Tuesday, December 01, 2009
Laurence Maroney and Sam Aiken were the best two Patriots on the field. That pretty much summarizes the game.
It started off well for New England. Maroney was running the ball with a fire that we haven't seen since his split carries with Corey Dillon. And the defense held New Orleans to 3 points in their first 2 offensive series.
Welker returned a punt for 41 yards, and the Pats were in perfect position to go up 14-3. Then Brady threw an awful, inexcusable, garbage interception. We didn't know it then, but we know now, the game ended right there.
Brady was awful. What's worse is that his ineptitude was often unforced. The Saints defense did a good job of pressuring him in the 2nd half, but they were forced to defend the run in the 1st. The Saints secondary played well, but Brady made them look much better. Brady's first INT looked like something out of a Mark Sanchez highlight reel. And his second was pure Jake Delhomme.
Brady missed open receivers. He threw balls too low, too high, underthrew, overthrew, didn't lead Moss or Welker for those valuable YACs. It was one of the worst games I've seen from him in years.
The Patriots' defense wasn't inspiring either, but that's what we expected. The Saints came into this game averaging 36.1 points, and they put up 38. Brees and the Saints receivers adjusted to what the Patriots were doing. Brees was also the most accurate I've ever seen a quarterback be. The young and small Pats' secondary had no chance. The defensive front also failed to put any pressure on Brees.
As a Patriots fan, the loss itself didn't hurt much. The Saints are better, plain and simple. But this defeat does make the losses to the Jets, Broncos, and Colts sting even more. The Patriots can't afford to lose to Miami next weekend. And could you imagine had the Dolphins not shit the bed in Buffalo Sunday? This upcoming game would be for the division. That's sad.
There's no magic solution to the Patriots woes. Brady has to play better. There's no or plot or plan to make that happen. The DBs have to tackle better. There's no ploy or scheme to ensure that.
And although he had a great game, I'm gonna rip Laurence Maroney. After he fumbled the ball, he was a completely different player. The way he turtled when he saw Vilma coming at him was just pathetic.
And I'm tired of Ron Jaworski giggling after EVERYTHING Jon Gruden says.
Patriots @ Dolphins Sunday at 1.