2019 Game Goat Thread: Wk. 17 vs Dolphins

NortheasternPJ

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Albert Wilson signed a 3-year, $24 MM deal before last year. He would be the highest-paid WR on the Patriots. Which I think sums things up as much as anything. The Patriots have largely tried to shop in the bargain bin the last two offseasons at WR, largely with bargain bin results. You can argue that guys like Wilson are overpaid, but then you wind up trading a second-rounder for Mohamed Sanu anyway.
they also offered Humphreys more than the Titans got him for, although a bit too late. We also don’t need to rehash AB again.

The Pats haven’t made good decisions that have worked at WR but it isn’t because they insist on shopping at Building #19
 

splendid splinter

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Oh I think they should be hosting one. Anyone who is arguing that they are a top 2 AFC team hasn’t watched the last two months.

That being said, the slate is wiped clean.

Anyone here think BB is going gentle into that good night? Yeah. Didn’t think so. I’m going to enjoy this week of people doubting the Pats. Who knows? We all know weird shit happens in the playoffs. I’m willing to wait and see.
Hey, I’ll be back in board next week without doubt. I’m just mystified about this week. But that’s the hand they’ve been dealt and let’s roll.
 

Bowhemian

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This game is on the defense. They did nothing to stop Fitzmagic today. Nothing.
Was Brady good? Absolutely not. But they had a 4 point lead with a couple minutes left that the boogeymen could not protect.
 

ilol@u

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Albert Wilson signed a 3-year, $24 MM deal before last year. He would be the highest-paid WR on the Patriots. Which I think sums things up as much as anything. The Patriots have largely tried to shop in the bargain bin the last two offseasons at WR, largely with bargain bin results. You can argue that guys like Wilson are overpaid, but then you wind up trading a second-rounder for Mohamed Sanu anyway.
Totally disagree.

The Patriots did their job. They had Antonio Brown, Josh Gordon, Julian Edelman, and Deymarius Thomas as solid veteran WRs while drafting Harry.

The issue in my opinion was giving up on AB and Josh Gordon (who didn't relapse up to that point).

Instead they are stuck with a C+ WR grouping of Mohammad Sanu (who absolutely sucks. Worse than Ochocinco or Joey Galloway), Dorsett, two rookies, and a banged up JE11.
 

Super Nomario

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they also offered Humphreys more than the Titans got him for, although a bit too late. We also don’t need to rehash AB again.

The Pats haven’t made good decisions that have worked at WR but it isn’t because they insist on shopping at Building #19
I think the Humphreys thing is a good example of what I'm talking about (and Jared Cook for that matter). They've misread the receiver market. They don't want to spend $10 MM for a third-rate WR. That's why they traded Cooks (in his case, they didn't want to pay $14 MM for a second-rate WR). But then when you try to fill in the position on the cheap, you're left with gambles, whether injury guys like Demaryius Thomas and Jordan Matthews or guys coming off bad years like Kenny Britt or guys with off-field issues like Brown and Josh Gordon. Or you overpay for a dude like Wilson, or Humphreys, or Sanu. That's the market. There are positives to this approach, as it's allowed them to invest elsewhere. But they have tried to go cheap at WR/TE and it has largely failed.
 

DennyDoyle'sBoil

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You can say whatever you want. Up 4 pts with 3 min to go and 80 yards to go and the defense failed to stop them.
This is true. And I have little doubt that if you give them 10 chances the defense pulls it out 7 or 8 times. But it is a sixty minute game. I think the single most significant play is the pick 6. Turnover differential is an important stat and turnovers for points hurt. That play made it harder to set up the run game and put the team in position to need a stop at the end.

it is never just one thing. Well rarely. The offense and the defense both whiffed on chances not to lose this game.
 

Super Nomario

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The Patriots did their job. They had Antonio Brown, Josh Gordon, Julian Edelman, and Deymarius Thomas as solid veteran WRs while drafting Harry.
These are not solid veteran WRs. Edelman, yes, even though he's old. But Brown and Gordon were only available because they are total question marks off the field. Thomas was only available because he was coming off an Achilles injury. Harry does represent real investment in the position, which is a departure. They took a bunch of dice roles and they came up snake eyes. And TE was even worse, where they did not really attempt to procure a real starter.

