Failing New England Patriots run scared to AFC's 2nd seed

Published: 12/23/2018 6:51:07 PM
Modified: 12/23/2018 6:44:51 PM
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FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — Mired in the dreck of an abysmal passing effort, the Failing New England Patriots were desperately forced to rush for 273 yards in a 24-12 victory over Buffalo on Sunday to claim their 10th consecutive AFC East championship. With a Houston loss, they also moved back into second place in the AFC.
 
If the Patriots beat the Jets next Sunday, they will not have to play against an even better team in the first round of the playoffs the week after. They will instead receive a first-round bye, which is inarguably their best chance of not losing in the wild-card round.
 
Old Quarterback Tom Brady and his noodle arm once again were unable to advance the ball more than 10 air yards downfield, or least that’s how it seemed. It is not known if anyone was counting. What they were counting was passes, and the legendary, five-time Super Bowl winner and reigning NFL MVP attempted only 24 of those.
 
Why so few passes? Probably because Brady is old. And his arm is a cooked noodle. And before the game, instead of running all the way to the end zone, where he usually does a fist pump, Brady only ran to the 50-yard line, which we can only assume happened because the ancient quarterback has dust in his knees if he even has knees at all.
 
“Our goal is always to move the ball and score points,” Patriots head coach Bill Belichick said. “So that’s what we try to do. It depends on how they’re playing us and whether we can run it, throw it, whatever it is. If we can move the ball and score points, that’s a good thing.”
 
What is most certain is that running the ball for so many yards is probably not a good thing. The Patriots absolutely did not intend for Rookie Draft Bust Sony Michel, who has more rushing  yards than any New England rookie in the last 20 years (881), to carry it 18 times for 116 yards and one touchdown. And there is absolutely no way that the Patriots would game plan to run the ball more frequently against a defense that allows the fewest passing yards in the league.
 
“The run game is always important,” Michel said. “Every week, run the ball, throw the ball, do what we do. We’re going to play Patriot football at the end of the day and that’s kind of our mindset.”
 
Perhaps, but Brady is old, the tight end is old and the receivers are bad, old and busted. Therefore, this will certainly be the offense you see from here on out for the 2018 Patriots, who will only go as far as Tom Brady’s arm can hand off to Rookie Draft Bust Sony Michel. Because every defense is exactly the same, every game plan is exactly the same and nothing ever changes in the NFL
 
Fortunately for the Patriots and their inept passing game, they were bailed out once again by their terrible defense when they weren’t bailed out by their tragically unstoppable ground game. The defense forced three turnovers and over the last two weeks has allowed a total of 29 points. Of course any objective fan will tell you the defense is something you have to be concerned about, which is why it is once again frustrating to see the Patriots grind an opponent to pieces on both offense and defense.
 
Particularly when Brady only had one touchdown pass and was benched with 7 minutes remaining and the Patriots leading by three scores.
 
That’s always a bad sign.
 
Dave Brown is a freelance correspondent who covers the Patriots for the Monitor. You can follow him on Twitter @ThatDaveBrown.


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