Monday, December 07, 2009
ROAD KILL... AGAIN
The Patriots haven't won in any place that didn't have "England" in its name. Their only "road" win came against the Buccaneers in London. The Patriots have traveled to and lost in Miami, Denver, New York, Indianapolis, and New Orleans.
In another extension of season long themes, the Patriots struggled in the Red Zone.
I'm hearing some people criticize the defense. I've been hearing it for weeks. And I'll concede that the Patriots don't have a "championship defense." That is, their defensive unit isn't going to smother an opponent, keep them under 20 points, and allow for the Patriots to win with field goals.
This travesty, and others like it, are the offense's fault. In the 4th quarter, the Patriots had 4 possessions. Two of them were 3 and outs, two of them ended with interceptions. The inability to run the ball with a lead in the 4th is an inexcusable liability. And Brady in the Red Zone is becoming a joke.
I don't want to see Laurence Maroney in a Patriot uniform again. Period. He sucks. He's so inconsistent, so unreliable. The running game is supposed to be the conservative foundation of an offense. The Patriots don't need a 1,000 yard rusher. They don't need Adrian Peterson or Cedric Benson. They don't need a show horse, they need a mule. Someone to CONSISTENTLY get 3 yards, maybe 4. Someone to make 3rd downs a manageable 5 yards. Maroney belongs on "Dancing With the Stars," not the Patriots roster.
Then there's Brady. I can't let him off the hook. He's forcing it. He isn't smooth, he isn't confident. Is it residue from the leg injury? Is it a lack of faith in the offense? Is it the single-dimensionality of Randy Moss? Is it the lack of the running game? It's all of the above. But it's his fault more than anything. Red Zone interceptions are a cardinal sin, and he's thrown two already this season.
It's time to make a move on Charlie Weis. Offer him $3 million, his own twinkie factory, anything. Weis or someone who can design a creative, aggressive, and UNPREDICTABLE offense. Opponents know what the Pats are doing before they do it. In the NFL, that's an unassailable advantage. It's like playing poker with a marked deck.
The Panthers come to town on Sunday, in what is sadly a must-win for the Pats, who lead the AFC East by a mere game.