Mack Jones, Ramondre Stevenson and Jacoby Meyers each received a rap for that disastrous final performance. But the blame must go much deeper than just them. | Jobs Vox


One of the qualities I admire most in a person is responsibility. Show me someone who is willing to take responsibility for their own mistakes and the mistakes of the team as a whole and I’ll show you a winner. As Weymouth Public School teaching legend and bullying experimenter Alma Driscoll said, “When you point the finger at someone, three fingers point back.” Sure, it’s somewhat capable, and discriminating against the likes of Johnny Tremaine, Captain Hook, and Jason Pierre-Paul, it’s still a good rule of thumb. (Also a discriminatory phrase, but whatever.) Which he usually uttered when pointing a judgmental, bony, liver-spotted finger at me and my friends. So I appreciate the willingness of Mack Jones, Ramond Stevenson, and Jacoby Meyers to fall on their swords in The Last Goat.

And you can make the case that at least two of the three were the Patriots’ problem. Jones was just 13-for-31 and 155 yards against a defense that has the highest rating against the passer (100.1) and the third-highest completion percentage (68.0%). But Stevenson and Meyers are easily dismissed, considering not only were they the most reliable offensive weapons all year, but what they did in the game:

But still, the three of them stood before the world, looking humanity in its collective eyes and saying it was all about them. which is good. Not good enough to get them into the playoffs. that ship I was swimming It sunk in when Chandler Jones made the most improbable and inexplicable fumble recovery in NFL history. No-scoop and score. But it counts for something. In a karmic sense, if nothing else. Especially on a team where justification is one of the deadly sins, Belichick would use this as a template if he ever decided to commit a serial killing spree:

And because this franchise is built on responsibility, identifying problems big and small and dealing with them with a cold, objective, analytical eye, without regard for anyone’s feelings, to find a solution, this is the best time to solve this problem. Last play matters. Indeed, of all the plays that led to this play.

And I think I’ve identified the source. It wasn’t Jones, Stevenson or Myers. It was captured here in this image:

Winslow Townson. Shutterstock images.

Ultimately, and I can’t imagine getting any kind of answer from Belichick on this, the problem is coaching. We can and should hold the aforementioned players accountable as they are. But this brain didn’t just happen in a vacuum. It was just the latest in a long and unbroken line of dumbasses that stretched throughout the year. He started in OTAs in the spring and has shown no sign of improvement, even though their next game is Christmas Eve.

False starts. Game delays. Timeouts were called to avoid delay of game. Dozens upon dozens of plays where it’s a race against time and just getting off the play is like trying to defuse a bomb before the timer hits 0:00. There are too many men. Not enough men on the field. Complete lack of situational awareness. Veteran players cut one extra yard inside instead of going out of bounds as time expires in the half. Maximum defense calls where blitzers are still unblocked. Too many to list. And if there was one clean game all year that wasn’t marred by these unforced errors, I can’t remember it.

And just because I’m using a photo of Matt Patricia and Joe Judge, it’s by no means limited to crime. In any other season, can you imagine a punt being blocked by a free-agent rusher as two veterans like Jabrill Peppers and Adrian Phillips look and gesture to each other as they snap the ball?

It has not been on any of the plays. It was a devastation at the team level. The latest ill-advised attempt to play hook and ladder was symptomatic of a larger problem that started months ago. It’s like the “broken window” concept of society, which says that if you allow windows to be broken without fixing them, or graffiti or people jumping without consequence, then people find that no one is responsible, their crime increases, and you get a collapse of the social order.

Here’s what happened here. The details have not been cleared up and this has led to a kind of anarchy, 14 games into the season. The 2022 Patriots offense ranks 10th in penalties. They are tied for 6th in drives finished with a turnover. They are 25th in average time per drive despite being the No. 1 offense.

They have a +31 point differential, which is 7th best in the league and is usually a pretty fair indicator of where you are as a team. But they are .500. Which means they find ways to lose. And Sunday in Vegas was their biggest success story on that front. And an example of what a team can do when they least want it.

That is, with the exception of the 2009 Patriots, which stands alone in the dynasty era as the most undisciplined team of Belichick’s tenure. Consistent in their unreliability, reliable in their inconsistency. And if we’re going to credit top coaches for everything they’ve done since Pete Carroll was shown the door in January 2000 (note: I do), then we have to admit that there’s a disconnect here between staff and personnel. players. Despite Jones and Patricia’s tender moments:

The bottom line is that the system is broken. The Patriots have to decide who broke it so badly that the game could end in such a wildly improvised, undisciplined and chaotic manner. Personally, I say the problem runs deep and traces back to the day the offense was put into the hands of two non-offensive coaches who failed to earn the players’ trust. You have a problem, lady. And fixing him is a priority 1-99 minutes into the regular season. Because it already cost us the playoffs.


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