The Game Goat Thread: Week 15 at Pittsburgh

BaseballJones

goalpost mover
SoSH Member
Oct 1, 2015
5,171
Red zone offense this year has been very bad for the Pats. They rank 16th in the NFL in red zone TD %, at 58.0%.
 

BigSoxFan

Member
SoSH Member
May 31, 2007
31,033
Red zone offense this year has been very bad for the Pats. They rank 16th in the NFL in red zone TD %, at 58.0%.
Yup. Red zone offense is effectively why they lost yesterday aside from all the penalties. 3 trips in final quarter+ and came away with only 3 points. You simply can’t have those kinds of penalties and poor execution. Gronk clearly isn’t the Gronk or old but he still draws a lot of coverage. They need more out of Gordon.
 

CCR

lurker
Apr 2, 2013
33
I mean, I agree with you. He was looking end zone and was always going end zone with that throw. And it was the right read. But it was also physically possible to get it to White. It wouldn’t have been an easy play and he probably gets blasted doing it. I fully understand why he didn’t. But I’m also a White fan boy and I would have liked to see him get a chance in an alternate universe.

End of the day, it just sucks that the OL put Brady in tough positions. Since Gordon was out of game, Gronk was really the only realistic target. Unfortunately, Pit knew this and had like 4 guys around him, including one guy undercutting any pass. It would have basically been impossible to complete a pass there. Because if this, I do wonder if we would have been better off trying to get 10ish yards on 3rd down, spike, and have 1 last throw from a more reasonable distance.
It was 3rd and 15 at the PIT 21.
 

SeoulSoxFan

Dope
Dope
Jun 27, 2006
18,684
New day. I am going to feel better about a team that will most likely go 11-5.

Most teams would be absolutely thrilled with that. The bar is indeed set ridiculously high.
 

lars10

Well-Known Member
Silver Supporter
SoSH Member
Jul 31, 2007
5,200
Rams, Saints, Chargers and Chiefs are all more consistent and have more speed than the defense can handle. Can’t really argue the Steelers now. Not sure Bears would be more than 50/50. Same as Houston. What do you think Gordon or Gurley would do to our defense? Sure, any given week and all, but we suck on the road. We need the Eagles huge next week.
Rams have been stumbling a lot lately, same with the chiefs without hunt. Saints also have struggled a bit at times and the chargers have won but barely a few weeks in a row.

But I guess your overall point is correct..that while they’ve been a bit inconsistent they’ve been more consistent than the pats... but none of them look dominant to me except for maybe the saints..and if the pats are playing them it’s the super bowl so all good!
 

lars10

Well-Known Member
Silver Supporter
SoSH Member
Jul 31, 2007
5,200
New day. I am going to feel better about a team that will most likely go 11-5.

Most teams would be absolutely thrilled with that. The bar is indeed set ridiculously high.
This is all tainted by last week.. if they win there we’re looking at possible 12-4 and home field. Seems crazy but is it at all possible that they’ve been resting White a bit for the playoffs and trying to get Michel and Burkhead fully back from injury? Are the pats out at even 9-7?
 
Last edited:

steveluck7

Member
SoSH Member
May 10, 2007
2,834
39
Burrillville, RI
and extra nod to Jules as the goat. I saw an angle of the interception where you can see Gronk was shoving Hayden out of bounds but JE got in the way* and basically stopped the momentum, allowing Hayden to get his feet down.

*Clearly just a bang bang situation so tough to fault Julian but just crap luck / timing
 

Bob Montgomery's Helmet Hat

has big, douchey shoulders
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
This is all tainted by last week.. if they win their we’re looking at possible 12-4 and home field. Seems crazy but is it at all possible that they’ve been resting White a bit for the playoffs and trying to get Michel and Burkhead fully back from injury? Are the pats out at even 9-7?
I think there is a genuine concern about White wearing down from all the touches he's had this season.
 