This is true. And I have little doubt that if you give them 10 chances the defense pulls it out 7 or 8 times. But it is a sixty minute game. I think the single most significant play is the pick 6. Turnover differential is an important stat and turnovers for points hurt. That play made it harder to set up the run game and put the team in position to need a stop at the end.

it is never just one thing. Well rarely. The offense and the defense both whiffed on chances not to lose this game.
I agree the fault is on both sides. The D was bad in the whole second half, not just in the final drive (they had four second-half chances and allowed points on three of them, so I have a hard time with your 7 or 8 of 10 figure). And the other piece of turnover differential is that the D couldn't generate a turnover.
 

GoDa

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Belichick's decision to turtle at the end of the 1st half was really disheartening.

You've got 1:20 left in the half. You have 3 TOs. You have normal field position at your own 25. You're playing the Dolphins. You're tied at 10-10 and have just scored on your last 2 possessions. You have the GOAT as your QB. You decide the best course of action is to NOT attempt a "normal" drive. Outside of breaking a long run on the first handoff - you've determined it's better to forfeit a possession than the risk/reward of trying to score vs. a turnover or Miami's offense getting the ball back on a punt.
 

Captaincoop

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Totally disagree.

The Patriots did their job. They had Antonio Brown, Josh Gordon, Julian Edelman, and Deymarius Thomas as solid veteran WRs while drafting Harry.

The issue in my opinion was giving up on AB and Josh Gordon (who didn't relapse up to that point).

Instead they are stuck with a C+ WR grouping of Mohammad Sanu (who absolutely sucks. Worse than Ochocinco or Joey Galloway), Dorsett, two rookies, and a banged up JE11.
Let's not forget that they have 21M in cap space tied up on a QB who was not a top ten QB this year. And they are competing against, for example, the Chiefs, who have Mahomes at 4M.

That's a huge team building setback and it puts BB the GM in a rough place.
 

heavyde050

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Let's not forget that they have 21M in cap space tied up on a QB who was not a top ten QB this year. And they are competing against, for example, the Chiefs, who have Mahomes at 4M.

That's a huge team building setback and it puts BB the GM in a rough place.
What possible path did the Patriots have to a top 10 QB only making $4M? I mean Brady was down this year (and in this game) but he still helped lead this team to a 12-4 record with very little offensive help.
 

BaseballJones

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The Pats threw one interception and it cost them (directly) seven points.

The Dolphins had three fumbles and recovered them all. Any one of them could have been a game-changer.

Such are the vagaries of NFL football sometimes.

I'm not saying that this game is all about the lucky (or unlucky, as it may be) bounce of a football. But sometimes when you play poorly you can still win if you get a little luck. The Dolphins played the game of the year for them, and got every bounce, when even one of them going the other way likely costs them the game. It happens. The 49ers got beat at home to Atlanta just a couple of weeks ago, 29-22. The Chiefs lost at home to the Colts 19-13 this year (with Mahomes playing). The Packers lost at home to the Eagles by 7 and on the road to the Chargers by 15. The Saints got blown out at the Rams and got blown out at home to the Falcons.

Excellent teams sometimes lose games in head-scratching fashion. This is the NFL where the margin between good and bad teams is really not that much. It's not the talent difference between Clemson and UMass. You need to play well every week or you can lose, especially if the ball bounces the other team's way, like it did today.
 

Captaincoop

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What possible path did the Patriots have to a top 10 QB only making $4M? I mean Brady was down this year (and in this game) but he still helped lead this team to a 12-4 record with very little offensive help.
They had no such path. That's why I wouldn't criticize Belichick for his offseason.
 

DeadlySplitter

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the arguments that it's on the offense, offseason not quite going well then AB going insane all ring true logically. also that Miami was lucky on turnovers and this was a ref crew who let all types of holding go.

