Tom Brady

USA Today

Back-To-Back December Losses

We are seeing things from the Patriots that we never see.

December 17, 2018 - 11:26 am

For years, anytime the Patriots have slipped up, everyone has rushed IN to bury the Pats. Look! See! Bill Belichick has finally lost it. He’s finally gotten rid of too many good players. Tom Brady is finally old. The league has finally caught up to them.

Everyone has raced in to bury the Pats, and every time they do it, the Pats climb out of the grave and bludgeon the league with that shovel. You bury them and they go to the Super Bowl. You can set your watch to it. 

That’s why I’ve been saying all along that the Patriots will be done when Bill Belichick and Tom Brady are done. In other words, you don’t say get to say when the Patriots are done, the Patriots will say when they’re done.

But that didn’t stop people from looking to smash New England after that meltdown against the Dolphins last week. And it won’t stop people from looking to embalm them after yesterday’s meltdown against the Steelers. 

Because playing the Steelers was supposed to get the Patriots right for a couple of reasons. First off, they’ve had a weird issue playing in Miami over the years and they lost on a fluke play that required a bunch of mistakes earlier in the game for that play to even matter. I mean, one of those mistakes was Tom Brady actually forgetting the number of timeouts the Pats had at the end of the first half. When does that happen? Answer: never.

So that’s a fluke loss. A freak event that could only happen in a place like Miami and would never happen again. Certainly not against the Steelers who just lost to the Raiders and had not beaten the Patriots in their last five meetings. 

Hoody, Brady, and the Pats have a complete and total mental hold on the Steelers. Pittsburgh always finds a way to lose to New England, sometimes it’s cool and unique, other times it’s just flat out not-showing up. So there’s no way New England loses this game. 

Pittsburgh 17

New England 10

The franchise that had beaten Tom Brady a total of two times in his life, just beat him for a third time. And it’s not just that the Patriots lost back-to-back games in December for the first time in forever, it’s how they lost.

With 14 penalties for 106 yards, including five false starts.

With five straight punts at one point in the game, for the first time in three years

With an 0 for 3 performance in the red zone

And with whatever the hell this was from Tom Brady, down 4, in the fourth quarter.

Tom Brady down four in the fourth in the red zone is money in the bank. That’s when he does his best work, not when he starts arm punting. 


Brady said afterwards: “I was just trying to flick it out of bounds. I didn’t want to take the sack. Shouldn’t happen.”

Uhh, right, it shouldn’t happen. But if that was trying to flick it out of bounds, the situation might be even worse than we thought. Because that didn’t look like a flick and it didn’t get out of bounds. How is that possible? Did his arm strength just vanish over night? And did his brain go with it? Because that’s two straight weeks he’s had horrible errors that have cost them points.

You want to know how rare that it? Its Brady’s first red zone pick since 2016.

Whatever. You know how it’s going to go. The Pats look like they’re about to blow it to the Steelers, then they drive down and win it at the end.

And sure enough, they drove back down to the Steelers 11 yard line in the final minute to force overtime and eventually win it. Okay, fine, there was a holding on second down. Whatever, it just means that Brady’s epic touchdown will come from the 21 instead of the 11. But then he threw an incomplete pass. And another. Which meant that when he threw a TD pass on fourth down, it was really going to crush the Steelers. Or an incompletion. 

Wait, what? He didn’t find a way to win that game? They lost to the Steelers? In December? 

Losses in December, losses to the Steelers, red zone picks, these are like plagues of locusts and frogs falling from the sky. We are seeing things from the Patriots that we never see.

But I’m not backing down. I’ve said that the Pats will be done when Bill and Tom say they’re done.

And I’m not changing from that. I’m not worried about the Patriots. 

But if I was worried about the Pats, I’d be worried about the fact that they’ve had two back-to-back sloppy games. 

I’d be worried about the fact that they went 3-5 on the road this season and they clearly are not the same team away from Foxborough. And the way they’re playing right now, they’ll have to go on the road in the postseason.

I’d be worried that the Pats receivers aren’t getting the separation that they usually get. 

I’d be worried that Gronk doesn’t seem like Gronk, on offense or defense. 

I would be worried about the fact that Tom Brady doesn’t look 41. He looks 61.

I’d be worried that the Patriots have never reached a Super Bowl without having a playoff bye.   

But most of all, I’d be worried about this quote from Bill Belichick: “I’m proud of our guys. I thought we battled all the way – from the first play to the last – but in the end we came up a little short. They made a few more plays than we did. It was a typical, tough football game against the Steelers. They did a little more than we did tonight.”

Who are you and what have you done with the real Bill Belichick? Bill Belichick doesn’t talk that way. Proud of his guys after a loss? He’s not proud of them after a win. I’ve never heard him talk this way, even after a Super Bowl. And now he’s proud of his guys for losing at Pittsburgh the way that they did? He’s proud of their effort? He’s proud that they battled?!? 

Alvin, you can throw that into your Spooky Mix, because that is the scariest thing I’ve ever heard. 

Again, I’m not worried about the Patriots, but if I was, that quote would keep me up at night