( . ) ( . ) and (_!_)

T&A
SoSH Member
Feb 9, 2010
5,190
36
Providence, RI
The fake reverse screen thing or whatever the hell it was in the 4th quarter bothers the hell out of me. First we’ve seen that play before and it’s failed miserably before. But it’s just bad situational football. They just got a huge holding penalty to back them up. So they call a complicated. Slowly developing play. That just screams high risk to me. In that situation you have to be immediately thinking that we just need to get yards on 1st down to get ourselves into something manageable by 3rd down. I know there is no magic, automatic 7 yard play in the playbook. But in that situation you need to be playing the percentages and putting your guys in a position to pick up some yards, any yards to give yourself a chance. Instead they get nothing. The Steelers get pressure on 2nd down and force Brady into a massive error.

I could understand if the roster was just bad. It’s been an incredible run and eventually we were due to hit a point where there were enough misses in the rosters and the talent needed to be rebuilt.

But this team also got dumb. Both the players and the coaches. That’s the most shocking part of this season to me. The Patriots are now a dumb football team. Unreal.
 

EL Jeffe

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 30, 2006
582
I was definitely surprised Gordon saw so few targets. Every time he was matched up with a corner other than Haden, I expected Brady to throw it to #10. Not sure if Gordon just wasn't getting any separation or if Brady just wasn't looking his way.
 

DeadlySplitter

Member
SoSH Member
Oct 20, 2015
17,191
the "fake reverse screen thing" led to Hogan's "most wide open in the past couple of seasons in the entire NFL" TD.

it wasn't the best idea to try it again on 2nd down. I understand trying it again though, but would have only done it on a fresh 1st & 10.

the call I most have a problem with from Josh was the Edelman quick pass on 3rd & 4. it almost worked, but 4 yards is a bit too much for the play - in SB51's game-tying two-pointer, the play barely got 2 yards with Amendola. then they kicked anyways from 4th & 1. that whole sequence was a mess of coaching.
 

BigSoxFan

Member
SoSH Member
May 31, 2007
31,033
the "fake reverse screen thing" led to Hogan's "most wide open in the past couple of seasons in the entire NFL" TD.

it wasn't the best idea to try it again on 2nd down. I understand trying it again though, but would have only done it on a fresh 1st & 10.

the call I most have a problem with from Josh was the Edelman quick pass on 3rd & 4. it almost worked, but 4 yards is a bit too much for the play - in SB51's game-tying two-pointer, the play barely got 2 yards with Amendola. then they kicked anyways from 4th & 1. that whole sequence was a mess of coaching.
Yup. I didn't like that 3rd and 4 WR screen. There were 2 blockers and 4 tacklers. Old Edelman might have been able to wiggle his way to a first but not this version of him. As we saw in the SB, it's not an easy play to get more than a couple yards on when you're in the red zone. Everything is just too compressed. I feel like in moments like this, the loss of Amendola is really felt.
 

bsj

Renegade Crazed Genius
SoSH Member
Dec 6, 2003
17,086
Central NJ SoSH Chapter
This team reminds me of 2009 not so much in makeup but in its seeming inability to ever get the consistent forward traction we are so accustomed to.
 

Captaincoop

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 16, 2005
8,574
Santa Monica, CA
This is hard game to pick a goat. There just isn't a lot for a defense to worry about with this current Pats offense, and the defense isn't good enough to win a rock fight like yesterday. If you have to pick one unit to blame, it's the O Line for the penalties.

But the situation on offense feels pretty dire beyond the line.

Gronk has lost more than a step and even when he does get open, he isn't the same threat to steamroll defenders in the open field. He can be defended and he can be tackled.

Edelman isn't making guys miss after the catch like he did in the past, he is easier to cover, and he is dropping more passes to boot.

Hogan is a total JAG. Gordon is in and out of the game plan. White seems to have been deemphasized for whatever reason.

On top of all that, Brady has zero mobility and has lost the supernatural part of his passing ability. We can argue if he's top 10 or whatever, but he's not a GOAT level QB anymore that can carry an offense with no weapons.

This team reminds me of 2006. That team was frustrating as 2000s Pats teams go, but they did give us an awesome upset in San Diego and came very close to a Super Bowl against Rex Grossman.

The run is almost over. But I just want Brady and the boys to go out like Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, and give us a few more minutes this postseason where we feel like maybe they can ride off into the sunset.
 