But dammit, we had this game! We still scraped out 24 points and had it when we needed it the last two TD drives. and the defense completely undid 15 games of hype and looked like frauds out there today. our gameplan sucked, Flores was completely prepared and somehow we made no adjustments.

it was set up about as well as we could have hoped for too, with a hot TEN team as the 6 maybe taking KC out for us. we pissed away so much championship equity today it was like a kidney stone.

this is just such a shocking loss. to lose AT HOME on week 17 when it matters? has that ever happened? and with the much harder 2020 schedule looming.... I would have been fine going out with a well-fought game at Baltimore, but I never saw this type of ending coming.
 

heavyde050

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the arguments that it's on the offense, offseason not quite going well then AB going insane all ring true logically. also that Miami was lucky on turnovers and this was a ref crew who let all types of holding go.

But dammit, we had this game! We still scraped out 24 points and had it when we needed it the last two TD drives. and the defense completely undid 15 games of hype and looked like frauds out there today. our gameplan sucked, Flores was completely prepared and somehow we made no adjustments.

it was set up about as well as we could have hoped for too, with a hot TEN team as the 6 maybe taking KC out for us. we pissed away so much championship equity today it was like a kidney stone.

this is just such a shocking loss. to lose AT HOME on week 17 when it matters? has that ever happened? and with the much harder 2020 schedule looming.... I would have been fine going out with a well-fought game at Baltimore, but I never saw this type of ending coming.
It could still end with a well-fought game at Baltimore.
 

BigSoxFan

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the arguments that it's on the offense, offseason not quite going well then AB going insane all ring true logically. also that Miami was lucky on turnovers and this was a ref crew who let all types of holding go.

But dammit, we had this game! We still scraped out 24 points and had it when we needed it the last two TD drives. and the defense completely undid 15 games of hype and looked like frauds out there today. our gameplan sucked, Flores was completely prepared and somehow we made no adjustments.

it was set up about as well as we could have hoped for too, with a hot TEN team as the 6 maybe taking KC out for us. we pissed away so much championship equity today it was like a kidney stone.

this is just such a shocking loss. to lose AT HOME on week 17 when it matters? has that ever happened? and with the much harder 2020 schedule looming.... I would have been fine going out with a well-fought game at Baltimore, but I never saw this type of ending coming.
Yup. End of the day, they just needed to stop Fitz from marching down the field and they couldn’t. And they looked awful in the process. Just weak ass effort.
 

DeadlySplitter

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It could still end with a well-fought game at Baltimore.
the odds of just getting to Baltimore went from like 60% to 15%.

I hate when the pundits are right, but emotionally now I feel like the defense was a paper tiger all along.

this would be just such a tough way for the era of dominance to end. Now I get to be scared of Derrick Henry for 7 days.
 

DennyDoyle'sBoil

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Let's not forget that they have 21M in cap space tied up on a QB who was not a top ten QB this year. And they are competing against, for example, the Chiefs, who have Mahomes at 4M.

That's a huge team building setback and it puts BB the GM in a rough place.
And Brady had a big cap charge last year, which put the team behind this year. This is just paying the tab for several years of having a QB who was taking a $14m cap charge several years in a row where they used the money to put good players around him.

This is why sustained excellence is so hard in the NFL. It is time to pay the Brady tab and it left zero room to make mistakes and they made one when they took a chance on Antonio Brown.

The tab always comes due. Look at what the Saints are facing. And the Falcons to a lesser extent. We got lots more out of our borrowing against the cap years. A reset with a cost controlled QB is coming soon. Losing to the Dolphins sucks. But this team is a notch below the other biggies in the AFC and that’s been expected since the end of last year. When they charged out of the gate with what seemed potentially like a generational defense it was easy to get distracted from their cap hell and think maybe Belichick the great could pull it off.

You know, he still might, and the way it played out was disappointing if you had told me about the injuries we would have, after Gronk retired, knowing our cap situation I would have jumped at a three seed if you had offered it to me before the year.
 

BigJimEd

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Someone mentioned Cook upthread. If Gronk announced his retirement earlier there's a decent chance Cook would be on this team.


