Buccs 14 Pats 19
Ok, stop, just stop for a minute. If one more person tells me, “hey the Pats won on Thursday”, “Belichick has turned the defense around” I might actually explode. Did any of you watch the game? I did, and I didn’t see winning football, I saw lucky football. Or, more accurately I saw a team that was defeated by its own kicker. The Patriots don’t usually flirt with luck in this manner but that’s 2 out of 3 wins this season that came down to luck.
Against the Texans it was a late heave to Cooks in the Endzone (great catch and ability to keep the feet in bounds) that scored the winning points, but it was only luck that meant Bill O’Brien mismanaged the clock to the point where his squad couldn’t get into range for a FG attempt. That’s not “Winning football” that’s “Lucky football”. Then on TNF against the Buccs the game was decided not by Tom Brady posting his 4th consecutive 300 yard game, doing so without Gronk to boot, but rather, by a kicker who played horribly, shanking attempts from 56 (ok that’s a long way), 49 and 31 yards. Any 2 of those being completed would’ve won the game.
The defense as a whole still conceded 334 passing yards to Jamis Winston who did’nt play well at all, (26-46 1 TD), and let the returning Doug Martin gash them for 74 yards and a TD on the ground. This didn’t feel like a team that had improved a lot, in fact it felt like the same team Ive seen for the first 4 games of the season. A potential interception was dropped and several big tackles were not completed and subsequently became big gains on 1st or 2nd down. Whatever happened to “do your job”? Im seeing it on the offense, Amendola has filled Edelmans shoes with no problem and Hogan continues to be Gronk 2.0 when called upon, even the committee at RB has had some life in it, Dion Lewis looking good this week after being quiet so far. The same old problem of conceding big gains over the secondary reared its ugly head as DeSean Jackson came to the Buccs party and ripped of 100 yards on 5 catches, including a 40-yard grab and run where he seemed to be invisible to the secondary players and once he was spotted he was twice as fast as anyone pursuing him. Plays like that got N.E beaten by the Chiefs and the panthers and will see more defeats pile up if they are not eliminated.
Ok, deep breath, its 3-2 on the season and after Sundays games a possible share of first place in the Division, Brady has been superb throughout, and the offense in general is more than good enough. I should be positive about it all really right? well it hardly looks impressive from a team that were the consensus pick for SuperBowl no. 6 before the season began. Im telling you, nothing is fixed yet, and lady luck doesn’t smile on anyone for long.