Shelterdog

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Feb 19, 2002
11,191
New York City
The run is almost over. But I just want Brady and the boys to go out like Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, and give us a few more minutes this postseason where we feel like maybe they can ride off into the sunset.
Great post but you might want to rewatch the last couple of minutes of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.
 

Harry Hooper

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Jan 4, 2002
24,934
Coaching gets the goat label for the fact that Hogan keeps getting so many snaps, especially in the red zone. If there truly are no better alternatives on the roster, then the front office deserves the goat designation as well. The OL has been quite disappointing in recent weeks, so horns for them too.
 

Captaincoop

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 16, 2005
8,574
Santa Monica, CA
I have a hard time blaming the front office when it seems pretty likely that Bob Kraft tied the hands of a front office that wanted to start a rebuild this year.

At least if by "front office" we mean Bill Belichick.
 

DrewDawg

Dorito Dink
SoSH Member
Dec 16, 2010
33,756
Coaching gets the goat label for the fact that Hogan keeps getting so many snaps, especially in the red zone. If there truly are no better alternatives on the roster, then the front office deserves the goat designation as well. The OL has been quite disappointing in recent weeks, so horns for them too.
Hogan is like the 5th receiving option though behind Gordon, Edelman, Gronk, and White. I really don't think that's the issue.
 

Prodigal Sox

lurker
Jul 15, 2005
219
between the buttons
Yup. I didn't like that 3rd and 4 WR screen. There were 2 blockers and 4 tacklers. Old Edelman might have been able to wiggle his way to a first but not this version of him. As we saw in the SB, it's not an easy play to get more than a couple yards on when you're in the red zone. Everything is just too compressed. I feel like in moments like this, the loss of Amendola is really felt.
I'm wondering the same thing. With pre-injury Edleman, Amendola, who both made a living on sharp precise cuts in limited space to get open, and prior to this year Gronk; they just had so many possibilities inside the ten. The defense couldn't cover everyone. Now it looks like no one is getting open in the compressed field. It seems the same thing is happening on third and medium (4-7 yards). It looks like they throw short of the sticks and then are not getting the yards after the catch. Those situations used to seem automatic. Not any more.
 

heavyde050

Well-Known Member
Silver Supporter
SoSH Member
Nov 17, 2006
4,904
37
San Francisco
I have a hard time blaming the front office when it seems pretty likely that Bob Kraft tied the hands of a front office that wanted to start a rebuild this year.

At least if by "front office" we mean Bill Belichick.
When was it ever mentioned that BB wanted to start a rebuild?
I read some stuff that BB wanted to keep Jimmy and Brady, but never read that BB wanted to start a rebuild.
Did you mean start the transition to post-Brady life?
 

Captaincoop

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 16, 2005
8,574
Santa Monica, CA
Belichick would never come out and say it. But wanting to keep Jimmy (knowing how expensive it would have been) is a sign that he probably wanted to start a transition.
 

dcmissle

Deflatigator
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Aug 4, 2005
27,261
This team reminds me of 2009 not so much in makeup but in its seeming inability to ever get the consistent forward traction we are so accustomed to.
What’s frustrating is that each unit has shined at one point or other during the season, with problems revolving from unit to unit, with an apparent inability to put together an A-level game all around from beginning to end.

What’s uncharacteristic — three no-show road ass kickings that look worse with the passage of time. Add the Miami nightmare and maybe you have a differentiating factor from 2009: coaching deficiencies.

The answer to “they’ll get tired of his voice” has been reliable and clear cut — change the ears. Maybe now the voice is getting tired.
 

Mooch

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
1,290
Josh McD gets my game goat. The gameplan was a total mess yesterday - Far too many play-action, slow developing routes. Not enough patience in the running game - When you average over 5 ypc, maybe run the ball more than 19 times! Where's the creativity on offense? Maybe throw out some different looks with personnel groups like a 2-RB set with White and Michel? What happened to the Patterson-as-RB stuff which could develop some new wrinkles to play off tendencies? The team seemed shockingly ill prepared to deal with crowd noise and silent counts too. Just a disaster.
 

RedOctober3829

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 19, 2005
38,111
36
deep inside Guido territory
Visit site
What’s frustrating is that each unit has shined at one point or other during the season, with problems revolving from unit to unit, with an apparent inability to put together an A-level game all around from beginning to end.