Goats all around. Haven't seen Jonathan Jones mentioned so I'll add him to the list. Very disappointing game all around.
 

AB in DC

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Brady didn't play great today, but that was far from an "absolute egg". I mean that pick 6 was an abomination, and he sailed a bunch of throws. He also made some good passes and was victimized by a couple of bad drops again. I guess to me, an "absolute egg" is completion % below 50%, more turnovers than TDs, etc.
Miami had not only the worst pass defense in the NFL but literally the seventh-worst defense of the past 35 years. "Laying an absolute egg" is, if anything, an understatement. Take out the final lateral-fest and it's 15 completions on 29 pass plays. That'd be flat-out inexcusable even if there weren't a pick-six.

Meanwhile the defense held Miami to three offensive points in the first half, and BB acts like he's scared to risk punting the ball back to them at the end of the first half??

This is incomprehensible.
 

heavyde050

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Miami had not only the worst pass defense in the NFL but literally the seventh-worst defense of the past 35 years. "Laying an absolute egg" is, if anything, an understatement. Take out the final lateral-fest and it's 15 completions on 29 pass plays. That'd be flat-out inexcusable even if there weren't a pick-six.

Meanwhile the defense held Miami to three offensive points in the first half, and BB acts like he's scared to risk punting the ball back to them at the end of the first half??

This is incomprehensible.
I get that Brady was bad. But if you are taking out the pick-six, do we also get to account for the various drops and penalties that negated positive plays?
I mean Brady and the offense were bad, but Brady has been worse this year. I guess that was my point. He has been worse and the defense laid the biggest egg of all on the last series.
 

DeadlySplitter

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Bill might have been scared we'd turn it over again. and to be fair the defense ended up having no answers either. but rushing to the half, then seemingly zero halftime adjustments...
 

McBride11

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Pretty underwhelming game as everyone can agree. D didn't live up to the hype and Fitzmagic ran amok.
Pats were able to run but tried to get some passing going, mostly for the worse. Brady had some terrible throws, and some really good ones. (So like average QB instead of Tom MF Brady).

Coaching didn't make adjustments on D as we would expect. SG was getting outplayed but they didn't rotate help or change coverage schemes.

Some of the vitriol is really ridiculous and thanks @SeoulSoxFan for putting a hammer down after the first page.

This team is flawed. Loss of LT1, C1, FB1, FB2, TE1 and lingering injuries to JE11, TB12, Sanu, etc have caused ongoing issues. Yes LT1 was replaced by a first rounder - who had little experience and injuries.

The GM tried with the TE offers, AB, having JG around, but they didn't work out. Collins seems to have fallen off dramatically from early season playmaker.

End of season - they are 12-4 and a #3 seed. While not up to Patriot standards, that is a freaking good season. Objectively it is a good season in the NFL.

While the chances are low, I still look forward to having BB/ TB and the rest of the Pats going into the post season versus other teams.

@TrotWaddles said it a lore more succinctly - but LFG. See you all a week earlier than expected.
 

8slim

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Defense wears the goat horns today. Obviously the last drive was an abomination, and destroyed any notion that this is some kind of “all time” unit. But they were bad most of the game. DL couldn’t generate any consistent pressure, we got lit up over the middle all day, and as so many have noted, Gilmore was a mess.

Offense wasn’t much better. This was my first game at Gillette this season, and it was striking just how awful the WRs are. I’ll give Edelman a pass, he’s a shell of himself due to injury. But the others are trash. Lazy, half-assed routes, and of course, horrible hands. Pair that with Brady being off on a bunch of throws, and everything about the passing game is junk. Sony and Rex looked good, not sure why we didn’t give them 10 more carries. Also no clue why we targeted White all of 3 times. McDaniels is a great OC, but some times I just don’t understand what he’s thinking.
 
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Pretty underwhelming game as everyone can agree. D didn't live up to the hype and Fitzmagic ran amok.
Pats were able to run but tried to get some passing going, mostly for the worse. Brady had some terrible throws, and some really good ones. (So like average QB instead of Tom MF Brady).

