AP Photo/John Locher
The Patriots gaff to end yesterday’s game against the Raiders is a microcosm of their season. It has been an annoying season filled with ups and downs and yesterday loss is just another example of just how far this franchise has fallen.
The Patriots used to be the standard when it came to being disciplined and playing situational football. Not anymore. Now they take dumb penalties, can’t get play calls in on time and make boneheaded plays in situations like we saw last night.
If this were the Patriots of ten years ago, they either take a knee or Stevenson runs out of bounds to play for overtime. Instead, your two best offensive players decide to run the backyard drill and it blew up in their face.
The Patriots are a .500 football team for a variety of reasons but perhaps the biggest reason of all, they are undisciplined. They do not play the game the right way anymore. Bill Belichick has somehow lost control of this team and this latest loss is a further indictment and him and his staff.
When asked after the game about the play, Belichick reiterated that the team emphasizes situational football at practice.
“Yes, look, we’ve talked about situational football. We talk about it every week. Obviously, we got to do a better job playing situational football and not making critical mistakes in the game.”
Apparently the message didn’t reasonate enough with your two best offensive players as they did what they wanted in that situation. That ultimately falls on Belichick and getting the players attention. He isn’t anymore and it reflects in his team’s performance.
When asked what his message to the team was after the game, Belichick gave a standard answer.
“We have to eliminate those mistakes and we just gave up some big critical plays. We need to eliminate those and keep making the good ones and stop making the critical bad ones.”
Yeah. No kidding. It is too late however. The season was on the line yesterday and playing undisciplined football may have cost you the season. Bouncing back from this loss will be tough no matter what Belichick says.
The next three weeks will go a long way in telling us what the future holds for this franchise. Right now, it is not good.