Well of there’s one thing clear that I now do know after today’s loss by the New England Patriots to the New York Jets. It’s that the Patriots are ….‘ who I thought they were’ . And mark my words but there’s no doubt about it but Mark Sanchez is a star in the making within the NFL . This player has all the traits necessary to be an instant success within the league. And not only that but he possesses a great deal of maturity and leadership qualities not found in veterans who’ve played within the league, a great deal longer than Sanchez.
Now to say that the Patriots underachieved today would be to put things mildly. They were outplayed in almost every facet of the game. And as much as it pains me to say this ‘…. they deserved to lose’ !. The Jets were the better team on the day and it most certainly showed. The result was a 16-9 loss, that was clouded by missed opportunities by the Patriots. And an out of sync Tom Brady with his receivers and in particular with the once fleet of foot Joey Galloway. And having watched Galloway today, I’d say that the seasoned veteran has lost more than a step or two. Were he to be involved in a foot race with Rue McClanahan , formerly the actress, who played Blanche Devereaux on the sitcom ‘The Golden Girls’. I’m not inclined to believe that Galloway would in-fact end up winning that particular battle.
And what was even more self evident with this loss was the fact that the Patriots’ offensive line is nowhere near as good as it ought to be. Time and time again they would crumble under the blitz defense of the New York Jets. And in many ways it looked like he Greeks laying siege to the city of Troy. The only thing here, was that there was no Trojan horse. Only the Jets’ blistering pace of their defense. They hurried and pestered Brady so much so , that when he came out of the pocket he resembled a ballet dancer who’d lost his footing and couldn’t remember whether or not he had to plie’ or jete` pas . But enough with the ballet lessons as it certainly wouldn’t have helped Brady to begin with.
Jets’ coach, Rex Ryan , had to have been pleased by what he saw from his team on game day. They executed well and didn’t wilt under any perceived pressure proffered by the Patriots -real, or otherwise. They steadily took the Patriots out of their game and continued to play theirs. And in-front of a sold out raucous crowd . Who in large part made their voices be heard by drowning out anything that the Patriots’ fans might have to offer.
Randy Moss (81) of the New England Patriots attempts a catch while mid-air. He’s defended by the Jets’ Kerry Rhodes (25) and Jim Leonard (36) during the play. The Jets would go on to defeat the Patriots 16-9 and now sit atop of the AFC East with a 2-0 record. The Patriots sit in second place with a 1-1 mark. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/Kathy Willens ……..
And after this defeat Patriots’ coach Bill Belichick remains as stoic as ever. Seemingly, a man who rarely shows his emotions on or off camera. I’ve joked with my friends that he is in-fact ‘Beelzebub’s child’ . Love him or hate him ,you can but only admire the man’s accomplishments as a coach. And as an avowed Pats’ fan, while I’ve at times questioned Belichick’s ways of doing things . I cannot complain with the end results. But now I’ve really got to question the fact why it was that Galloway was brought in to this team ? Granted , he was seen as the Buccaneers’ number one receiver before they released him so abruptly. But who’d have considered the Tampa Bay Buccaneers an offensive threat to begin with ? That team moves the ball much like a geriatric has a bowel movement. It’s slow and almost just as painful to watch. What they lack in creativity they more than make up with -in boredom. Such has been the offensive wizardry of the Buccaneers.
And while the Patriots’ defense has still to find its stride . It has become troubling to see it struggle as a unit. Albeit , that there are several new young members on the defensive unit. The loss of Richard Seymour , notwithstanding. Again, a move that I am now beginning to question even if we now have Derrick Burgess , there as a ready made replacement for Seymour. For me , Seymour was the cog that held things together on the defense side and his leadership abilities were unquestioned. The same cannot be said of Burgess as he’s yet to show any at this juncture. But given time then it’s hoped that he’ll be able to do so.
OK , so the Pats are now (1-1) within the AFC East. A division, where as of late they’ve made it their own personal fiefdom. Ruling with unbowed authority and wielding its presence almost at will. Things may well be changing, as we’ll no doubt continue to see the rise of the Jets within the division. Albeit , that I won’t for one moment would discredit the other teams within the division. The Buffalo Bills and the Miami Dolphins may well like to have a say on those very proceedings. But as it now stands the division is the Patriots for the taking should they still possess the will to make it theirs. But based on today’s evidence if they continue to play like this against the other teams on their regular season schedule. There’ll be nothing there for the taking at the end of the day.
As a fan of the team for the better part of over fifteen years I’ve come to think of the Patriots as one of the very few things that I can admire with a great deal of joy when it comes to sports. I’ll continue to support them …..come what may . And I won’t at all not be critical when I feel it justified. As that is a fan’s right no matter what others may well think. Unfortunately , out there in this day and age are some fans who only feel it right support their team unequivocally without so much as a word of criticism. To my mind, that’s not a fan but merely a person purporting to be one. You’ve got to be passionate about your team but you’ve also got to be fair and look for answers to the questions you no doubt want to pose when things aren’t going right for your team. After-all isn’t that what a fan is meant to be about ?
The NFL season may well only be but two weeks old. And still young in its infancy but what are you hoping for as to how your team will fare ? Good , bad or different we all want to see our teams do well , come what may. So at this juncture , I wish you and your team well !
For myself , I’ll be looking for the Patriots to raise the level of their play and for Galloway , included, to show me that he still has what it takes to play in the NFL . Father Time may well be catching up with him. But I’m sure that while that clock is ticking , Joey Galloway can still make the necessary catches and run the routes assigned in order to make him and this team a whole lot better. If not then this team could well be in for something of a harrowing time. But I’d like to think that’s a worse case scenario at this point !