What’s uncharacteristic — three no-show road ass kickings that look worse with the passage of time. Add the Miami nightmare and maybe you have a differentiating factor from 2009: coaching deficiencies.

The answer to “they’ll get tired of his voice” has been reliable and clear cut — change the ears. Maybe now the voice is getting tired.
The "voice" doesn't give up 7 yards a carry over the last 3 games which is one of the worst 3 game stretches in post-merger NFL history. They don't have the defensive talent it takes to even be competitive against the run. It's a talent issue not a coaching issue.
 

OurF'ingCity

Member
SoSH Member
Apr 22, 2016
2,888
New York City
This team reminds me of 2009 not so much in makeup but in its seeming inability to ever get the consistent forward traction we are so accustomed to.
Came here to post this as well but was beaten to it - just no consistency with this team. Some weeks they will look like juggernauts, other weeks like they don't belong in the playoffs at all.

Interestingly if you look at 538's Elo history for the Pats (not a definitive stat by any means but a decent rough-and-dirty analysis) the closest recent comparison to this year is also 2009. There are other similarities to that year too including lots of player turnover.

Needless to say hopefully the Pats this year can (a) avoid the 10-6 record the 09 team finished with and (b) avoid a first-round playoff debacle like the one the Ravens put on the Pats in 09.
 

j44thor

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 1, 2006
8,923
They were willing to trade Gronk before the draft, unfortunately Gronk blocked the move which in hindsight would have looked pretty good. I don't think there is anything sentimental about the way the FO runs this team. Sadly while it may be time to start the conversation of replacing Brady he is not even in the top 20 players that need to be replaced next season.
 

Mooch

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
1,290
The "voice" doesn't give up 7 yards a carry over the last 3 games which is one of the worst 3 game stretches in post-merger NFL history. They don't have the defensive talent it takes to even be competitive against the run. It's a talent issue not a coaching issue.
At least yesterday, it seemed to me that the Pats were in the dime defense most of the game when they got gashed by the run. That's not talent, that's scheme. And a poor one at that.
 

RedOctober3829

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 19, 2005
38,111
36
deep inside Guido territory
Visit site
At least yesterday, it seemed to me that the Pats were in the dime defense most of the game when they got gashed by the run. That's not talent, that's scheme. And a poor one at that.
Pittsburgh throws the ball the most of any team in the league so the opposing defense is going to be in sub packages most of the game. That puts the onus on the defensive line to win their matchups. However, the tackles and ends are constantly getting their asses kicked in 1-on-1 battles which leads to the huge gains. The only player consistently playing well on the line this year is Lawrence Guy. Trey Flowers shows up but in spurts. Malcom Brown is a turnstile and Danny Shelton is playing so poor he's been inactive the last few weeks.
 

Mooch

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
1,290
Pittsburgh throws the ball the most of any team in the league so the opposing defense is going to be in sub packages most of the game. That puts the onus on the defensive line to win their matchups. However, the tackles and ends are constantly getting their asses kicked in 1-on-1 battles which leads to the huge gains. The only player consistently playing well on the line this year is Lawrence Guy. Trey Flowers shows up but in spurts. Malcom Brown is a turnstile and Danny Shelton is playing so poor he's been inactive the last few weeks.
Big Ben was hobbling around out there yesterday and wasn't very sharp. I think the coaching staff should have recognized that and subbed in Roberts on early downs to stop the run.
 

dcmissle

Deflatigator
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Aug 4, 2005
27,261
The "voice" doesn't give up 7 yards a carry over the last 3 games which is one of the worst 3 game stretches in post-merger NFL history. They don't have the defensive talent it takes to even be competitive against the run. It's a talent issue not a coaching issue.
Generally you’ll get no argument from me. I called for the “Defense” thread to be locked after the Miami game, which was preceded by posts trying to DVOA the defense up a greasy lamppost.

But yesterday, I thought was by design and face it — anyone would have taken 17 points going in.

