All I've heard this week on Boston sports radio, besides Tony Massarotti being short of breath (no surprise), is most people's opinion on the Patriots lose last week in the AFC Championship Game to the Denver Broncos. Now, the expression "beating a dead horse", need not apply here. I think "St. Sunday Day Massacre", is more fitting.
Inability to possess the football late in the game, was all to similar between the Ravens defeat in 2013 and last weeks lose; which is ironic considering the Patriots were on the ground and pound kick for the last several weeks. Well that went out the window against the Broncos. The Patriots seemed discombobulated in that ever dangerous mile high air. The fact that all three running backs for the patriots had a total of 57 rushing yards (gazette.com/Colorado Springs), sums up their afternoon in a nut shell. If you can't keep Peyton Manning off the field you're doomed. I think a little bit of Brady was lost on Sunday in Denver, I think Brady's armor is truly starting to crumble. Since his knee injury verse the Chiefs he's lost some of his enigma, the enigma that he's untouchable. I think the changing of the tide in the quarterback stall is coming to ahead.
Defense wins championships, that's what they say and it's hard to argue that, considering last years winner the Ravens have been known for tenacious defensive units for a decade. The Patriots have lost their way on the defensive side of the ball. That 2001 New England team that helped create, "the place that Kraft built" (Patriots Place) was a hard nosed, fundamentally sound defense. They understood the art of jamming a receiver and sound tackling to not allow yards after the catch. Now I understand completely that 2001 team was a special one. You expect, "Lord Bill" as most view him around this region, to master mind a defensive scheme, regardless of injury. He did an admirable job considering he lost his two defensive stalwarts in the middle, (Wilfork, Mayo). Still it seemed like the patriots were giving the Denver receivers that four yard dump off or that twelve yard in route over the linebackers in zone and that was Denver's plan. Lull them with short productive gains and let Peyton pick you apart on third and short to continue the drive. This up coming draft in May needs to address a lot of questions. For the fans of Foxborough, I hope they address the right ones.