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December 24, 2007


Andrew Farrar

Hey, don't knock the defence. They played heroically all night, unlike Brady and the offence who quit at half time. If your defence is going to keep coming back onto the field as regularly as the New England defence did last evening, you're going to give up points, eventually.

Miami played the whole fixture. The Patriots defence played the whole fixture. Brady and the Patriot offence just played for a half and then started fannying around.


So a while back I asked you to tell me your theory as to *why* Brady / the offense have been 'fannying around' and got no answer. I understood your point about the Patriots' offense the first several times--do you have any followup ideas? Or are you waiting for me to say Brady sucks? Is that it? Exactly what is it you keep harping on this point for?

Andrew Farrar

If you can't take criticism, maybe you shouldn't be submitting items for public scrutiny?

And I did give you an answer - complacency. You wrote yourself that after the Jets fixture Brady was smiling like a "cat brim full of canary". Why? How many points did the offence contribute to the Jets fixture?

Brady's second half performance yesterday was appalling.


right, but what's your point? you have mentioned brady's 'appalling' performances before. you have mentioned the Patriots' offense sucks, etc., repeatedly and continually. forget about psychoanalyzing me for a moment--exactly what is the response you're looking for?

okay. complacency. the patriots are complacent? brady himself is complacent? and...? what's the upshot, andrew? what is it you want me to say to you? why do you keep bringing this up over and over again?

Andrew Farrar

Do I want you to say anything? Or am I, like you, giving an opinion?

Yes, that's what I'm doing, I'm giving an opinion. You don't like it, I don't care.

Your opinion was that the New England defence "was backed deep into its own territory on many occasions and even surrendered points in the third quarter." I'm saying that was down to them being over-worked due to the shortcomings of Brady and Co and not a problem with the defence.

And the point is, there are a lot lot better teams than Baltimore, New York Jets and Miami out there and if Brady and the offence don't give themselves a shake, or get shaken up by Belichick, 15-0 won't mean a bloody thing, because the Patriots won't be superbowling.


did you read in this post where i talked about the offense in the second half? it seems you did read the post, since you mention my line about the defense...so if i even mention the way the defense played in the second half alongside what the offense did, that is tantamount to placing all the blame on the defense and therefore disagreeing with your opinion?

i think i acknowledged that the offense played badly in the second half. i also mentioned that the defense pulled their socks up in the fourth quarter. i didn't come to a conclusion about *why* the offense was lackluster (and i'm still not sure how "complacency" explains it), but otherwise...i really don't think we disagree. which is why i'm baffled that you keep coming back with the comments you do.

Andrew Farrar

The socks of the defence were pulled up for the whole game - they played heroically.

I acknowledge that you commented on the offence playing badly, I just thought comments that reflected negatively on the defence were not justified, since in my view defensive problems were caused by the offence not staying on the field.


i had that same thought, jamie, but it seemed very weird coming from the pats. but it def looked like brady was taking chances he wouldn't have otherwise, like you said about not putting together drives.

then again, they were trying--and completing--plays they had no business making in the first half, too. there were at least two catches jabar gaffney absolutely should not have made--it was unbelievable they weren't picks, but one of them was for a big gain and another was for a touchdown. also, a lot of those "forcing" plays worked earlier in the season, like when they played Miami in Miami--there were at least two touchdown throws to Moss in that game that were mirror images of the play where Moss got tripped in the third quarter on Sunday. i think miami deserves a *little* credit, if only just a little, for making adjustments over the course of the season and the game, but it's also a bit worrisome to me that the patriots weren't making the same plays they did before.

when i talk about wanting to know why, too, what i mean is, i know brady and the offense didn't play as well and i know they were trying to force plays. but why didn't they work this time? what exactly were the adjustments miami made? what were the adjustments the patriots made? what *was* their mentality coming in to the second half? these are the kinds of questions belichick and brady deflect at press conferences, because going into those details would amount to saying "here's how to beat us." but i'm still curious as to exactly what changed.

anyways, merry christmas to all and keeping my fingers crossed for next week in NY!

