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Nicknames? Patriots’ Van Noy should focus on stops

By Hector Longo - Staff Writer | Dec 3, 2019

The time has come to take Kyle Van Noy’s “Boogeymen” T-shirts and send them to the same impoverished third-world nation that received those Boston Bruins “2019 Stanley Cup Champs” tees last June.

In all seriousness, while the world takes sides between angry, old Tom Brady and his petulant receivers, the New England Patriots defense has skated after its second clunker of the year on Sunday night in Houston.

Imagine the gall of these guys like Van Noy, perpetuating this “Boogeymen” thing back in October without facing a real NFL offense. And now that somebody is finally calling their bluff, they’ve vanished, buckling to the Texans, and before that the Baltimore Ravens.

Remember when this football team talked about “hats and T-shirts” games, and they actually meant games that clinched something?

Now, this defense talks about its nickname and accompanying clothing line.

Did we all know that when needed most these “Boogeymen” would


I, for one, feel totally duped.

Talk about the 1985 Bears and the

Ravens arose from this man’s keyboard. I even placed them in the same rarified air with the 2004 Patriots defense, forever to be known to us all belovedly as the 2004 Patriots defense – no nickname needed.

Time is rapidly running out on this Pats defense. Regular-season opportunities to prove their worth have been few and far between.

You took care of business in the opener with Pittsburgh and in a typhoon against the Cowboys.

You failed miserably against Deshaun Watson and Lamar Jackson.

And now Patrick Mahomes is coming to Gillette Stadium. For this defense, it’s the final potential measuring stick until January. Sorry, if you stop Josh Allen and the Bills in two weeks, it won’t mean diddly.

This is it. Mahomes may not be in 2018 MVP form, but this offense is moving again.

Those Patriots linebackers like Van Noy, Dont’a Hightower (last season blowing his assignment on Darren Fells’ TD Sunday night and Jamie Collins (last seen on Halloween) need to show up.


Is it Brady? Is it the receivers? The answer is yes?

And it was illuminated brilliantly Sunday night by of all people, Romeo Crennel, Houston’s defensive coordinator and a guy who has spent a huge chunk of his post-Patriots professional life getting dusted by TB12.

Crennel may not have invented this blue-print for stopping the Pats’ offense but he certainly perfected it.

Eight guys in the box. Double Julian Edelman, put your best big cover guy on James White and single everyone else in man, with one deep safety.

It crippled the Patriots offense.

At the point when Houston went up 21-3 late in the third quarter, Brady was 9 for 25 for 90 yards.

Those numbers, folks, are Trubisky-esque.

The final tally, 24 of 47 for 326, looks a heck of a lot better than what it really was. At 21-3, the Texans went straight, soft zone, and Brady carved it up (15 for 22, 301, 3 TDs).

As it was for the defense, which allowed four Texans’ TD passes, it was incredibly telling for the Patriots offense on Sunday night.


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