The Patriots are on the decline. There’s no question about that now. I pooh-poohed people Bill Simmons earlier this year for calling them DOA after the Indy loss, but I stand by that. Simmons and his ilk fed us the Patriots as “winners when it matters” for the last decade, but called the dynasty kaput over a matter of a couple inches in Indianapolis. To suggest that 4th-and-2 had anything to do with what happened today was ludicrous. Maybe the plays preceding 4th-and-2, but not the event itself.
Randy Moss probably has to go. I’m drawing some parallel with Gisele here. Tom Brady finds a tall, lanky, good-looking friend. Tom Brady is enamored to the point of supplicance. Moss certainly appears to dog it from time to time out there, and Brady doesn’t seem to raise word one with him. Every time they talk, it’s a pep talk or they’re trying to speak some superstar language. That ain’t going to win you ballgames when a team’s got as many holes as this one. Put another way: that, in itself, probably has no bearing on much. But take away the time from Brady trying to fix the little problems with the offense, and that’s time wasted. As is becoming clear, there’s not much time left.
It seems like Brady and Moss are on one island, and the rest of the offense is somewhere else, particularly the offensive line. The defense played like crap today, and that’ll happen. It just hasn’t happened to us in such a big game in awhile. The defense was pretty good in the Super Bowl two years ago, but not anymore.
The Patriots now remind me of those late nineties 49ers teams that raged against the dying of the light with increasingly futile playoff campaigns. The magic could show up for any single game, but never stuck around to get them what they really wanted, which was another title. There were too many teams that were just younger and hungrier, despite their best efforts.
I got a Facebook message after the game consoling me. I don’t know what I have to be sad about. If this is the end, I can’t say I didn’t get everything I ever wanted, and more.