Andrew Farrar

Attitude changed, complacency set in.


that is probably part of it, but i don't think it's the only explanation.


The offense's problems were, I think, as plain as day in the second half: they were forcing the ball down the field. Instead of putting drives together, they tried to snag the records the quick way. There was an obvious blown call on Moss, but that was just one of any significance. Both of Brady's INTs were a result of forcing the ball. I would imagine next week when they are playing to win and not just get records, they will achieve both by being patient and putting together drives.

Andrew Farrar

Merry Christmas, young fellow. You're probably right, but such fannying around wasn't doing the noble defence any favours at all.

It's a team game and the offence should be considering the defence at all times.

Now, in the first half, New England's much-vaunted offence had pounded the "aquatic mammals" defence into submission - they were so beaten down that Maroney was able to manage 50 yard plus runs.

In the second half they went all poncy, trying silly stuff that gave the Miami defence new heart.

Meanwhile, the proud and stolid New England defence was pounded and pounded in the second half, thanks to the offence messing around, and eventually they gave a score away. But they also managed to stop Miami on the one yard line twice.


Nice article. I respect your article for your relative objectivity on such a heated issue in sports today; it seems like people either want to live history by seeing the pats go undefeated or they would pay grands just to see Belichick's sorry face when the Pats lose.

Before I start, I want to let it be known that I am not a Patriots fan at all, and I could care less about whether I see 'history' by seeing the pats go undefeated. If anything, I hope they go undefeated and get helplessly beat up in the playoffs. By the way, I'm a Texans fan so I've not much to cheer about this season except that David Carr's not starting as QB anymore (You Boston ppl have it so good it's almost unfair, Sox, Pats, Celtics...).

Anyway, I think you brought it up somewhere in the article but maybe being so close to beating the records did affect Brady a little. Brady's middle name seems to be 'outdoing Manning' and it would be sweet revenge for him to just shatter manning's record after last year's loss in the playoffs. He was and is only 1 TD away to tie the record and Moss is pretty close to breaking his if not already I think (not sure on this).

Also, the play worked twice when the Pats played Miami the first time. I hate to take credit away from the 'All-American boy' Brady, but his receivers have been unbelievable this year. I was counting, and 16 of his touchdown passes weren't actually into the end zones, his receivers made some plays, and some of his throws are literally "pitch it up to moss in double/triple coverage".

Ya, I admit I'm hating on the patriots a little but Belichick is such a dislikeable character. I'm sure his stern character motivates his players and keeps his team in line in a lot of ways but being an ***hole is in no way part of being a great NFL coach. I especially hate how he ignores a lot of coaches after games and walks away when offered a handshake by the opponent's head coach a lot of times.

I'm just throwing this out there as a joke but maybe Brady had money on the game lol. I know the line opened at 22 in a lot of Offshore sportsbook sites.


Merry Christmas all btw.

Andrew Farrar

JJ, you're just so wrong about Belichick it isn't funny - he's the best thing about the Patriots.


Merry Christmas all! Beth asked why the plays worked earlier in the season, what's changed, etc. I feel it's just the human factor. Honestly, those huge plays earlier in the year would probably be incomplete or intercepted 8 out of 10 times normally, and the Pats were getting very lucky, but then there's that saying: don't go to the well too many times. Brady and Co. are at their best putting together drives, whether it's by passing or running or a combination. The TDs will come this way, it will just take 5 minutes or more to get them as opposed to 1 minute. I'm sure this will be emphasized this week, besides the fact that Brady on't have the time to take these long shots against the G-Men's pass rush.


jamie, i think you're right and i think my theory in the absence of a more forthcoming belichick is kind of a hybrid of what you said and what andrew has said. i think in the second half with the game put away the patriots knew they could continue pounding miami into the mud with drives or they could only try for points if it would get randy or tom closer to the records--and otherwise would just see what happened.

whether or not that attitude was objectionable is another discussion, andrew has a good point about the offense being cognizant of the defense. then again, the defense got lots of time off in the first half, and the first round bye is a big factor in how belichick chooses to play his guys.

i agree with jamie that the patriots' approach should and will be different against the giants.

btw, jamie, you went to the game, too, right? where did you sit?



