Monday, September 22, 2008


The worst part of the the 38-13 thrashing the Dolphins gave the Patriots in front of the Patriots own home crowd was that Matt Cassel's play was the least of the team's troubles. As Bill Belichick noted in his post-game press conference, the Pats were outcoached and outplayed on both offense and defense. (Ever the one for dry comments, Belichick also noted that the Pats looked good in the kicking game.)

It was just plain ugly on all fronts and it wasn't because of the absence of Tom Brady. Brady wouldn't have helped againast the Dolphins bizarre spread formation direct snaps to Ronnie Brown, with which the Dolphins scored four of their touchdowns. Brady wouldn't have helped with Chad Pennington picked the Patriots apart all afternoon, completing 17 of 20 passes for 226 yards. Brady wouldn't have helped againast a Dolphins rushing attack that saw Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams rush a combined 33 times for 211 yards.

Sure, Tom Brady would have helped the Pats put up a few more points, but once again, don't let Brady's absence hide the laundry list of problems this team has. The offensive line continues to struggle, giving up 4 more sacks. So far, through 3 games, the line has given up 10 sacks, after giving up only 21 all of last season. And on a day when the rushing game was desperately needed, Sammy Morris and LaMont Jordan combined for 15 carries for only 47 yards.

This was the Patriots worse loss since their infamous 31-0 loss to Buffalo at the start of 2003. It was the first time since 1999- before Brady and before Belichick- that the Patriots trailed by 15 points at halftime. There's no need to talk about Matt Cassel because if the rest of the team continues to play the way it played againast the Dolphins, we'll be talking about record breaking losing streaks, not record breaking winning streaks. The loss sucks, but more disturbing was how it happened, getting outgained 461 to 216 and embarrassed at home. The bye's coming up next week, but Belichick better find a way to fix this team in a hurry. And for all the Brady haters out there, don't forget ... his legend grows with each loss the Pats take this season.


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