DO YOUR JOB
An Account of the 2022 New England Patriots Season
Previous Entries The stupid mistakes have piled up and are beyond repair as we head into the last few weeks of the season. PIC: Dave Silverman/New England Patriots
Look no further than Bill Belichick's comments in the Allegiant Stadium press room if you need a sense of the frustration in the Pats' locker room right now.
On the very last play of the game, Jakobi Meyers' brutal mistake turned into the 7th loss of the year for the Patriots, as they fell 30-24 in Vegas on Sunday night. Simply put, the last play (we'll get there) didn't even matter. As Devin McCourty said after the game, "we didn't make enough good plays to win the game...too many bad plays."
He also said "back to the drawing board, we're not out of it." While mathematically he's correct, it surely feels like this team is losing its identity with every waking moment.
To not bury the lede, let's get into it.
The play dubbed "The Sin City Miracle"
Scene set: the score is tied at 24. The Pats aren't really making any forward progress. With 3 seconds left, the Raiders dropped into prevent defense, aiming to curb the Pats from airing it out for a game-winning Hail Mary. According to David Andrews, "the call was a draw...a handoff." And sure enough, it was a handoff to Rhamondre Stevenson - who was able to expose the holes up front for the first ten yards or so. When he reached the first defender, he looked behind him...and tossed it back to Jakobi Meyers.
Meyers, in a scramble, decides he's going to throw it all the way back to Mac Jones, who was open and ready to receive the football.
Or, he thought, anyway.
Instead, it's picked off by former Patriot Chandler Jones. He makes the catch, trucks Mac Jones, and takes it all the way back from around midfield to the end zone. The Raiders came home with the victory.
First of all, I'm sick of the apathetic "you'll have to ask coach about the play" responses from everyone on the offense. A simple question of "was a lateral ever an option?" were dodged. Sure, the responses were consistent, but it's astonishing how there is no offensive accountability for a professional team.
Meyers, who was thrusted into the public eye, was the only one to raise his hand for the egregious mistake. I was happy he owned up, but this loss was certainly not all on that final play/just this screw-up. There was lots more to be dissatisfied about.
The coaching staff is (still) on another planet
If you're new here, welcome. We are extremely anti-Matt Patricia in this place. And it's for good reason...as Bill Simmons eloquently tweeted today.
We know the drill - the WR screens on third and long, the refusal to play in four-down territory even when analytics call for it, and the over-reliance on the run. How is Matt Patricia, who had one of the worst head coaching records ever in Detroit, allowed to call the offensive plays? I hate to say it, but this scenario alone is what's making me question Bill's aptitude without Tom Brady. There's part of me that believes Bill is actually proud of what he's doing with Patricia on the sideline. There's no way that's gonna fly by Pats Nation.
This video was from last week, but it applies here. Matt Patricia was flat-out waved off by Mac Jones. Think this is the guy you want your second-year quarterback learning from? My gut tells me no.
The refs don't get a free pass, either
This was ruled a touchdown for Keelan Cole, which tied it up at 24. I'm all in favor of calling the touchdown and then reviewing it to make sure it was the correct call. But, was that the right call after all? It sure looks like his foot was out of bounds when he made the catch.
Here's the excerpt from the pool report that Mike Reiss conducted with Walt Anderson, the NFL's SVP of Officiating, after the game.
Question: How did you determine that was a touchdown catch by Keelan Cole in the fourth quarter?
Anderson: "The ruling on the field was a touchdown."
Question: In replay review, it appeared the receiver's left foot was on the white. Was that not visible in replay?
Anderson: "We looked at every available angle and it was not clear and obvious that the foot was on the white. It was very tight, very close. There was no shot that we could see – we even enhanced and blew up the views that we had. There was nothing that was clear and obvious that his foot was touching the white."
Question: Did you have a down the sideline angle to aid you in your review?
Anderson: "No, we did not. Probably the best view was what we term a 'high end zone' view. TV gave us the most enhanced view that they had as well. We blew it up and I believe TV blew it up and there was nothing that was clear and obvious either way. Had the ruling on the field been incomplete, we would not have been able to change that either."
Can't blame the refs, but can certainly suggest they didn't do a thorough enough job.
Take it from Edelman
There's only one person we need a reaction from - America's favorite two-way player, Julian Edelman. He was in Vegas watching as this offense collapsed. And finally, he had the courage to say what we were all thinking. Can't say I blame him.