Monday, November 16, 2009

Blame the D, Not the Coach

I said the game was over when the Patriots didn't convert on 3rd Down of their final drive. I didn't think they'd go for it on 4th down. I probably wouldn't have done it myself, but that's why I love Belichick. He sees the same thing I have seen for 3 years, a substandard defense. He didn't trust his defense to win the game for him. Would you? The Patriots are 35-10 in their last 45 regular season and post season games, starting with the 2006 AFC Championship Game against the Colts. Of those 10 losses, the defense was on the field for the final series in five of those losses. In each of those games, not only was the defense on the field for the final possession of the game, but the game was either tied or the Pats had the lead. Starting with that AFC title game the Patriots led by 3 with 3:53 to go and allowed the Colts to go 80 yards on 7 plays in 2:36. In Super Bowl 42 the Patriots offense left the defense with a 14-10 lead and 83 yards of field to protect with 2:42 remaining. The Giants went 83 yards on 12 plays in 2:07 to win the Lombardi trophy. Last year the Pats "D" allowed the Jets to score in OT after they won the coin flip. This year the Pats not only allowed Denver to score on the first drive in OT in Week 5, they allowed a 98 yard drive by Kyle Orton to tie the game at 17. Any reason to trust the defense yet?Then there was last night's game. And don't forget on Week 4 that Baltimore receiver Mark Clayton dropped a pass deep in Patriots territory that would have been a sure first down late in the 4th Quarter, with a game winning drive inevitable. The Patriots also allowed Buffalo to score on their final offensive possession in Week 1. Only a fumble by kick returner Leotis McKelvin saved the Patriots bacon.

Are these examples not enough for people to realize that Belichick made the right move trusting the game to his Hall of Fame QB and offense, and not a week defense. In response to you Rodney Harrison and your ill-advised, maybe if you actually made the play you should have made on David Tyree in the Super Bowl, Coach Belichick wouldn't worry about whether his defense can make stops at the most important times. Tell NBC to add a mirror to your wardrobe on Sunday nights. Maybe then you'll realize why Belichick didn't have faith in his defense. Let's look at the facts Pats fans, and stop looking for the easiest answers. The Patriots have nobody on D that makes plays or presents any matchup problems for opposing offenses. Kudos to Belichick for not worrying about players' feelings, and taking a risk to win an important game.