The Patriots performance on Sunday vs the Eaglets was not on par with anything they have done in Bill Belichick’s reign. Everything he has done in his career, from poor signings, strange training camp cuts and the infamous 4th and two can be explained or was later proven to be correct. 4th and two was actually a good call, as the defense sucked that year, and barring a shit spot by the ref in Indy, the play actually succeeded in gaining the necessary yardage.
On Sunday, Bill and the Pats were up 14 and went for a trick play. He had two timeouts and a two minute warning and went for an onside kick late. The team had just recovered an onside kick minutes before. The odds aren’t good getting one of these plays to work, now you want to go for another one when your defense just needs to stop the opponent from getting two first downs? Every time the camera panned to the sideline, I was expecting to see Bill taking a huge hit of a percolating skull bong and then passing it to his coordinator and saying, “I keep fucking laughing. Where are we?” Even Tom Brady chipped in with a poor pick six when 3 points would have been huge. That pick resulted in a ten point swing. Solid Special Teams play has always been a staple of Patriots teams. They tackled like they were reaching to pull a turkey out of a hot kiln without oven mitts.
Bill coached the game as if he was trying to help out his good friend Chip Kelly. What other explanation can you come up with? No doubt he wanted all the plays to work, but by trying them, he was paying homage to Chip, in essence saying, 14 points is nothing when the great Chip Kelly is on the opposing sideline, I gotta pull a rabbit out of my ass or this lead could dissolve in an instant. Bill’s mantra is always to make the smart play, and let the opponent reach. Teams fall apart when they play the Patriots, but on Sunday it was the other way around. One can’t help feeling that these mistakes will linger in their minds going forward. The confidence that the “Patriot” way is going to win out has taken a serious hit.