Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Post Type Selectors

The Patriot Way now stands solely represented by Bill Belichick

On Sunday night, the Patriots’ coach demonstrated his enduring creativity, despite managing a depleted roster and dwindling aspirations.

The Patriot Way now stands solely represented by Bill Belichick
Despite the Patriots making a late surge in the fourth quarter, the Dolphins secured a 24-17 victory in Foxborough. The scoreline appeared closer than the actual game, with the Patriots struggling until the final quarter. Even when the Patriots closed the gap to within a touchdown and held possession in Miami territory, the Dolphins maintained a win probability of at least 75 percent. The Dolphins have now won five of their last six meetings with the Patriots, including all five of Tua Tagovailoa’s starts.
During Sunday night’s Dolphins-Patriots game, Bill Belichick showcased his enduring creativity, even as he grappled with a depleted roster and fading hopes. The Patriots executed a remarkable man-in-motion field-goal block that has since garnered attention from high school and college teams. They successfully contained Miami’s top offensive threat and orchestrated a game-changing play, setting up a touchdown with the fastest play of the quarterback’s career. And, of course, Belichick, donning Santa Claus red, displayed his characteristic grumpiness, hurling the challenge flag with parental disdain. It felt like a trip down memory lane, reminiscent of the glory days, as long as you didn’t focus on the scoreboard.
This loss marks the Patriots’ first 0-2 start since 2001. While Belichick continues to display his surly attitude and innovative football strategies, there’s little left of the glory days in New England. Mac Jones, now in his third season with the team, currently ranks outside the top tier of NFL quarterbacks. In contrast, in Tom Brady’s third season as a starter, the Patriots secured their second Super Bowl in three years. While comparing anyone to Tom Brady is inherently unfair, in New England, it’s the only yardstick that truly matters.
The current roster boasts Pro Bowl linebacker Matthew Judon, All-Pro punt returner Marcus Jones, and familiar faces in new places like Ezekiel Elliott and JuJu Smith-Schuster. However, the legendary names of Gronk, Moss, or Edelman are conspicuously absent.
Brady and Belichick’s historic 19-year partnership in New England yielded an unparalleled nine Super Bowl appearances and six victories. Except for the 2008 season when Brady was injured and 2002 when they finished 9-7, the Patriots consistently won at least 10 games and reached the playoffs every year. They dominated the AFC East, boasting a 25-13 record against Miami, a 31-9 record against the Jets (including playoffs), and a staggering 34-4 record against the Bills. These numbers left a lasting impact, making it challenging for anyone outside of Greater Boston to feel anything but schadenfreude at the Patriots’ recent struggles.
Yet, to players on the field today, the Brady-Belichick dynasty is nothing more than a Wikipedia entry. Many current NFL players were still in college when Brady last played for the Patriots, and rookies like Bryce Young, C.J. Stroud, and Bijan Robinson were in high school. For them, the Patriots are simply another team on the schedule, which is perhaps the most telling sign of the dynasty’s end.
After the disappointing loss, Belichick offered a brief, downbeat postgame conference, emphasizing the need to learn from the defeat and work harder to move forward.
The innovations, strategic brilliance, and play-calling that kept the Patriots competitive on Sunday night were all a testament to Belichick’s genius. As long as Belichick commands the sideline, the Patriots remain capable of surprising their opponents with plays he might have observed an Iowa high school team execute back in 1979. However, without the right personnel, these surprises are not sustainable. The Patriots’ aura of invincibility has faded, at least until New England drafts the next Caleb Williams.
Mike Gesicki made a valiant last-ditch effort that nearly gave the Patriots a chance for an impressive comeback. However, former Patriots linebacker Ted Johnson believes the play was doomed from the start. He provided a breakdown of what went wrong on Monday’s episode of The Breakdown.
According to Johnson, the issue began when center David Andrews disengaged from his block with the right guard too late, allowing a linebacker to penetrate and pressure Mac Jones. Johnson noted that these three players (Andrews, Cole Strange, Mike Onwenu) hadn’t practiced together during the summer and lacked communication.
Gesicki cut off his route just before the first-down marker, and the cornerback managed to make a play on the ball. The challenging part was that the Patriots were positioned on the left hash, and the pass had to travel all the way across the field for a short gain. Mac Jones, under duress, released the ball slightly under-thrown, giving the cornerback a chance to break it up and make the play closer than necessary.
Johnson pointed out that the breakdown primarily started with the interior offensive line’s lack of cohesion due to their limited practice together. Additionally, he criticized the play call for requiring a difficult throw across the field on fourth-and-4.
This play encapsulated the struggles of New England’s offensive line throughout the game, as they faced issues with pass protection and run blocking. Jones was sacked four times and hit eight times overall. Running backs Rhamondre Stevenson and Ezekiel Elliott found little running room, combining for just 63 yards on 20 carries.
Improvement in the offensive line will be crucial in the upcoming game against the formidable New York Jets defense. If these issues persist, the Patriots risk starting the season 0-3 for the first time since Bill Belichick’s debut season with the team in 2000.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top