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Idle thoughts – The confessions of a fair-weather Pats fan

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by patfanken, Dec 19, 2012.

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  1. patfanken

    patfanken Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    #91 Jersey

    This goes back away, even before last night. All the way back to 2001 when on a snowy night, I shut off the TV In disgust seconds after Rod Woodson's hit separated Brady from the ball, seemingly sealing the Pats playoff fate. I had never heard of the “tuck rule” let alone knew the nuances of it. So I, instead, went to my computer., and logged on to the KFFL Raiders page to grudgingly congratulate them on a game well played. It was there I saw, “I had been mistaken”. By the time I got the TV back on, Brady had scored, and the Pats had the ball back.....and we all know the rest of that story.

    I severely berated myself for my lack of faith and faint-hardheartedness, and promised never to do something like that again. And for the most part, for the next 10 years, whenever I have watched a Patriots game, I have watched it all, regardless of the results. I watched every play of the 2003 opening game in Buffalo. I watched every play of the playoff loss to the Jets. I have persevered.....UNTIL Sunday night.

    The first time I turned the set off was after Gore scored on the fumble recovery. The combination of the fumble. the return, and the score off the broken play proved too much for my already shattered constitution. By the time I checked in again, it was worse 31-3. I had had enough. Its fun to watch the Pats put it on other teams, I wasn't going to watch it happen to the Pats. I shut it off thinking that “this is how the other guys must feel"

    Later I turned it back on for just a second just to see how bad it had gotten, and caught the tail end of the Ninko sack. Why was the crowd going nuts. We aren't the kind of fans that go nuts even on a good play for us, when we are on the wrong side of a blowout. THEN I spotted the score 31-24. How the F did THAT happen?

    Of course, I watched the end. The thrilling tying drive. The painful Niner response. And the flawed attempts to retie the game. I had failed in my fandom. My team had had the mental toughness to nearly pull off a historic comeback, against all odds and common sense, but I, who merely was charged with rooting for his team even when things are going badly, failed to show that same mental toughness. I am ashamed.

    OK – Now that I have that off my chest, I still have some observations from what I did see, and a few from what I can infer from the stats. As usual I hope I'm not too redundant, .

    1. The loss was painful of course. But given the level of the comeback AND the defense we did it against., I'm sure we can find a lot of positives to fall back on. What we can't get back is the fact that we will playing on “wildcard weekend”, and will probably have to win playoff games in Denver and Houston to get to the superbowl. That is NOT good. It will take great mental toughness to pull that off. BUT isn't that the most important thing we found out about this team on Sunday. That they have great mental toughness. (unlike some fans I know)

    2. In a game were it was clear that a great defense had decided to shut down Welker and Hernandez by doubling them, we learned 2 key things. Doubling won't stop Hernandez. I think there are just too may ways the Pats can deploy him, for teams to shut him out. Secondly, if you choose to use that strategy, Brandon Lloyd can come up big.

    3. Its hard to believe that a guy who was getting killed both in the media and by the fans just 3 weeks ago for being a fraud, is now very likely to amass 1000 receiving yards despite being the 3rd option most of the time.

    4. With 4 turnovers, and what seemed to be a massive amount of penalties, all at the wrong time, it seemed, a lot of the Niner's success were gifts from us. Think about it. Over the last few years, the thought that the Pats defense would hold a team to just 216 passing yards was only a hopeful dream. Its hard to compute that that's what we did and it led to 41 points. :eek:

    5. Given the lack of offense in the first half, combined with the horrible situations they were presented with, after that first drive, I thought the defense played pretty well. I know that's not what you would normally say after someone has scored 41 points against you, but I can't help it. The defense stopped the Niners 9 times in 14 3rd down attempts.

    6. Dennard made 3 rookie mistakes in that first half alone that I saw and was going to comment on in detail had I not bailed on the team. Parcells (may he rot in hell), wisely said that if you have to start rookies, they are eventually going to cost you a game. By half time it looked like this was going to be the game for Dennard That being said, it really hurt the Pats when he got hurt. It weakened us in 2 spots, because Arrington keeps proving he doesn't belong on the outside, and conversely, not having him in the slot, weakened that area. I'm happy to hear that his injury doesn't look to be long term. It did when it happened.