Coaching didn't make adjustments on D as we would expect. SG was getting outplayed but they didn't rotate help or change coverage schemes.

Some of the vitriol is really ridiculous and thanks @SeoulSoxFan for putting a hammer down after the first page.

This team is flawed. Loss of LT1, C1, FB1, FB2, TE1 and lingering injuries to JE11, TB12, Sanu, etc have caused ongoing issues. Yes LT1 was replaced by a first rounder - who had little experience and injuries.

The GM tried with the TE offers, AB, having JG around, but they didn't work out. Collins seems to have fallen off dramatically from early season playmaker.

End of season - they are 12-4 and a #3 seed. While not up to Patriot standards, that is a freaking good season. Objectively it is a good season in the NFL.

While the chances are low, I still look forward to having BB/ TB and the rest of the Pats going into the post season versus other teams.

@TrotWaddles said it a lore more succinctly - but LFG. See you all a week earlier than expected.
Thanks for this great post to keep things in perspective.

I’ll give a game goat to myself: The pats dolphins game earlier this year I bet considerable money on the Dolphins (because the pats always lose in Miami, and the spread was really high). I lost.
The game today, I bet a considerable sum of money on the pats (because the pats always beat the Dolphins in foxboro). I lost. Wild Turkey, here I come.
 

mulluysavage

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Goats:

TB12: he said he'd quit when he sucked. He sucked today. And it's not the first time this season.

The receivers: drops.

Miami's passing game was way better. Fitzpatrick was better. I'm not listing the Pats D because he played out of his mind. Their receivers were way better.
 

mulluysavage

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Goats:

TB12: he said he'd quit when he sucked. He sucked today. And it's not the first time this season.

The receivers: drops.

Miami's passing game was way better. Fitzpatrick was better. I'm not listing the Pats D because he played out of his mind. Their receivers were way better.
Also, the NE passing game gave up a TD, that's not on the D.
 

Ed Hillel

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Who gave up the other 20 points?
I agree Brady was bad today, but not sure how the defense especially Gilmore escapes this list.
Twenty points the way this Miami offense has been playing the past 6 weeks or so is about what I would have expected coming in. This is a defense they should have put up 30+ against, however, and in effect they put up 17. Unlike earlier in the year, it’s not the OL anymore either. Wynn has changed the entire dynamics there.
 

Harry Hooper

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I think the Pats OL is getting too much praise. Flores had a lot of folks in coverage and minimal blitzing today.
 

BigJimEd

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Twenty points the way this Miami offense has been playing the past 6 weeks or so is about what I would have expected coming in. This is a defense they should have put up 30+ against, however, and in effect they put up 17. Unlike earlier in the year, it’s not the OL anymore either. Wynn has changed the entire dynamics there.
Miami offense of last 6 weeks? The Miami offense put up 20 on 13 drives against a poor Giants D two weeks ago. They put up 21 on 10 drives against an average Jets D three weeks ago. They put up 24 against a below average Browns D on 11 drives wild ago and put up 20 on 14 drives against a Bills team 6 weeks ago.

Miami slow played it and put up 20 on only 9 drives today. New England defense was not good today. Let's not sugarcoat it.
 

BigSoxFan

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Still miffed at the end of half decision by Belichick. The decision basically goes against everything he stands for. Really wondering if he overweighted what happened against Buffalo but to give away a possession in a tight game just doesn’t compute. Absolute worst case was being down 17-10 at half with the ball coming your way. Far from the end of the world. It’s not like they were sitting on a lead and wanted to trust a hot defense. Yesterday, it was clear by that time that the defense was having issues. Just weird. The 2015 similarities just won’t die.
 

Mugsy's Jock

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I think the Pats OL is getting too much praise. Flores had a lot of folks in coverage and minimal blitzing today.
Sure, but the running backs didn’t create their own holes either. I don’t recall a bunch of OL penalties, but I’m not good at recalling that kind of thing.

