Why the Pats Lost

We shouldn't be surprised.

When Brady threw deep to Gronk I had a chill go up my spine. I've seen this before, when Brady tries forcing something deep. He was forcing it to a guy that was hobbled, and Chase Blackburn made an out-standing play that would have probably not happened if Gronk was healthy. But Gronk wasn't healthy(limited to 2 catches, ineffective on other assignments). He was very clearly hobbled. So why did the Pats have him out there so much? Because they needed him as much as they needed the other two-members of the Big-3. However, Welker(7 catches) and Hernandez(8 catches) are both human as their late-drops demonstrated. The Big-3 are also guys who work best between the numbers, not outside of them where the traditional WRs would operate. After them, it's RBs(4 receptions for Woodhead, 2 for GreenEllis), Branch(3 catches), and Ochocinco(1 catches, which was the team-leading reception of 21 yards, followed by a hobbled-Gronk at 20 yards). That last drive was a drive when we could have used a deep-threat like Tiquan Underwood. It's fitting that it ended that way.

Deion Branch is clearly wearing out. In three post-season games he has had 7 catches. His post-season average for catches was a mediocre 2.3 catches per game. That's outrageous for a starter. A STARTER. He's a great guy who's done a lot for this team, but he's human and getting up there in age. He just doesn't have any explosion anymore and disappears in man-coverage. He can't beat the CBs one on one like he used too. Ochocinco, for one reason or a hundred, isn't getting the snaps or targets. Given their age, we can safely assume that the Pats will look at draft-options and FA to address the wideout position and resign Wes Welker. The Big-3 are all great, but there's only 3 of them. Some D-Line and Safety help would be great, but WR is the most glaring weakness on this team. If we're going to abandon a Run-game that was actually working well(except for when it came to Woodhead, who just couldn't burst through as a rusher) let's at least have more than one starting-calibre WR and at least one receiver who works best outside of the numbers.

The rest of the loss I say is luck. Luck that Brady made a bone-headed mistake on his first play. Luck that the Pats had 12 men on the field, negating a turnover. Luck that all those forced-fumbles bounced towards a nearby Giant. Luck that they managed to draw Ninkovich offsides, and luck that the Pats had to play a Ravens team which included supernatural Patriots-bane Bernard Pollard. I'd also say luck for the Giants that the Pats didn't have a chance to play against Hakeem Nicks in the regular season game, which he missed due to injury, as he put on a MVP-worthy performance with a third of Manning's receptions and over a third of the passing-yards. The Pats actually did a halfway-decent job on the other receivers. But unless we can build a dominant defense through the off-season, the Pats can't expect to win another championship with only one good WR.

It was a great game, a horrible loss, but we'll be back

Other Not-so-random Shit-giving:

Give BB shit about the D-Line. There's only so much talent there after Vince Wilfork(3 tackles). This was a game when the DTs should have demolished the Giants O-Line, but once they doubled Vince the Giants didn't have much of an issue with the other guys. The next-best DT was Gerard Warren with a Tackle and an assist. Deaderick had a sack and that's it.

Give BB shit about the DB-Corps. S Ihedigbo is not a long-term solution. CB Antwaun Molden or DB/WR/KR/PR Julian Edelman can't be our #3 CBs next season, which is what happened when we kicked McCourty to Safety.

Give BB shit about Danny Woodhead(paltry average of about 2.6 yards per attempt). They're not using him right, as he clearly is still getting mangled in the running-game. Teams have gotten wise to the little guy.

The views expressed in these FanPosts are not necessarily those of the writers or SBNation.

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