    7. Donte Hightower's stock is rising. Chandler Jones' is falling. For the first time I was seeing Hightower make some of the “sudden”plays that showed up in his draft highlight reel, that had us so excited, and made us all feel that HE would be the rookie most likely to make the big first impression. And while I only ended up watching two thirds of the game, I can't remember any plays that Jones stood out on.

    Has he hit the rookie wall? Is his ankle still limiting his effectiveness? Whatever it is, he might still be playing decently, but he certainly isn't being the impactful player he was in the first half of the season. We are going to need him to get back to that level of play for the playoffs,.especially since it looks like we will have to win 2 road games to get to the superbowl.

    8. I don't think that the Niner would want to play us again in the Superbowl, especially with Gronk on board. That 2nd half had to have been a rude awakening for them, ,and what looked to be a dominant defense

    9. Can't say enough about our coaching staff. Not only did they keep those guys playing hard, they managed to make enough effective adjustments to allow the Pats to score 28 unanswered points on that great defense

    10. What is even more impressive about that 28 point comeback is that, as far as I can gather, none of those scoring drives were defensive gimmes (I could be wrong on that since.....I chose to miss most of it :eek:)

    11. The bad news: the OL, and in particular Nate Solder, almost got Brady killed in the first half, and led to the most ineffective offense output of the year.....by far. The good news: the OL recovered enough so that they probably generated the most passing yards this season in just a half and led to 31 points in about a quarter and a half

    12. I will remind people that contrary to common wisdom,. Steven Ridley only fumbled ONE time last night. That's not a good thing by any means, but by what you hear in the media he fumbled twice. Here is a clue. RB's fumble the ball. Don't forget that Ridley and BJGE now have the same number of fumbles this season. This team turns the ball over SO infrequently, we've become spoiled to this reality. If Ridley has a fumbling problem, then ALL RB's have fumbling problems. It happens folks. Do what you can to minimize it, but you can't stop it. It would be wrong to limit his snaps going forward.

    13. SF has a very good team, and its easier to see why Harbaugh has gone to Kaepernick. He did a very good job on Sunday, but the Pats gave him a lot of help. It seemed like every nightmare scenario a fan could conger up, happened in the first 35 minutes of that ballgame. Fumbles, interceptions, bad penalties we did it all. Think about it. SF punted 5 times, and the Pats got at LEAST 3 holding calls on those punts, maybe 4. When has that ever happened. How many time did the Pats have to start drives inside their 10. So many self inflicted wounds

    14. One very positive observation. The Niner were reportedly a very "physical" team. I think the Pats banged with them every step of the way. The Pats weren't out hit, and I think that bodes well for the future.

    15. Hopes for the last 2 games.

    a. Wins of course
    b. Health
    c. 60 snaps for Gronk
    d. a resurgence of sorts for Jones
    e. watching Mallet get to play at least half

    16. It is a pleasure to continue to watch the Jet be the running joke of the league. Never has a team that was still in playoff contention in the 15th week of the seen, been more debased and derided. KC and the Jags are bad teams, but they aren't subject to the kind of ridicule and scorn the Jets are getting NATIONWIDE.....and no franchise deserves it more. Talk about self inflicted wounds. The Jets are leading the league in them.

    So agan, mea culpa, mea culpa, maxima mea cupla (I may be Jewish, but I did learn something all those years I coached in the Catholic Conference). Sunday can't come soon enough.
     
  2. ALP

    ALP Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

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    Very nicely done, and maybe this game will keep u from turning away for another decade
     
  3. DocHoliday

    DocHoliday In the Starting Line-Up

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    I turned it off after 31-3 but am happy to report I turned it back on before Brady led the first touchdown drive. I think that lets me keep some pride ;)
     
  4. Joker

    Joker PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    This goes back away, even before last night. All the way back to 2001 when on a snowy night, I shut off the TV In disgust seconds after Rod Woodson's hit separated Brady from the ball, seemingly sealing the Pats playoff fate.

    Rod Woodson??...try Charles Woodson, ding dong fanken....
     
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2012
  5. PATS16N0

    PATS16N0 In the Starting Line-Up

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    #12 Jersey

    Wow. Too bad, man.