Like BSF above me, the thing I tossed and turned the most about last night was the end of the first half. Terrible execution ain’t great, but as the saying goes, the other team gets paid too. BB’s turtle was a strategic decision and one he had ample time to make. He could’ve/should’ve started planning for a final drive of the half with 2:30 to go, using times out and setting up a series of plays to try to push the ball at least into field goal range. I hesitate to sound too hot-takey, but there has to be a reason he did what he did and percentages ain’t it. An incredibly low degree of faith that his offense might be capable of getting ~50 yards on 7-8 well-chosen plays without turning the ball over... or that if there were a three-and-out that his defense couldn’t stop Miami from storming that same 50 yards in less than a minute, is all I got. Not inspiring.
 

BigSoxFan

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Sure, but the running backs didn’t create their own holes either. I don’t recall a bunch of OL penalties, but I’m not good at recalling that kind of thing.

Like BSF above me, the thing I tossed and turned the most about last night was the end of the first half. Terrible execution ain’t great, but as the saying goes, the other team gets paid too. BB’s turtle was a strategic decision and one he had ample time to make. He could’ve/should’ve started planning for a final drive of the half with 2:30 to go, using times out and setting up a series of plays to try to push the ball at least into field goal range. I hesitate to sound too hot-takey, but there has to be a reason he did what he did and percentages ain’t it. An incredibly low degree of faith that his offense might be capable of getting ~50 yards on 7-8 well-chosen plays without turning the ball over... or that if there were a three-and-out that his defense couldn’t stop Miami from storming that same 50 yards in less than a minute, is all I got. Not inspiring.
Agreed. There was clearly a reason for his decision but nothing really adds up. His team was tied and his defense wasn't performing that well. Conditions were fine and the offense generally protects the ball well even though Brady did have that bad pick 6. I ultimately think that this offense has spooked Belichick. He clearly has zero confidence in their ability to execute, as we've seen him punt the ball in situations that they normally go for it. Some of that is related to confidence in the defense but not all of it. I'm starting to wonder if Belichick himself doesn't think Brady has it anymore. We're talking 25 yard line with 1:40 and all 3 timeouts in a tie game against a terrible defense. And they just gave up. It was just an astoundingly awful decision.
 

JimD

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This loss is on Belichick and the coaching staff and the majority of the team who thought they'd roll the Dolphins, and that even if they ended up in a rockfight they'd put their foot on the gas and pull away in the second half. I know, Bill said they were treating it like a playoff game, but then the game started and the team looked totally unprepared.

Bill is the greatest NFL coach of all time and there's no way he can be accused of being *too* smart, but God, is he inscrutable at times. The halftime decision is a smaller scale version of leaving Butler on the bench in SB52, IMO. And for such a smart guy (and I don't mean that sarcastically), his insistence on subjecting injured players to more wear and tear in season-ending games like this one is baffling. In hindsight, the team would have quite likely had a better chance to win with Stidham under center than Brady trying to gut out another injury, with the benefit of guaranteeing Tom, Julian and a few others a week of rest.
 

Super Nomario

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Miami slow played it and put up 20 on only 9 drives today. New England defense was not good today. Let's not sugarcoat it.
Yep. The Miami offense averaged 3:45 a drive, so it was a "short" game with few possessions by both teams (typical is 11-12). For reference, the Ravens led the league averaging 3:19 per drive going into yesterday. They made the Dolphins look like a top-tier offense.

Agreed. There was clearly a reason for his decision but nothing really adds up. His team was tied and his defense wasn't performing that well. Conditions were fine and the offense generally protects the ball well even though Brady did have that bad pick 6. I ultimately think that this offense has spooked Belichick. He clearly has zero confidence in their ability to execute, as we've seen him punt the ball in situations that they normally go for it. Some of that is related to confidence in the defense but not all of it. I'm starting to wonder if Belichick himself doesn't think Brady has it anymore. We're talking 25 yard line with 1:40 and all 3 timeouts in a tie game against a terrible defense. And they just gave up. It was just an astoundingly awful decision.
To be fair: the defense was fine in the first half, only allowing three points. The meltdown was pretty much all after the break (17 points on four possessions). And Brady played the first half like the elbow was bothering him (5 of 12 for 92 and a pick; 50 of the yards were on the bomb to Dorsett late). They might have just wanted to go to halftime and shoot him up with something. He was far more effective after the break. Running out the half was crazy in hindsight; I wasn't a fan in real time, either, but it was more defensible.
 