I was behind the endzone opposite the one with the huge McD's, about 9 rows up from the field! Maroney came running right at me! lol



I never doubted that Belichick is a good coach. He is scary good at what he does, and if I was coaching an NFL team, he would be the last coach I would want to go up against. I was merely pointing out the fact that his demeanor (not his coaching) is very dislikeable. The way he carries himself is a big part of how he coaches, but I fail to see how my perception of a coach's character can be a matter of being right or wrong. It's merely my opinion that he is tool a lot of times. Bottom line is: I would want him as my coach, but he would be the last person I would want to be in the company of.

Andrew Farrar

Well, my opinion is that he's a top bloke, although I'd like to see him revert to Beli?i? as his surname. It's somewhat endearing the way he patrols the touchline (sideline) with a grimace forged from steel upon his face.

I'd also imagine that the "uber-golem" persona that he displays in public is a front and that he's probably a very different person in private. I'd far prefer to be in the company of Belichick than the clown in the Oval Office - Belichick for President.

And I just don't get this silly American concept that scoring as many points as possible is showing a lack of class. What's that all about, then?


I never made a point against the Patriots scoring the way they have. It's the NFL, not Friday Night Football and I think a team should be able to score however many they want. The only point I made was his shaking off other coaches' handshakes at the end of games. That, I think, is classless.

Andrew Farrar

No, that's true enough, you didn't, but loads of other people have and I just don't understand it.

And why does it make such a huge difference when it's Joe Gibbs? What is he, a football coach or a sacred cow?

Anyway, there's Balkan blood running through the veins of Belichick and they take their feuding deadly serious in the Balkans.


Ok, before i begin..i wana say ima Dolphins fan...and im actually kinda shocked on what im seeing...you guys have the best team and you're arguing? Granted that these issues you're talking about could lead to bigger problems later on, but cmon....you are Pats fans...i know for a damn fact that as long as Brady is under center, the dolphins have no shot at winning the Afc East for a long time. And since ima Fins fan i can wish nothing more than for the Pats to crash and burn in the playoffs, but lets be a little realistic, we all know its gona come down to the Pats/Colts..which i think its getting a little boring now. I thought the Monday Night game against the Pats/Ravens was probably the best game ive seen in years..im sure you can guess i was disappointed that night but none the less it was a great game..I think the reason for me commenting on this discussion you pats fans are having is that it almost seems like you're complaining for your team cuz they messed around a little bit in the second half of fins game , or they didnt destroy the Jets as everyone had suspected, honestly i knew before that game the Jets hada sure chance in winning, regardless of record, they always play well against the rival teams. I just wana say to pats fans, dont worry...your team will probably make the SB and may even win it for that matter...who knows..just hope they dont become into the Yankees-type legacy, where they buy all these prime players and it doesnt pan out..cuz the yankees 90's legacy has been ripped to shreds because of Steinbrenners greed..you just better hope the Pats dont do the same thing.



What you're witnessing here is the Boston sports fans' need to find the negative needle in a haystack of positives. There always has to be something to complain about I guess. The tale of two halves though is an interesting discussion that has, as I mentioned, an easy explanation.

