Another Sunday, another Patriots victory…sort of.
I spoke of the Patriots being an underdog of some sorts. A type of team that has made a habit of slow starts and commanding victories. Frankly, this system made the games much more exciting and gave the wins a bit more depth.
Today though, was a different story. The Patriots defense was showing its weaknesses and the offense seemed to be playing on a completely different level. With a final score of 31-24, you’d never guess that the Indianapolis Colts haven’t won a game all season. That score didn’t show that the starting quarterback for the Colts, Dan Orlovsky, was a last minute decision and hasn’t started a game since 2008 when he was with the Detroit Lions (not to mention, he was a back up for the Texans in 2009 – I had no idea who he was back then either..).
(I swear, these are the creepiest photos of NFL teams)
In his postgame press conference, there was a question that Dan Orlovsky answered that I thought really showed his maturity:
Q: Can you separate a loss with playing pretty well?
DO: I don’t have a desire to, to be honest with you. My goal is to go out there and win a ball game, bar none. The best chance to do that is to play well at this position. So, I just didn’t play good enough to win today. I don’t care about anything else; I’m at the point in my career and my life where I just want to win. So, it’s hard for me to separate it and I don’t have any desire to.
Orlovsky is at a point in his career where he not only wants to win, he also wants to start.
If I got the starting position over the three-year back-up Curtis Painter, I wouldn’t care too much about whether I played well or not, it should always come down to whether or not you were able to get the victory.
Another thing I noticed was that people still booed Adam Vinatieri when he stepped onto the field at Gillette. Really? Ok, I get that at the time of his departure, he was pretty much joining the Dark Side as far as Patriots fans were concerned but to hear people still upset by this was rather surprising. I mean, Stephen Gostkowski has missed a few chip shots here and there but he’s not terrible. I think this may be one of the most unnecessary grudges that Patriots fans have kept.
So, how incredible was Rob Gronkowski today? He even managed a lateral which led to a rushing touchdown (it was originally called a touchdown catch, which would’ve broken the record for most receiving touchdowns by a tight end in season). To consider that the second in line tight end is Aaron Hernandez is pretty mind-blowing. I still remember when draft analysts were drilling into Patriots nation that they needed to increase their utilization of the tight end postion. Even with the glimmers of excellence that Ben Watson brought to the team, comparisons were still made to the Ben “Winter” Coates era.
And then Gronkowski and Hernandez were drafted and the magic started to happen. I can’t help but think that Gronkowski and Hernandez got a few tips of being a blocking tight end from veteran Alge Crumpler. But as far being able to run routes and make catches like a wide receiver? Who knows. All I’ve got say is that these two players are making the tight end position an entire different position and defenders of every other team in the league are having just as difficult of a time figuring it all out. I’m no defensive coordinator but leaving Gronk open in the endzone is probably not the best idea.
Offensively, I can’t really complain. Defensively though, I’m starting to think that this could be our Achilles Heel…a giant one at that.
Here’s what I don’t understand, the Colts are a zero victory team. There is really no reason for them to be able to score multiple touchdowns on a team that’s 8-3. So why did it happen? Why is our defensive so weak that offensive players (Matthew Slater and Julian Edelman) are getting reps and starts on defense?
And our top cornerback from last season is going through a very detrimental sophomore slump. I’m sure if McCourty could figure out how to catch, he’d have much better games as a receiver.
There are so many question on defense that it is overwhelming. To be honest, some weeks I think the Patriots can survive in the playoffs with how the defense has improved and other times, I feel it would be a one game appearance and then it’s adios!
No matter what though, the Patriots were able to stay on top and get another win today and for that I’m happy.
After the Patriots game though, I thought I’d take some joy in watching “The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring” Extended Edition on Blu-Ray and even though “Return of the King” is my favorite, I opted to watch things in order.
As I was watching the film, one of the more terrifying characters, a Uruk-hai, reminded me of a former Patriots player…
The resemblance is uncanny.
Have a great week, kids!