By: Ian Logue
It’s definitely not a good sign when your left tackle ends up on your back during a sack.
When head coach Bill Belichick hit the podium following Sunday’s 24-23 loss to the Seahawks, he wasn’t really full of any answers.
He’s probably wondering how his team had this game well in hand and once again couldn’t deliver the knock out blow, which seems to be their biggest problem recently. He’s probably going to spend the flight back to New England reliving the fact his secondary failed to do the one thing that had been a hallmark of this defense, and that was as bad as they’ve been, giving up big plays was the one thing we hadn’t really seen them do.
That wasn’t the case on Sunday. They gave up passes of 50, 51, and 46 yards, the latter of which was a reception for the game winning touchdown.
Obviously as he’s said many times, “that’s not what we’re looking for”. As he met with reporters he looked completely exasperated and frustrated, and basically said it was just “one of those days”.
“Well, today’s one of those days where we just didn’t do enough things well enough,” said Belichick, who saw his team fall back to .500 heading into next week’s showdown with the Jets. “We had a lot of chances and just all the way across the board…everybody involved in the game just none of us did a good enough job. The result was what it was. Just not good enough.”
Tom Brady will probably be thinking about Sunday’s loss for quite a while because of how it played out. (FILE:USPresswire)
One of the biggest discussions after it was over was the decision to go for one more play instead of settling for a field goal at the end of the first half. On that series they had made their way all the way down to the Seahawks 3 yard line, which seemed to put them in position to extend their 17-10 lead right before the half.
Following an incompletion on 2nd down to Rob Gronkowski they found themselves with six seconds left with the choice to try one more play or settle for a field goal. They opted for one more play, but Brady ended up under pressure and made a bad decision to throw the football where there weren’t any eligible receivers.
The result was an “intentional grounding penalty”, and a 10 second run off. Since there was only one second left on the clock that eliminated the opportunity to run another play, and Seattle escaped into the locker room with what ended up being one of many opportunities that they shouldn’t have been given.
When asked why they didn’t just settle for the field goal, Belichick seemed a little irritated and replied that, “We were trying to score.”
Brady later took full responsibility for that play after it was over, because there was obviously no way the coaching staff could have expected him to make that mistake.
“Sure, yeah, I mean that’s my responsibility to care of the football and do something good with it,” said Brady. “When the play comes in from the sidelines, certainly they’re not thinking that we were going to have intentional grounding. They trust me to be smart with the ball and to get three at worst. And I just made a bad play.”
He made two more uncharacteristic bad plays on back-to-back drives in the second half with two interceptions. The first one didn’t cost them, but the second one was brutal because it ruined a scoring opportunity after Brady was picked off in the endzone on a 3rd and 1 from Seattle’s 6-yard line.
Once again they were left with another red zone trip without any points. They caught a break when Jerod Mayo got the football back after forcing a fumble on the ensuing drive, and the Patriots at least capitalized from it with a field goal.
Games like these are becoming a little too familiar. Once is considered a fluke, another could even be called a coincidence. But beyond that it’s called a trend and now we’re even at the point where you can call it a problem.
How it’s going to be solved remains to be seen. Other than “playing better” and “coaching better”, there doesn’t seem to be another explanation from either Brady or Belichick at this point. Both appear to be frustrated and neither seems to know how to come up with a long-term fix.
They’ll get to spend six hours on a plane thinking about it and then have to turn around and get ready for a difficult battle Sunday against the Jets. That game will likely be another tough one, and with New England nearing the halfway point in the season it’s tough to feel overly confident about the direction they’re heading in.
In the end unfortunately Sunday’s loss just simply comes down to the plays they didn’t and aren’t making and as Belichick said, once again, “it just wasn’t good enough”.
“Nothing we did today was good enough,” said Belichick. “On offense, defense, special teams, coaches, players, everybody involved in the game. It just wasn’t good enough. We all made mistakes.
“We had our chances, we just didn’t do a good enough job.”