The @Jax, @Det, @ Tenn no shows — and the one-down catastrophe in a must @ Miami game: I don’t know how coaching doesn’t bear the burden for a lot of that.
 

tims4wins

PN23's replacement
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
20,971
Hingham, MA
I think the 2009 comparisons are apt in that they went on to revamp basically the entire offense aside from Brady as well as the entire defense over the next few years. 2010-2017 (and hopefully 2018) was a dominant a run as we have ever seen. The problem is we don't have 10 more years of Brady this go-round.

And I agree with others that I hope they go down fighting. Get to 11-5, maybe even get a bye. Get to the AFCCG and give someone a scare and maybe even steal the crown.

1996: Pats go 11-5, 2 seed, everyone is thrilled
2001: Pats go 11-5, 2 seed, everyone is thrilled
2008: Pats lose Brady, go 11-5, everyone is pretty happy even though they got screwed by tiebreakers
2018: Pats may go 11-5, 2 or 3 seed, dynasty over!
 

bigq

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
2,593
At least yesterday, it seemed to me that the Pats were in the dime defense most of the game when they got gashed by the run. That's not talent, that's scheme. And a poor one at that.
The scheme choice was intended to limit the playmaking ability of the Steelers’ talented receiving group. The Steelers had an unknown RB and the Pats dared the Steelers to run. Perhaps adjustments should have been made but from a strategic perspective attempting to limit damage done by the receivers seems like a good choice - and the Pats were largely successful at doing that. The lack of adjustments was the fault of the coaching staff but going into the game if you told me the Pats were going to get two interceptions, allow less than 250 yards passing and hold the Steelers to 17 points, it would have sounded like the recipe for a Pats win. I do think the Pats level of skill on the DL and LB units is not great but they did enough to win.

The Pats offense sucked in this game. They get my vote for game goat.
 

Captaincoop

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 16, 2005
8,574
Santa Monica, CA
1996: Pats go 11-5, 2 seed, everyone is thrilled
2001: Pats go 11-5, 2 seed, everyone is thrilled
2008: Pats lose Brady, go 11-5, everyone is pretty happy even though they got screwed by tiebreakers
2018: Pats may go 11-5, 2 or 3 seed, dynasty over!
Not singling you out, because I'm not even sure this was your intent, but why do people have trouble understanding that a fan base might be happy with 11-5 when the team hasn't been to the playoffs in a decade, or when it has a 24-year-old stud QB coming back, but not in the 2018 Patriot scenario?

The GOAT quarterback is 41 years old. 11-5 puts him in a brutally tough position to win another championship. That's why people aren't thrilled right now. Is this complicated?

Fans aren't required to be rational and aren't required to pretend the last two decades didn't happen. The whole point of being a fan is to be a little bit nuts.
 

Shelterdog

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Feb 19, 2002
11,191
New York City
I think the 2009 comparisons are apt in that they went on to revamp basically the entire offense aside from Brady as well as the entire defense over the next few years. 2010-2017 (and hopefully 2018) was a dominant a run as we have ever seen. The problem is we don't have 10 more years of Brady this go-round.

And I agree with others that I hope they go down fighting. Get to 11-5, maybe even get a bye. Get to the AFCCG and give someone a scare and maybe even steal the crown.

1996: Pats go 11-5, 2 seed, everyone is thrilled
2001: Pats go 11-5, 2 seed, everyone is thrilled
2008: Pats lose Brady, go 11-5, everyone is pretty happy even though they got screwed by tiebreakers
2018: Pats may go 11-5, 2 or 3 seed, dynasty over!
The thing that's so depressing about this team is not just that it's a down year, it's all that with the team getting older (Brady, Gronk, Hightower, Edelman, Chung, DMC) and the relative lack of success of recent drafts is that it's hard to see this team being a lot better in 2019 or 2020. Things can change a lot in two years--knock two drafts in a row out of the park and everything changes-- but the amount of good young talent under contract for the next couple of years is pretty low.
 

tims4wins

PN23's replacement
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
20,971
Hingham, MA
Not singling you out, because I'm not even sure this was your intent, but why do people have trouble understanding that a fan base might be happy with 11-5 when the team hasn't been to the playoffs in a decade, or when it has a 24-year-old stud QB coming back, but not in the 2018 Patriot scenario?

The GOAT quarterback is 41 years old. 11-5 puts him in a brutally tough position to win another championship. That's why people aren't thrilled right now. Is this complicated?