BigSoxFan

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Fair points although I would add that Miami was moving the ball pretty well in the first half, better than we would have expected. If Brady's elbow was an issue, then I would relent. Perhaps it was and he needed some halftime shot or something. That's pretty much the only explanation that makes any kind of sense to me. You just can't give away possessions in games where you're trailing or tied. Regardless, the game was obviously not lost on this decision but it still kind of sucks. The second half defense was far more troubling than the end of half decision. I mean, what the hell was that?
 

BaseballJones

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Agreed. There was clearly a reason for his decision but nothing really adds up. His team was tied and his defense wasn't performing that well. Conditions were fine and the offense generally protects the ball well even though Brady did have that bad pick 6. I ultimately think that this offense has spooked Belichick. He clearly has zero confidence in their ability to execute, as we've seen him punt the ball in situations that they normally go for it. Some of that is related to confidence in the defense but not all of it. I'm starting to wonder if Belichick himself doesn't think Brady has it anymore. We're talking 25 yard line with 1:40 and all 3 timeouts in a tie game against a terrible defense. And they just gave up. It was just an astoundingly awful decision.
Possible outcomes if they had called time out with about 1:40 to go, thus starting at their own 25-30 with 1:30 on the clock and two time outs....

1. They run the ball to see if they can get anywhere. It fails. They either run out the clock (like they actually did) or they punt back to Miami, who takes over with like 30 seconds left. Almost certainly, they take a knee at that point.

2. They run the ball to see if they can get anywhere. It succeeds. They then put the foot on the gas and try for a FG.

3. They immediately put the foot on the gas and try to throw. It fails. They punt and Miami has the ball maybe with a minute left but deep in their own territory. Gotta believe the D holds them there.

4. They put the foot on the gas and turn the ball over. Yes it happened once already in the game but the odds of that happening again just don't seem very high.

5. They put the foot on the gas and it succeeds and the Pats get a good look at a FG.

Of these scenarios, I'd put #4 - the only one that really comes with risk - as by far the least likely outcome. I'd say 90% chance that at WORST they have to punt back to Miami, but then...so what? They'd have bad field position and less time to work with than the Pats did. Have to like your chances of holding them down at that point.

I just do not understand the thought process on that sequence. At all.
 

tims4wins

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While I questioned and didn't like the end of half decision, to me it isn't remotely close to the reason they lost the game. It's somewhat akin to blaming the mortar kick against the Eagles in 2015. The D gave up 17 points on 4 second half drives. That and the pick six are why they lost.
 

BigSoxFan

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While I questioned and didn't like the end of half decision, to me it isn't remotely close to the reason they lost the game. It's somewhat akin to blaming the mortar kick against the Eagles in 2015. The D gave up 17 points on 4 second half drives. That and the pick six are why they lost.
Who is blaming the loss on that decision. I literally just posted that it's not the reason they lost. Others have made similar points.
 

BaseballJones

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While I questioned and didn't like the end of half decision, to me it isn't remotely close to the reason they lost the game. It's somewhat akin to blaming the mortar kick against the Eagles in 2015. The D gave up 17 points on 4 second half drives. That and the pick six are why they lost.
I agree.
 

JMDurron

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The Defense
Brady (Pick-Six and a few bad overthrows of open WRs)
WRs (route-running, drops, and some awful blocking)

This is true. And I have little doubt that if you give them 10 chances the defense pulls it out 7 or 8 times. But it is a sixty minute game. I think the single most significant play is the pick 6. Turnover differential is an important stat and turnovers for points hurt. That play made it harder to set up the run game and put the team in position to need a stop at the end.

it is never just one thing. Well rarely. The offense and the defense both whiffed on chances not to lose this game.
In my mind, the offense and defense both whiffed on the whole "it is a sixty minute game" bit. The defense failed to execute for most of the 2nd half, and the offense seemed dead on their feet for most of the first half, except for Michel.