    I don't think I've missed a regular season or play off game since the late 90's and this was one I'll never forget. I just didn't doubt this team, even at 31-3. Once I saw Brady get that look in his eye after the first touchdown I knew something was coming and then the Patriot offense just went on a march.
    Chris Collinsworth was really rooting for us, you could tell. I used to hate the man after some of the Spygate stuff he said but Brady has really won the man over.

    It was definitely my `favorite` loss of all time. As soon as Tom started breathing fire I couldn't even sit down. Spent the entire 3rd and 4th quarter pacing behind my sofa and staring at the television.

    Would of been a great win if we could have finished it but it was still an amazing Brady performance. That man was just scary. When Tom gets mad.... look out.

    If he has that intensity in the post season, NOTHING is going to stop him.

    And on the bright side, now we know, when facing a super elite defense, instead of working schemes and trying to establish runs and over worrying about game plans, etc... we can just give the ball to Tom.

    That looked like that was exactly what happened. It looked like we were getting completely shut down and Bill just ripped the game plan in two, threw it in the trash and just unleashed Tom Brady
     
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2012
  6. Kulko

    Kulko Practice Squad Player

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    I watched the whole game, but I admit after 3-31 I was only hoping for the streaks to be kept alive somehow. So when they scored the first TD from the run I was actually more worried. Luckily they proved me wrong soon after.
     
  7. hellolin

    hellolin On the Game Day Roster

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    #12 Jersey

    I watched the whole game in a bar as well, but I was enjoying my food after the 31-3 score. Never see Tom had that much fire in his eyes before, not even in the AFCCG last year, it is the same eyes that I saw inside Lebron James in the game 6 of ECF against the Cs last year, when he basicly took over the game himself and not even Rondo would disturb him. Yes if Brady somehow gets mad during postseason with a healthy Gronk I don't think anyone can stop us. If he keeps this up and we will sure see the backstages of this failed come back as a season changer in the upcoming America's game!
     
  8. Off The Grid

    Off The Grid Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    #3 Jersey

    Did you really just compare Tom Brady to that vile, verminous, pestilential choke artist???

    LeBron James is the antithesis of every great thing that Sport is about.

    He is sewage.

    And you draw a comparison between him and Brady???

    You take him finally taking advantage of the Ocean of Talent on that heavily favored team to beat a scrappy, aging, undermanned, borderline heroic Celtic team playing light years over its head ~ a team that by all rights they should've swept if James wasn't such a persistently despicably awful excuse for a Leader...and you compare'm to Tom Brady leading this team back from the Grave ~ 28 Points down with 20 minutes to go ~ against the best Defense in the World, very nearly pulling off one of the very greatest ComeBacks in the History of Sport???

    There are simply no words to describe the depths of the contempt you've inspired.
     
  9. DarrylS

    DarrylS PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Not sure that Jones is fully recovered from his assumed "ankle sprain" so he cannot get the push to generate a rush.. do agree that Hightower is getting better, but Spikes has some issues.

    What 2001 taught me was never to stop believing that this team could/should win despite any odds... my wife went to bed Sunday Nite, and she could not sleep and subsequently joined me until the end.. she also went to bed in 2001... so she may be banished from fandom forever, the three strike rule may have to be enforced.

    One thing I have been thinking about since Sunday, and after listening to Brady on WEEI on Monday Morning when they asked him about 5 year old Jack... was there some kind of "Newtown Hangover" for these guys that caused them to lose initial focus in the first half last week??..

    Compare to Giants who pretty much shyt the bed against Atlanta.. the Jets don't count as they always suck. Newtown pretty much happened in the back yard of both of these teams and many of the players have children close to the same age...

    Will never prove any of this, but wonder if the event of last friday had any impact on that game...
     
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2012
  10. pherein

    pherein In the Starting Line-Up

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    Im actually really proud of this game. Not really sure what the problem was in the 1st half, but I think the second half showed it was not SF or their deffense. That was almost a epic comback.
    My wife is a SF fan and was lauphing at 31-3, but I never lost faith in your boys. They can lose rythem for a quaurter and then put 21pts up the next.
    I think the loss is much like the one we had in the playoffs. Where the offence had 6 turnovers ,but eventually did its job and put the points up to win, but the defense was not playing well.
    I know the niners dont like playing us, pretty sure they dont want to see you in the SB.
     