Fans aren't required to be rational and aren't required to pretend the last two decades didn't happen. The whole point of being a fan is to be a little bit nuts.
Yeah I was more framing how expectations change given time and circumstance. I get why everyone isn't completely thrilled. The Pats are not dominant and their SB odds are lower than we are used to. Just get in the dance and see what happens.

As I said to my dad, pretty much every single title winner has a moment in their season where it feels like the season is lost.
 

tims4wins

PN23's replacement
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
20,971
Hingham, MA
The thing that's so depressing about this team is not just that it's a down year, it's all that with the team getting older (Brady, Gronk, Hightower, Edelman, Chung, DMC) and the relative lack of success of recent drafts is that it's hard to see this team being a lot better in 2019 or 2020. Things can change a lot in two years--knock two drafts in a row out of the park and everything changes-- but the amount of good young talent under contract for the next couple of years is pretty low.
Yep, this is like 2009 redux but instead of 10 more years of Brady, we have like 2-3.
 

CoffeeNerdness

Member
SoSH Member
Jun 6, 2012
3,463
Hogan is like the 5th receiving option though behind Gordon, Edelman, Gronk, and White. I really don't think that's the issue.
Gotta disagree with this. He's the fifth option who takes nearly 100% of the offensive snaps so he's just a warm body out there. Watching around the NFL teams all over the place get production out of guys down low on the depth chart. Look no further than the huge catches last night by Rogers and Washington. Flukey TD aside Hogan can and should be replaced by someone who actually challenges defenses.

Also, if a guy like White dips in production someone else needs to step up. That person is not Chris Hogan.
 

ifmanis5

Member
SoSH Member
Sep 29, 2007
34,105
Rotten Apple
Fun fact from ESPN Stats: Has an NFL team ever won a Super Bowl going under .500 on the road during the regular season?

Answer:
Yes, the 2010 Packers who went 3-5.
 

Super Nomario

Member
SoSH Member
Nov 5, 2000
11,914
39
Mansfield MA
www.insidethepylon.com
Josh McD gets my game goat. The gameplan was a total mess yesterday - Far too many play-action, slow developing routes. Not enough patience in the running game - When you average over 5 ypc, maybe run the ball more than 19 times! Where's the creativity on offense? Maybe throw out some different looks with personnel groups like a 2-RB set with White and Michel? What happened to the Patterson-as-RB stuff which could develop some new wrinkles to play off tendencies? The team seemed shockingly ill prepared to deal with crowd noise and silent counts too. Just a disaster.
The problem with the run game is, like everything else with this team, it's inconsistent. So on the third drive, they ripped off a run for 5, then a run for 11 - good stuff. Then a run for 3 - not great. Then a run for 25 that got called back for an offensive hold. Now it's 2nd-and-17 that turns into 3rd-and-10 and Pittsburgh can pin their ears back and rush. Same thing happened repeatedly: first drive of the second half, run for 13, then 2 runs for 2 each, then a 3rd-and-6 (this was the Gordon drop) and it's a punt. Next drive (the FG drive) was the best running one but after five straight runs set up first and 10 on the 19, they ran twice to set up a 3rd-and-4 and that was the WR screen.

The problem with station-to-station football is you can't have the screw ups that the Patriots had yesterday. The margin of error is too small to have drops and penalties, and you have to pass-protect on 3rd down and the tackles had terrible games. The offense got a first down on 8 of their 9 drives yesterday, but not enough big plays and not enough sustained success.
 

reggiecleveland

sublime
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Mar 5, 2004
20,428
Saskatoon Canada
huskiehoops.com
Yep, this is like 2009 redux but instead of 10 more years of Brady, we have like 2-3.
Or none or one.

Bill Simmons wrote pre 2004 the Red Sox fans just wanted their team to be another team, without the baggage of the curse, while just being another team was the Yankee fans worst fear. PAts fans are in the "we may end up just a normal team" period.

