Bill Belichick surprisingly upbeat after another poor showing by Patriots

Curran: Belichick surprisingly upbeat after another poor Pats performance appeared first on NBC Sports Boston

Bill Belichick has never been a relentless optimist. Sure, there are times he’s tried to live on the sunny side of the road.

Or even entire seasons. Like 2020, AB’s first year (after Brady). The roster was thin, the Patriots had cap issues and COVID demanded a level of sensitivity from leaders in every discipline.

Generally, though, Belichick roars at excuses and prefers pessimism. He didn’t earn the nickname “Doom” 40 years ago because of his cheerful disposition.

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So his, “Gee, we almost had it!” The outlook after the Patriots’ 20-7 loss in Miami was laughable. As did his halftime comment — broadcast by CBS during the telecast — that it was really just two bad plays that got the Patriots down 17-0.

Disappointed, sure. Still going to Dairy Queen??? YOU PLACE A BET!!

Bill “It Wasn’t That Bad” appeared after the Patriots’ final preseason game. After a sloppy outing against the Raiders, Belichick joked that his team must have left their good work “on the practice field” two days before the game. Ignoring that one of those days, the team performed horribly.

Spent too much time this summer preaching patience and saying less “Do your job” and more “Blame me if friends don’t look so good…”

The reality is that the Patriots weren’t just two games away from being even with Miami. The slips were not random, blunders out of nowhere.

The two plays in question — a strip-six touchdown and a 42-yard fourth-down slant — were highlight plays.

The mental break on the offensive line that led to the strip sack was almost immediately followed by an uncontested sack that came due to another mental lapse on the same side of the offense.

That same offensive line was plagued with communication issues and injuries throughout training camp and the preseason. The same offensive line that has had four different coaches since 2020. The same offensive line is shut down by two tackles who aren’t the most consistent players with a rookie guard sinking to the left. The same offensive line currently co-coached by Matt Patricia, who is also very thin for a guy who is also a starter.

Honestly, who could see an offensive line collapse in the first step???

The other touchdown of the big game was a 42-yard slant to Jaylen Waddle on a fourth-down just before halftime. He capped a 92-yard drive put together by the not-yet-impressive Tua Tagovailoa that included conversions on a third-and-7, a first-and-15 and a third-and-19.

It’s not like Miami pulled this game from behind. They were — at the time — they were moving it pretty well.

The upshot of all of this is that the Patriots aren’t just a whisker away as David Andrews said after the game.

“We beat ourselves. I thought we ran the ball well. Obviously, they did some things to deal with it, some of the pressures, but I thought we ran the ball well, but we beat ourselves. Three, four turnovers, a strip sack for a touchdown. More of a ‘you can’t win until you lose’ kind of day than anything else. I think there were a lot of positives. Parts of me are encouraged. Parts of me are — you know, let it slide away.”

The Patriots didn’t give the game away. Miami opened it up by taking advantage of things they knew New England would struggle with, making big plays in the end zone on the Patriots’ first drive and just before halftime and waiting for the Patriots to fumble, which they did on two fourth downs. premature sentences.

Want an example of a game where you could say, “It was just a bad game…?” Last year’s opener against Miami when Damien Harris made it to the Miami 9 with 3:18 left and New England up 17-16.

This was a game that was even apart of this game. This was not. There were many mistakes. And for a team whose margin for error will be very low early in the season, fourth downs, too many men on the field and blatantly missed block assignments won’t result in small losses, but rather large ones. they.

Especially if Belichick is going to add to his team’s difficulty level by basically sitting their most dynamic offensive player.

Either everyone doesn’t know what they’re looking at and Bourne really stinks or Belichick doesn’t know what he’s looking at and doesn’t realize Bourne is good.

Kendrick Bourne last year was a godsend. He had 55 catches for 800 yards, but now he can’t wedge his way down the field? Are the Patriots loaded offensively?

If a guy messes with the coaching staff, I guess there’s an explanation. But Belichick says it’s not disciplinary, so let’s take him at his word.

That means the only guy capable of delivering an explosive play last year and the only guy to deliver one on opening day was only worth two snaps. Really?

Either everyone doesn’t know what they’re looking at and Bourne really stinks or Belichick doesn’t know what he’s looking at and doesn’t realize Bourne is good.

We know it’s neither. So there must be some other reason for Bourne to sit that is “in the best interests of the football club”. By the same token — on a bigger stage — Malcolm Butler was better off watching just that Super Bowl against the Eagles.

That’s another part of why everyone still gets Dairy Queen after the game. Belichick knows he’s making life difficult for his team with unconventional decisions like changing offense, flipping his tackles, no real replacement for Josh McDaniels, etc., etc.

So he asks for patience as the team negotiates these strange decisions.

And he’ll probably have to ask for even more now that McJones — who threw a fleet of floaters at Dolphin team meetings and put on a pedestrian show — ended up with a back problem.

Mac is the quintessential optimist. Now, if he gets hurt or isn’t available, the Patriots are in real danger of snapping an 0-2 deficit with one game to play next week in Pittsburgh.

Which would stink. And jeopardize Dairy Queen’s trip.

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