thought.
- Welp...looks like someone read my post last week about the return game, because McCourty was out. He clearly didn't read it all the way through, though, since I clearly said Woodhead isn't the answer. And guess what? I was right. He isn't the answer
- Wow the Seahawks fans can bring it. Good for you guys. I think Gillette would need to be about 6 times bigger, full to capacity, indoors, and pumping in crowd noise at full volume for Pats fans to get to that level of ruckus.
- Was something different about a New England's pants yesterday? Not that I was staring at Tommy B's butt or anything, but something looked different.
- Vince Wilfork should take an offsides penalty and flatten the opposing QB on the first defensive play of every game.
- That playaction that Seattle ran a 29 yard gain to Sidney Rice early in the 1st quarter was probably the nicest playaction play I've seen since Tommy B hit Randy Moss against the Steelers in 2007. EVERYONE bit on that one.
- Brandon Spike vs. Marshawn Lynch: Beast Mode, meet Beast Mode.
- I forgot that Pete Carrol actually wasn't a complete disaster in New England. It really is all about how you finish.
- Wasn't everyone's focus all week on the speed of New England's offense and continuing to establish the run? I wonder if Bill Belichick does the exact opposite of whatever the media talks about all week on purpose, or if his gameplans just genuinely happen to contradict the primary storylines every single week without fail.
- I was really worried at first that Tommy B would come out of the box hearing footsteps, especially with the way the Seahawks line was rumbling right around him early, but he kept it together very well.
- You know what I'd like to see from Brandon Lloyd? A simple in route where he sits in the middle of the zone right behind the linebacker and Brady hits him for a 6 yard gain and he doesn't dive for the catch at all.
- Hey, weird! A bunch of big pass plays from Seattle! What are the odds?
- Where did I read that quarterbacks have an almost perfect passer rating against Kyle Arrington? Why do we have to make every single quarterback in the league look like an all-star?
- Russell Wilson is a rookie. Rookies have historically had a lot of trouble recognizing disguised blitz plays. How often did New England dial up an elaborate blitz play?
- Very undisciplined pass rushing yesterday. A lot of unnecessary stunting to the inside, which allowed Willson to move outside of the pocket and either make plays with his legs or connect with whichever receiver Arrington was covering.
- As soon as it started raining, the Seattle pass rush became significantly less effective. You'd figure if you play eight games a year in a city where it rains more than it's sunny, that wouldn't be a factor.
- I had no idea that Donald Thomas was a UCONN boy. Seeing as that I'm originally from Connecticut, and UCONN sports is pretty much all we have, that only makes me like him that much more.
- Is it me, or does Russell Wilson look like Carlton Banks?
- The refs apparenty weren't calling holding yesterday for either team. Maybe they thought we were pining away for the replacement refs.
- I was about to make a note about how slow Chandler Jones looked yesterday -until he forced that huge fumble in the 2nd quarter. I realized that guys who are just big and long like that simply look slow. It's probably those massive, lumbering strides.
- Poor, poor Welker. That guy is good for some defensive player's highlight reel every single season.
- CBS sure got a kick out of that big fat guy in the end zone with a D Fence sign. How many times did they show him?
- Very early in this game, CBS was oh-so-kind to flash the stat that Tommy B had 0 picks in his last 173 attempts. You knew after that that it was just a matter of time before Brady threw a pick in this one.
- John Ryan had time to punt it again after that muff. Although it's easy for me to say that when I'm sitting here dry on the couch without 530 pounds of Patriot charging down on me.
- I haven't owned a video game system since the PS2 came out -but I may buy an Xbox just to play Assassin's Creed III. Playing a hooded, time travelling badass who sides with the Americans to take out Redcoats looks awesome.
- I wanted to rant and rave about the Patriots going for one more shot at a touchdown with six seconds left only to come away with no points- but I was all for it before the snap.
- Why do I hate 3rd and long way more than 3rd and short?
- What was Brandon Spikes doing on the sidelines after forcing a 3 and out to start the 2nd half? If I didn't know any better, I'd say he was frolicking.
- Nothing quite like that bruising, massive, between-the-tackles running of Danny Woodhead.
- DANIEL FELLS!! Wait...Daniel Fells??
- Do you think that, before they send Dan Fouts into the broadcast booth, the executive producer sits down and tells him, "OK, Mr. Fouts, I only want you to speak when something reeeaaaally obvious happens. Like when someone gets tackled or catches the ball."
- I don't care if a holding penalty negates a run - you don't let a QB scramble for 20 yards. You light that man up. Although I guess that was kind of the theme of the game yesterday: potential negative turns into a huge play for Seattle.
- Josh McDaniels seems committed to the toss play come hell or high water. I haven't done any breakdowns, but I'd argue it has failed more often than it has succeeded.
- What exactly is a seahawk? A quick Google search showed that a seahwak is either an Osprey or a Skua. I wish they had called the team the Seattle Skuas.
- The worst part about the second Brady pick was that it got the crowd, who had been relatively silenced, right back in it.
- I love our receiving corps. I really do. But is there any way we can get them over to China for one of those magic growth powders I've been reading about? While they're there, they can pick some up for Gronk too. Let's get the guy to an even seven feet tall.
- "Brady's getting tired of throwing. He's throwing so much, that he couldn't get enough under it." That's right, Fouts. Brady's arm was tired. It had absolutely nothing to do with the rain and that slick ball out there.
- Is it like an NFL rule or something that the Patriots have to get called for one huge PI call every game?
- I think I was as nervous towards the end of this one as I've ever been for some reason. A 10 point lead with 10 minutes left in the game never felt so small. With the amount of big plays the team gave up, I think I would have felt the same way if the lead was doubled.
- New England's total, utter ineptitude against massive plays would be absolutely hysterical if it was any other team. But since it's my team, I find it absolutely nauseating.
- Seriously -the ways things go each week, I'd say that this team needs at least a 3 score lead with 10 minutes left to play. If the opposing team can score 14 points in 4 minutes off of 6 total plays, how is any lead safe?
- When was the last time New England won a game because of momentum as opposed to simply being the better team?
- Danny Woodhead gets my sneaky MVP Award for the day. He just comes up with big plays when you need him.
- Why didn't they just keep running it towards the end? It was working.
- I'm pretty sure I saw Vince Wilfork on the sidelines yelling, "now God dammit just get out there and run the damn ball! RUN THE BALL!" after the defense forced a 3 and out to give the offense the ball back for the chance to ice the game.
- New England has only had four three and outs all year. None today." What happens next? A 3 and out. Why? Why do they always do this to me?
- How does that even happen? Seriously. I don't even know what to say.
- Pats went 1 for 6 in the red zone yesterday, with two of those trips resulting in no points. That's not a recipe for victory right there.
- This game now begs the question: will the Pats get swept by the NFC West? Will they only go 1-3? Where the hell am I?
- This was a game of missed opportunities. Missed tackles, missed catches, missed interceptions, missed points, missed coverage, missed everything.
- I was going to suggest a new game we can all play: which current college cornerback will be the next high draft pick to get shredded by a no-name quarterback for the New England Patriots - but odds are we've never heard of him anyway.
I'm obviously harping a lot on the secondary right now - but this was about as complete a team loss as it gets. From the coaching, to the quarterback, to the running game, everyone needs to do better in the future. A ton of credit goes to Seattle as well; this team is legit and will continue to turn some heads. And when you deserve to lose, you deserve to lose, and that's just the way it is. This team has lost as many as it has one this season, and sits at 3-3 along with the rest of the entire AFC East.. Time for a gut check.