In all honesty they are probably better than the Celtics and the Bruins. Both the Cs and Bs are teams we see having shot in the playoffs, that's is where the Pats are now.
 

lexrageorge

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 31, 2007
7,255
The main problem with the 2009 team wasn't the coaching; it was the talent level. Between a soft schedule, a couple of lucky bounces, and the talent of Welker, Moss, and Brady, the team was able to pull off 10 wins. But that team was the classic playoff fraud. The defense consisted of Wilfork, an emerging Jerod Mayo, and, .... absolute drek. The corpses of Derrick Burgess, Adalius Thomas, and Junior Seau all played meaningful minutes at linebacker that season, which is really all you need to know. .

There are, as noted, some apt comparisons. The defensive secondary is way better on this year's team (not a very high bar, admittedly, as the 2009 team couldn't cover anyone), and may even have a UFA keeper in JC Jackson. Biggest weakness there is that Chung and the McCourty twins are both getting up there and probably cannot be counted on much beyond this season. The front 7 is Flowers, the rapidly declining corpse of Hightower, and a bunch of JAGS. So it's relatively easy for opposing offenses to take Flowers out of the game without worry. And offensively this season does look like the final gasps from Gronk, Edelman, Hogan and crew.

While there have been coaching mistakes that are worth second guessing, focusing on those decisions IMO masks the fundamental problem, and that is the Pats are simply a rung or two below the elite teams in talent. And talent matters in the NFL.
 

8slim

Well-Known Member
Silver Supporter
SoSH Member
Nov 6, 2001
12,421
Unreal America
Visit site
Not singling you out, because I'm not even sure this was your intent, but why do people have trouble understanding that a fan base might be happy with 11-5 when the team hasn't been to the playoffs in a decade, or when it has a 24-year-old stud QB coming back, but not in the 2018 Patriot scenario?

The GOAT quarterback is 41 years old. 11-5 puts him in a brutally tough position to win another championship. That's why people aren't thrilled right now. Is this complicated?

Fans aren't required to be rational and aren't required to pretend the last two decades didn't happen. The whole point of being a fan is to be a little bit nuts.
Agreed. It's also possible for a fan to be incredibly appreciative and grateful for a near-two decade run of incredible success *AND* be disappointed by how things are transpiring this season. It's weird how some folks here want everything to be so binary.
 

PaulinMyrBch

Don't touch his dog food
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Dec 10, 2003
8,284
55
MYRTLE BEACH!!!!
Visit site
The ups, downs, and inconsistency wouldn't bother me if this was October or November. But its December and we're running out of time to improve and enter the playoffs on an uptick. So I think we've got some talent if they can put it all together and play their best, time is critical. Division games to finish the year, even against weak opponents, aren't always games where its easy to look super efficient. So verdict is out for me and we'll see how they look in a few weeks.
 

dcmissle

Deflatigator
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Aug 4, 2005
27,261
Fun fact from ESPN Stats: Has an NFL team ever won a Super Bowl going under .500 on the road during the regular season?

Answer:
Yes, the 2010 Packers who went 3-5.
That team had a preposterous injury situation as well.
 

lexrageorge

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 31, 2007
7,255
Belichick would never come out and say it. But wanting to keep Jimmy (knowing how expensive it would have been) is a sign that he probably wanted to start a transition.
I think it's accurate that we wanted to start a transition from Brady to JG, probably this season. I also think it's accurate to state that the once the salary cap implications became known, which happened once Don Yee made it clear to Kraft that (a) Garappolo wasn't going to take a "hometown discount"; and (b) Brady wasn't willing to restructure in the way the Pats would have needed him to in order to franchise JG, the transition plans had to be scrapped. At that point, there was no workaround that didn't involve totally gutting the roster.
 

RedOctober3829

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 19, 2005
38,111
36
deep inside Guido territory
Visit site
The thing that's so depressing about this team is not just that it's a down year, it's all that with the team getting older (Brady, Gronk, Hightower, Edelman, Chung, DMC) and the relative lack of success of recent drafts is that it's hard to see this team being a lot better in 2019 or 2020. Things can change a lot in two years--knock two drafts in a row out of the park and everything changes-- but the amount of good young talent under contract for the next couple of years is pretty low.
There is going to be significant change in the roster this offseason. There's decisions to make on a number of guys that carry big cap numbers such as Gronkowski, McCourty, Hightower, and Dwayne Allen. All 4 players can be cut or traded and net a cap savings of around $40 million.