Agreed. There was clearly a reason for his decision but nothing really adds up. His team was tied and his defense wasn't performing that well. Conditions were fine and the offense generally protects the ball well even though Brady did have that bad pick 6. I ultimately think that this offense has spooked Belichick. He clearly has zero confidence in their ability to execute, as we've seen him punt the ball in situations that they normally go for it. Some of that is related to confidence in the defense but not all of it. I'm starting to wonder if Belichick himself doesn't think Brady has it anymore. We're talking 25 yard line with 1:40 and all 3 timeouts in a tie game against a terrible defense. And they just gave up. It was just an astoundingly awful decision.
I think the lack of faith in the offense explains Belichick's approach to the end of the half. A quick three-and-out to give Miami the ball back with enough time to score isn't "protecting the ball well" in that situation. I'm not sure why everyone is acting so shocked by the initial playcall - we've seen Belichick open with a conservative run or screen deep in their own territory in that "less than 2 minutes, more than 30 seconds left" window at the end of a half before. If that play goes well, they gear up for a scoring drive. If that play doesn't go well, they run down the clock to avoid giving the other team a scoring chance before the half.

I a'm also not sure why so many people are complaining about the Watson OPI call. He clearly was doing nothing but blocking his guy 6-10 years down the field, and only pretended to run a pattern after his defender had bumped into the other DB. I was amazed that the refs picked up the initial flag, the Edelman OPI against Buffalo was less obvious than that one. Watson seems to be something of a blunt force object when it comes to rub/pick routes, he just gets too directly physical with his targeted coverage man and makes it painfully easy for the refs to call him on it.

There's still another game to be played. That being said, between the bad transactional luck in the passing game (Gronk retires, Cook signs elsewhere, Humphries signs elsewhere, AB can't put his phone down, Sanu gets banged up just after arrival) and bad injury luck in the running game (Andrews, Wynn, and both FBs), the offense just didn't get any breaks to go their way this season. Now, the defense looks to be both banged up (Jones and JMac alternating between who is out and who is playing through issues on a week-by-week basis) and out of gas (it was probably unrealistic to expect the same level of play from Weeks 1-8 to continue forever, even setting aside the schedule that aided that run) without a bye week through which to recover. The good news is, this is also the same team that beat a Buffalo team just over a week ago that is at least as strong as the Titans team that is coming to town.
 

tims4wins

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Who is blaming the loss on that decision. I literally just posted that it's not the reason they lost. Others have made similar points.
That's fair. It's just getting a lot of discussion. Which I understand since it is easier to discuss than "why did the defense suck"
 

Mooch

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Add me to the chorus putting this one squarely on the HC of the NEP.

One of the oddest things about the Belichick tenure recently is when his former assistant coaches/players get the better of him with seemingly inferior teams. We've now seen it with Bill O'Brien, Patricia, Vrabel and Flo in the past few years.
 

Preacher

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Add me to the chorus putting this one squarely on the HC of the NEP.

One of the oddest things about the Belichick tenure recently is when his former assistant coaches/players get the better of him with seemingly inferior teams. We've now seen it with Bill O'Brien, Patricia, Vrabel and Flo in the past few years.
And a little longer ago, Josh McDaniels.
 

Mugsy's Jock

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They might have just wanted to go to halftime and shoot him up with something. He was far more effective after the break. Running out the half was crazy in hindsight; I wasn't a fan in real time, either, but it was more defensible.
This is a great point -- I was trying to figure out how some unannounced injury might've played into it, but was thinking if Brady (or an O-lineman, or all the receivers) were really hurt he/they wouldn't have come out for the second half. But get Brady in and get him shot up makes a lot of sense.

And that injury is even more disconcerting, big picture, than a bad coaching decision. You can learn from a coaching mistake and not do it again... on the other hand all the deer antler spray and avocado ice cream in the world won't have TB12 in the right condition for a tough three-game playoff run if that elbow is bad.