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2012
  11. mayoclinic

    mayoclinic PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Good stuff as always, Ken. Some thoughts.

    I turned the game off at halftime becaue I had to be up at 4:30, NOT because I thougth the Pats were out of it. I had a feeling it probably wasn't our night, but that was based more on the sloppy play than on the score, and I fully expected the Pats to come back and make a game of it. I was a bit surprised how quickly people seemed to throw in the towel in the 1st half.

    And it seems to take great mental toughness to win a SB. The Giants showed mental toughness in winning 4 games in 2007 and 2011. Last year they went on the road to beat 2 teams that beat them during the regular season. Even the 13-3 Saints had to dig deep and pull out a guts onside kick to overcome Indy. Having to do a gut check and show some fortitude and mental toughness may not be a bad thing.

    This is a follow-up to Ken's last point. The national media still don't appreciate how great Brady he. He is a generational athlete, on par with a Michael Jordan. If he is really fired up, watch out. I missed the second half, but I can't wait to see the replay.
    Pissing off Tom Brady going into the playoffs may not be a good strategy for the rest of the NFL. Let's face it, there's nothing more embarrassing for an elite team than to get embarrassed on a national stage, and the Pats were getting embarrassed through 3 quarters. I'm sure Brady took that personally, and I'm sure that he's not going to let that fade. As sweet as a comeback victory would have been, the scars from this one will burn more than they would if the Pats had won, and that may be more valuable come playoff time than a bye week or homefield.

    Brady can single handedly will this team to the championship, in Jordanesque fashion. 7 teams probably have the talent to win it all, and it's going to come down to who wants it the most. My money is on Brady after last Sunday night. Maybe not before last Sunday night, but definitely after.


    The Pats' offense is most effective when it uses all of its weapons, and when it uses them in varied fashion. Hernandez has so much versatility. We still haven't seen Vereen used to a fraction of his potential, and there is tremendous potential for Hernandez and Vereen to be used synergistically. As for Lloyd, the standard for success here is ridiculously high. He has 67 receptions and 840 yards through 14 games, and I think almost anyone would have been ecstacic with that going into the season. Not everything has been positive, obviously, but he has shown much more than the guys who came before him.

    The 41 points were the result of turnovers and gifts. The defense had their backs against the wall the entire first half, and did a good job of keeping the game from getting out of hand. One thing I did note was that the defense was stingy in short yardage and in the red zone, but the 49ers seemed to figure that out and attacked outside the 20 with good success.
     
  12. SEA_Pat

    SEA_Pat Third String But Playing on Special Teams

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    While it was pretty ugly in the first half, it wasn't like we were playing the Jets on the day when it all went wrong. I kept watching both because I will always watch the Patriots on the rare times it's televised over here, and because I wanted to see what the character of the team was. Would they lay down (like Houston did) or would they fight to the end? The answer was exactly what I was looking for. I think this is one of those losses that makes the team stronger, and I'm more confident we'll win in the playoffs this year than I have been for a long time.
     
  13. PatsDeb

    PatsDeb PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Don't be too hard on yourself Ken. I was at the game with my 10 yr. old daughter who wore the wrong shoes. Her feet were so wet and cold that we had to go into the ladies room and switch boots, with me giving her a brand new pair of Pats socks I had bought to put in my son's stocking, and then trying to dry her leather boots under the hand-dryer. Thereafter, MY feet were wet and cold. When SF went up 31-3 I decided I'd had enough and started the mile+ walk I had back to my car, something I never do (I have left early when the Pats are up by that much, but only if it's half way through the 4th quarter).

    We had tailgated at a friend's office building prior to the game and he keeps the building open and a big screen tv on during the game. Imagine my shock when I stumbled in there and the Pats were just scoring to make it 31-24, and shortly thereafter, tied it to make it 31-31! Even though special teams and the D gave the lead right back shortly thereafter, I was really proud of the team and Brady. No quit in them this year (unlike me, LOL).
     
