The Patriots looked like themselves again on Sunday. They beat the Miami Dolphins 38-7, and Miami’s seven points came in the 4th quarter. It was almost like they were having an identity crisis earlier on.
Maybe it was like trying to live with a whole bunch of new roommates where you’re still trying to find out who everyone is and how they’re going to contribute to this new household.
Whatever it was, as the Patriots so often do, they rectified it in their game against the Dolphins, who, albeit only three games in, were at the top of the AFC East, undefeated. But Gillette has a strange mystery to it, especially for the Dolphins.
I have a confession to make – I didn’t watch the game live. I was at a Def Leppard/Journey concert in San Diego. That made watching it today, after knowing the outcome, a LOT harder.
As Patriots’ fans, we’ve been spoiled – we’ve seen a whole lot of winning. When the Patriots have a bad game, there’s no one better at coming back the next week and looking like a completely different team.
So the Patriots starting the season with a 1-2 record is a bitter pill to swallow for us. Most of us were sure that after the loss to the Jaguars, the Patriots would bounce back and walk out of Detroit with a win. But what we forgot is that Matt Patricia, now head coach of the Detroit Lions, knows the Patriots and he knows them well.
The New England Patriots started off the 2018 season with an exciting and sometimes nail-biting win over the Houston Texans, who were led by quarterback Deshaun Watson, 27-20. QB Tom Brady did Tom Brady things and completed 26 passes of 39 attempts for 277 yards with 3 TDs and 1 INT (a tipped ball at the line of scrimmage), spreading the ball around to 8 different receivers.
As with every game, there was good, bad, and definitely room for improvement. But, here are some of my thoughts on the game:
New England fans know what it’s like to lose again. The Tom Bradyled Patriots came up short in their 41-33 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl LII on Sunday. Favored by almost everyone in the media and everyone polled, the underdog Philadelphia Eagles, with backup quarterback Nick Foles, outcoached and outplayed the defending Super Bowl champions.
Was I surprised? No. The Eagles had a Cinderella feel to this season. When Carson Wentz got hurt and Foles came in, a lot of people counted them out. They never counted themselves out. It reminded me of another backup who ended up coming in after a season ending injury to the starting quarterback and took his team all the way to the Super Bowl – and won.
It’s that time of year again – Christmas is over, New Year’s Eve is approaching, and everyone is anticipating a fresh start and the new year.
For football fans, the playoffs are approaching and the excitement of the possibility of your team going to the Super Bowl is growing. For Patriots fans, dreams of another Lombardi Trophy are dancing in their heads.
But, in true fashion, Coach Bill Belichick and the Patriots are focused on the next game.
Tom Brady. Rob Gronkowski. Even Matt Slater. These are players that have represented the Patriots in the Pro Bowl before – and will again. They’re names people recognize. But this year, a new name and face is representing the Patriots in the Pro Bowl – Fullback James Develin.
A fullback just isn’t heralded much anymore in the National Football League, but the Patriots have made James Develin an important part of the offense. He also happens to be one of my favorite players, and I’m not alone in that.
Once again, the Patriots walked into Miami the odds-on favorite and came out losers. Although the score doesn’t adequately reflect it, it was an ugly Monday Night Football game. One the Patriots lost to the division rival Miami Dolphins 20-27.
It was a game where quarterback Tom Brady didn’t look like Tom Brady. It took 2 1/2 quarters of football before a Patriots wide receiver (Danny Amendola) caught a pass. And New England went 0 for 11 on 3rd down conversions.
Let that sink in, folks…the Patriots could not convert a single third down. The last time the Patriots were that inept at converting on third downs was in 1991. I remember those days – back when the Patriots were really bad – they hadn’t won more than 10 games since 1986 and this particular season, they went 6-10. Does anyone remember head coach Dick MacPherson? Nah…me either.
Division rival Miami Dolphins came to Foxborough Sunday to take on the Patriots. The Patriots, who had won six in a row, were returning from their win over the Raiders in Mexico City. Division games are always difficult. They’re heated and emotional. Even though the Dolphins were without their starting quarterback Jay Cutler, Matt Moore is one of the better back up QBs in the league. All week I heard about Moore’s great connection with wide receiver Kenny Stills. It still wasn’t enough to beat the Patriots.
Thanksgiving is a day for family, food and football – and though I’m thankful for all three, they go hand in hand. I’m a New England Patriots fan, born and raised. And every football season, I’m thankful for my team. But it wasn’t always this way.
The New England Patriots brought three generations of Sarkisians together: my grandfather, my father and me. My grandfather had season tickets for several years before he died in 1994 when the Patriots played at the old Schaefer and then Sullivan Stadium. Although we never got to go to a game together, the 3 of us, we all shared the same love of football and our team. He sold them shortly before he died, but we had suffered 5 losing seasons in a row, and I think he thought it was time. If he’d only had an inkling of the seasons to come, the Kraft Era – the Brady Era.