Patriots opener an utter mess
Until Friday morning, it looked like the Red Sox’ Apple Watch Caper would stand as the dumbest act of the week, if not the month, if not the decade.
Then the Patriots got pantsed in their season opener against the Chiefs, which had the drums in thousands of mothers’ basements beating a brainless message.
A link appeared with the headline, “Patriots fans think it’s time for Jimmy Garoppolo.”
Really. No kidding. Just surf through the Tweets declaring Brady’s demise and demanding that the Jimmy G. Era should begin in New Orleans next Sunday.
The word pathetic neatly summarizes the collective half-wits’ wisdom.
This isn’t surprising, but is truly amazing. Brady completely stunk out the joint in Thursday’s ugly loss, but his share of the blame doesn’t cast a shadow over others’.
Offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels insists on believing that Brady is a deep threat more than 10 percent of the time, evidence to the contrary notwithstanding. Getting stuffed on two fourth-and-pinky fingers indicates that letting LeGarrette Blount walk wasn’t such a swell idea. Maybe they will miss Julian Edelman as much as is commonly feared.
But despite a sputtering attack, the Patriots scored 27 points. A championship-caliber team should win when it scores 27 points. Especially at home. And most especially on an Opening Night that begins with raising another Super Bowl championship banner.
Unless, of course, its defense is a complete and utter mess.
If the Pats’ defense is able to turn in a worse performance than it did Thursday, even the tap-in that is an AFC East crown is subject to a case of the yips.
Their complete lack of a pass rush was so obvious that by the end of the third quarter Al Michaels and Cris Collinsworth stopped gushing over rocket-scientist Matt Patricia’s uncanny ability to make chicken salad out of chicken droppings. The defensive coordinator actually needs quality defenders to show his genius.
Either that or Chiefs QB Alex Smith is the second coming of Tom Brady. If Drew Brees doesn’t humiliate them in Week 2, that argument can commence.
This has been the Patriots’ greatest flaw for awhile. It seemed interesting that Bill Belichick’s course in rectifying it was putting the load on his defensive backs to give the pass rush time to develop.
What we saw Thursday is a stark reminder that defensive backs on such a mission tend to run out of gas by the start of the fourth quarter.
The last time the Chiefs embarrassed them on national TV, the Patriots went on a tear and won the Super Bowl. Blind optimists will ride that horse as far as they can.
Meanwhile, John Farrell should thank the Pats for taking the spotlight off him. When asked about the Red Sox’ bumbling attempt to steal catchers’ signs from the Yankees and communicate them via an Apple Watch, Farrell says he knew nothing about it.
That makes him a fool or a liar.
My money would go on Door No. 2.
Then again, my wallet has been empty since Thursday night.