On your Yankees comparison, that just doesn't work. You can't simply "buy" all kinds of prime players to put together a championship team. The Pats have worked with the same salary cap as every other team in the NFL. Thank Al Davis for Moss. Also look to the players themselves. Most have taken less $ to come here and play, and that speaks volumes about this organization.


ah, the time-honored pats / yankees analogy. there are just so many reasons it doesn't work, but it's convenient, and it's an easy way to drive most pats fans crazy (there are some pats / yanks fans who probably don't mind).

three super bowl wins in the last 10 years =/= 26 championships in the last century.

three super bowl wins in the last 10 years in a league with a salary cap =/= the yankees dynasty of the 1990s. that salary cap is the principal thing that torpedoes the pats = yankees argument. (not to mention the fact that many of the players who formed the foundation of the yankees' 90's dynasty were products of their farm system, such as andy pettitte and derek jeter, though they also included high-priced free-agent acquisitions, especially in the later years.)

if anything, the patriots are closer in personnel strategy to the oakland a's famed 'moneyball' approach: finding underrated players from among other teams' castoffs and fitting them into a system that uses careful analysis of the game to put them in the situations in which they will be most effective. tom brady was a 6th round draft pick. mike vrabel came from the steelers' scrap heap. everyone thought tedy bruschi was too small to play linebacker in the pros. randy moss was acquired for a song after bottoming out with the oakland raiders. etc.

the yankees are one of the winningest franchises in the history of any sport and have been winning championships with regularity since woodrow wilson was president. the patriots have won three championships in their 47-year history, and until bob kraft bought the team, were a bottom-feeding franchise which at different points in its chequred past did not have a permanent stadium or a regular tv broadcast schedule, even locally, and whose claims to fame consisted of being disgraced by home fans on monday night football and being humiliated in the '86 super bowl against the bears.

Both the yankees and the patriots have won several championships in the last 10-15 years. That's about where the comparison ends. They did so in sports and leagues which are apples and oranges, and in historical contexts that could not be more different.

also i think that pats fans and the pats themselves can't win at this point. if we were sitting here resting on the team's laurels and just enjoying everything, we'd have commenters telling us how disgustingly arrogant and cocky we are.


I could have possibly succumbed to the Boston Sports Fan Syndrome, but I believe that was after the Baltimore Ravens game, and the Ravens offense moved the ball way too easily. The Ravens' offense is complete crap, and they were running and passing (by Kyle Boller!) at will at times. Though the offense struggled, the defense should have been able to lock down that offense.

I point as a comparison to the 2004 Baltimore game where the Pats beat a Boller-led Ravens team 24-3. The offense struggled that game but the defense was absolutely dominant and actually scored a TD. I guess I was expecting a similar performance, but again, I could have been being a little picky.

Andrew Farrar

Hello everyone, me again.

I don't think the Yankees-Patriots thing holds water for one reason.

That reason is Robert Kraft.

The problem for the Yankees, as the fellow points out, is the vanity of the club's owner and the subservience of his minnions.

By the way, 1986 was when I started nominally following the Patriots. The NFL was having one of its periodic bouts of popularity in the UK and a few chums at school followed teams and asked me whose fortunes I followed. Well, I saw an article in the newspaper about a pitch invasion and broken goalposts after New England made the play-offs, so I decided they were my team.

And they made it all the way to the superbowl, against all the odds. Best of all, the beat Miami (Dan Marino and all) along the way and most of my chums followed the Dolphins, due to Marino.

Still, got walloped in the superbowl by a fridge. Ah well, such things happen.

Andrew Farrar

By the way, young Jamie, can I assume that you were looking for the "negative needle in a haystack of positives" when you wrote, on December 4th, 2007, "the defense [sic], again, looked soft and vulnerable"?

I've just been defending the honour of the noble defence - Vrabel's the best player on New England's roster.

Anyway, I'm listening to Maria McKee's "If love is a red dress, hang me in rags" and getting into a wonderfully mellow mood.


Ok, but one thing you guys need to realize, you still got prime players..i never said you paid alot for them..but look at your receiving corp....Moss,Stallworth,Welker, and up and coming Caldwell...so you get alot of great players but for cheap, im not saying you are like the yankees..cuz in some ways you're not..but lets just say Tom Brady is the Derek Jeter of the Pats.

Just hope Moss doesn't turn into the Arod for you guys...wonderful in the season, a no-name in the playoffs.

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