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Cardinal Patriots at Home: It’s Hard to Find the Silver Lining in the Pats Mediocrity

Do you know these Snickers ads? The ones with the catchphrase “You’re not yourself when you’re hungry …” at the end?

A variant of this came to my mind on Sunday when I mastered Bill Belichick’s defense for Kem Newton’s performance against the Cardinals.

Asked if Jarrett Steadham was an option in the midst of Newton’s 9-for-18, 84-yard performance, with two picks and three sacks, Belicik sidestepped the issue, stressing, “Kam threw for 350 last week.”


The man who gave birth to the phrase “Statistics are for losers?” The man who answered 95 percent of all inquiries about Tom Brady’s omnipotence said, “Tom works hard. As many of our players do. “

This same person is now dealing with saying, “Yes, but last week Cam was great !!”?

You’re not yourself when your team stinks.

When your team really stinks, you’re not talking about a “long road.” Take Ws wherever you can find them and run for the house as fast as you can.

When your team really stinks, you are not the personification of darkness, looking for the smallest cloud in an otherwise perfect sky. You find a silver lining in the middle of the monsoon.

Patriots on Phil Perry’s report card for the victory over the Cardinals

“I’m really proud of the way these guys competed,” Belichik said after the 20-17 victory in the buzzer at Nick Folk’s feet. “Give them all the credit in the world for the end result. They played hard, competed for 60 minutes, made enough plays in critical moments of the game to win.

“The guidance we have received from the captains and some of the other veteran players here over the last few weeks has been great,” Belichik continued. “I think it really helped some other players to prepare better and eventually perform a little more consistently. A good way to end Thanksgiving weekend. Next week we have two big games in Los Angeles. Try to enjoy this for a while, then switch to chargers. “

It’s easy to understand a head coach who enjoys an ugly victory and snorts the idea that a victory like this (or this one, just like Folk delivered them against the Jets) is beneath them.

Targeting a team with a dimensionless offense and thus defending to victory when the quarterback is actively harpooning your chances? It’s hard to do. Definitely enjoy.

They break their asses and work until midnight, devising a plan that will end with having more points than their opponent on Sunday afternoon. They get a stand for gollini. Stop at the end of the game to force a field goal. Two big special teams are back, leading to points. Fourth down touchdown when playing options for James White? Mission accomplished.

Where the Patriots stand in the updated picture for the AFC playoffs

But those of us who don’t train and play for the Patriots? You have to squeeze very hard to see the silver lining.

They won, but are 5-6 and embarked on a rather difficult journey with three games before returning home to play the scores. They do not pose a clear and present danger of making the playoffs and – even if they win – the countless problems they face are exposed.

They may have the worst attack in the NFL. Too often, Newton can’t find anyone to throw at. When he does, he throws wildly too often. They have no direct threat. They have no extensions that make someone sweat. Newton does enough with his feet to compensate for the passing troubles in the game and to ensure victories that turn into a perfume for sharp performances.

They are committing a crime to return to the first league and the building blocks that will take them out of the mid-50s are not currently on the list.

Cam Newton on the Patriots’ ugly victory

Meanwhile, the path to mediocrity that seems to be moving is in the project, and these shocking victories in November will eventually move them further down the line.

This year the Patriots spent a lot of time mentioning how close they should have a better record. And it is true. Hell, they could be 8-3 if things turned out differently in the declining minutes against Seahawks, Broncos and Bills. They could also have been 3-8 if it weren’t for the journeyman who won this year’s fifth-round pick to replace him.

Gone are the days when the Patriots would win and Belichik said, “(Fill in the number) victories will not take you much in this league.”

Win number 5 this year and go up to .500? They will take it. Happy.


Now, continuing from the “Yes, but …” part of the program … The Patriots somehow turned to Keiler Murray. He finished 23 to 34 in just 170 yards and the constant pressure they put through the game put him in a pedestrian performance. Last week’s superb show by Deschawn Watson was dotted with precise finishes on well-covered receivers. Murray could not cope with this accuracy and the Patriots put pressure on Murray from all levels of their defense. Rookie Josh Uche, Chase Winovich, Adam Butler and Lawrence Guy have had a big impact.

WATCH: Brady, Chris Jones of the Chiefs Engage in Heated Verbal Exchange

Adrian Phillips, who came out with a deflected pass, said the key was in the quick pass.

Pressure, you know? “Every time you push a quarterback, whether it’s someone who’s mobile or someone who’s pocket-sized, if you push it and just keep mixing the looks, it creates a lot of problems for the boys,” he explained.

“So we managed to do that. If you look back to the earlier parts of the season and even last week when we were under pressure, we didn’t do it under control. We let them get out of pocket and let them drive or whatever. , find an open receiver down.But today we really made sure that whatever it is, we will put pressure on this person, we will bring him after him, but we will not just let him run around. so the game plan will be hard to beat us. “


The goal post just before halftime prevented the Cardinals from leading 17-7 at the break, it was obviously a huge moment in the game. But the Patriots’ special teams were undoubtedly the reason they won. And that goes beyond the winner of the Folk game.

The Patriots’ first touchdown was largely created by the return of the 53-yard start from newcomer Donte Moncryffe. The key driving game was a 13-yard run for Jacobi Myers with a 15-yard penalty against Arizona when Isaiah Simmons was marked for lowering his helmet to make contact.

Excessive reactions from the Pats’ victory over the Cardinals

White scored in the fourth and second steps of Cardinals 7 to limit the disc.

Montcrife said he had not responded with kicks since his 2014 freshman year at Colts.

“The coach of the special teams (Cam Achord) asked me:” How do you feel when you return? “I’m like, ‘If you need me, I’ll do it.’ “I will do anything to help this team,” Moncrife said. He gave me a chance during the week and liked what he saw, so I stayed with him.

“We had the right return and Jack [Jakob Johnson] and artilleryman [Olszewski] make two great blocks. So, I just followed them and saw the hole, “Montcrife explained. “I hit the crease. I remember the coach telling me early in a week, he was like, ‘There’s going to be a hole, you just have to hit it.’ “I just trusted what he told me, and when I did, it worked.”

Cam Newton praises Pats’ D for the goal line

The other big comeback came from Olszewski, who made a 34-yard kick by Andy Lee of the Patriots 18 all the way back. The 82-yard return was reduced by a blocking block thrown by Anferny Jennings. Although he was squared with the Cardinals’ defender in pursuit, officials imposed the part of the rule that says a player cannot stand or parallel to his own end zone when delivering the block. The Patriots still got a goal from the folk field.

Meanwhile, Jake Bailey continues to have accents. He had three strokes, one of which was dropped in Cardinals 3.

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