  14. IllegalContact

    IllegalContact Pro Bowl Player

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    watching the game was like picking at a scab.......it hurt like hell, but I could not stop.......I can never stop......even when in asia, I use my slingbox and watch the game at 1am or 2am live.....

    its time for the pats to put the hammer down and march to the sea like sherman
     
  15. Bella*chick

    Bella*chick Addicted to the light

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    #12 Jersey

    I turned it off after 31-3 but 8 took my Ipad to bed and followed the game thread. When it went down, I followed over at the Planet. I turned it ba k on but only after wondering if that was smart seeing as they played so well when I turned off the TV. Then SF had to go and score. I blamed myself.
     
  16. Gwedd

    Gwedd PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #61 Jersey

    Do you know what I felt during that loss? Deja Vu. I had the same crushed sensation as during the 96 Superbowl, when Howard ran back the kickoff for a TD right after the Pats had tied up the score. A kick to the stomach.

    BUT......... having said that, New England is in the playoffs, there are still two games to play, and anything can happen.

    Once the playoffs start, the Patriots will have Gronk back, and it will be nice being able to run Gronk & Hernandez in the same package against whomever we play.

    I still like our chances. :cool:
     
  17. aluminum seats

    aluminum seats In the Starting Line-Up

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    You definitely should feel bad about yourself for turning the game off.

    At 31-3 in the 3rd, I was calculating that the Pats would hopefully score at TD by the 6 minute mark, then another by the end of the quarter--they scored at 5:59 and the first play of the 4th quarter. At that point, I was feeling pretty smug in my living room. The next two tying TDs came faster than I thought, I must admit.

    Anyway. I don't get the hand-wringing about Jones. He was injured! It's not any rookie wall. If anything, the break will help him down the stretch. By the playoffs, he'll be fully recovered. The guy will be fine.

    I don't care who or where the Pats play in the playoffs--I've never been more high on the team this season. Give me a healthy team, barring another (EXTREMELY unlikely) turnover fest like this week, and they will ROLL.
     
  18. ThatllMoveTheChains!!!

    ThatllMoveTheChains!!! Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job

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    #24 Jersey

    Score when Ken was watching 31-10 Niners.
    Score when Ken wasn't watching 21-10 Pats.
    I think we've found the true problem.:D

    My primary concern with Ridley is if the coaching staff will feel like they can trust him in big games. I know I'd be having a hard time if I was put in their shoes; if the running game starts to become a TO concern there's little reason to run with this offense.
     
  19. BelichickFan

    BelichickFan B.O. = Fugazi PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #24 Jersey

    As I live in CA I don't have the "late" excuse the rest of you do. Not that I need it, I haven't missed more than a series since 2000 thanks to DirecTV and a wife who is also a Patriots fan who is fine with finding Patriots' bars when we're out of town. The closest I came was a few Thanksgivings ago when we got off to a slow start against Detroit and I stormed off to sulk at patsfans.com for a short time. My (now) 13 year old said "what's wrong with him ?" and my wife replied "he'll be back" and I was a few minutes later for the big win.

    Bottom line for me ? Even if we lose I don't want to miss any time to watch my team with the best QB of our generation because time is running relatively short to watch Brady. Enjoy it while you can.

    Not much for me to add about the game except if Welker and/or Hernandez need any time off (I read Welker was flexing his leg on the sidelines but didn't miss time), this is a great time to do it. With Lloyd seemingly back in the good graces of Brady this offense should be borderline unstoppable with everyone (Gronk included) healthy. I do worry slightly about the fast no huddle on the road and whether the crowd noise could cause problems but we'll work that out.
     
  20. DarrylStingley

    DarrylStingley Third String But Playing on Special Teams

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    I don't think that giving up or going to sleep after they were down 31-3 makes you a fair weather fan. It makes you a fan who gave up too soon and who should have stuck with them. There's a difference as a fair weather fan only likes them when things are going well. Fans who looked away liked the Pats just as much, but just didn't have enough faith.

    That was a terrible game when the score was 31-3. The Pats were playing as poorly as they have in any game since I can remember. Maybe the opener in 2003 was the last time they looked so inept. Or the NO game in 2009.

    So while I stayed with that game until the end, I can totally understand how a fan who absolutely LOVES the Pats at all times just couldn't bear to keep watching.
     
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