MNF Is Supposed To Be Fun

Last night was not.

Jim Rome
November 10, 2020 - 9:22 am
Bill Belichick

USA Today

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Monday Night Football is supposed to be fun. In fact, it’s supposed to be one of the best things ever. It’s supposed to be two good teams, set apart from the rest of the league, playing in primetime. It’s supposed to be kickass. Sometime to really look forward to.  Let’s be real: plenty of people don’t like their jobs. Hell, don’t like their LIVES. And live for the weekends: it’s sad; and it shouldn’t be that way; and it doesn’t to be that way; but for a lot of folks, it is that way. They’re living for the weekend: and Monday night football is a way to extend the weekend. So it’s awesome. At least, it’s supposed to be.   But last night wasn’t. Last night was none of that. 

And after suffering through a primetime game with the one-win Giants last week, we got a game between the two-win Pats and the zero-win Jets. That was our reward. The so-called carrot. Right. A carrot covered in crap: a crap covered carrot.

Sure, there are certain games that are so bad they’re good, but that wasn’t one of them.  That was just bad. So bad, that the Jets, one of the worst teams in the history of the league, were winning for most of the game. 

I’m not sure what was more humiliating – the fact that the Pats were losing to the Jets or the fact that they were losing to the Joe Flacco Jets. Call it a tie for last.

These are the New England Patriots. Winners of six Super Bowls in the last 20 years, led by the greatest coach in NFL history. And they were losing to Joe Flacco and the Jets. Talk about a fall from grace. When it goes, it goes fast. Ammirite, chowds?! 

You go from competing for a Super Bowl every single year to trying to grind out a win against a 0-8 Jets team. Bill Belichick should be able to pull 53 randos off the street, men, women and children and still beat the Jets. But Bill Belichick and 53 professional football players were having a damn hard time with it last night.

You know those moments when you see something and you know it’s real, but your brain can’t make sense of it? You see it but you just can’t get your head around it? You just can’t figure out how to process what you’re seeing?  And in those moments, you come up with some sort of alternate explanation for what’s happening. so it does make sense. 

That was happening last night. Bill Belichick losing to Adam Gase was so weird, so bizarre, that folks were rolling with the theory that Belichick was trying to lose that game because he didn’t want the Jets to get Trevor Lawrence.

That’s how hard folks were working to make sense of the horrible display last night. There’s no way the Patriots can actually be losing to the Jets, so there has to be something else at work here, right? And I don’t blame folks for trying to explain it that way. I mean, how else do you explain Joseph Vincent Flacco doing this to a Bill Belichick defense?

You know what’s even crazier about that touchdown? The fact that Joe Flacco passed Joe Montana on the all-time passing yards list with that bomb. That is absolutely incredible. And you know Flacco was thinking, scoreboard Montana, a look up it. Joe’s the goat.  Yeah, well, I’m better than the goat.  

And then Flacco chased that with this another touchdown, this time to Jamison Crowder.

The only thing that would’ve made those tds better is if Joe Flacco was shouting “hey!” Every time he threw them.

And one other note on Joe Flacco before I move on – I cannot get enough of the sideline shots of Joe Flacco during games. I want a full-time Flaccocam on him when the defense is on the field.

Most quarterbacks are studying a tablet, talking to receivers, or coaches, or the offensive line. You know, showing some sign of life. Focused. Locked in. Like, you know, caring.  But not Joe Flacco. He’s sitting there, staring off into space, zoned out. Looking like he’d rather be anywhere else in the world other than where he actually was in that moment.  I’d love to know exactly what the hell that guy is thinking about in those moments, because it sure doesn’t seem like it has anything to do with game of football or his job.  Then again, it’s not like he had to look at tablet or any Xeroxed pics of the dee or talk to anyone: because what he was doing, was working, against the alleged greatest defensive coach ever and his alleged vaunted secondary. 

But Joe Flacco airing it out and then looking stone-faced wasn’t the weirdest part of last night. Because the Jets, the 0-8 Jets, were beating the Patriots. I cannot stress this enough. Adam Gase was getting over on Bill Belichick. And that was weird as hell.

It was so weird and so bad that there were announcers trying to make the case that the Jets had a bunch of playmakers on the outside. Sure. Right. Of course. Like it’s unfair how many playmakers the 0-8 Jets have: what? Does the salary cap apply to everyone except the Jets: do they get extra picks in the draft: how the hell do the Jets have so many more weapons than everyone else! That’s how hard that crew was selling all their explosive talent on the outside.

Right. So many playmakers….That’s the real reason why they hadn’t scored more than 10 points in the four games leading into last night – because they had so many playmakers.

No, the reason is the Patriots are a shell of themselves. They are just flat out not a good football team. It has nothing to do with tanking and everything to do with the fact that their defense was getting worked by Joe Flacco.

But as bad as the Pats are, they couldn’t keep it up forever. They weren’t going to out-suck the Jets. You just can’t do that. It’s impossible. The Jets were determined to lose that game. You saw signs of it in the first quarter when Gase decided to punt on 4th and 3 from the Patriots 41.

You’re 0-8 and punting on 4th and 3 from your opponents 41. The quit is strong in this one. The cowardice is strong in that one. The commitment to getting Trevor Lawrence is strong in that one.

And sure enough, the Jets really came on in the fourth quarter. There was the time they had 12 men on the field when the Patriots were going to kick a field goal. That was effectively the Jets handing the Pats a first down. And then the Pats couldn’t do anything with it and ended up kicking a field goal.

Two bad teams unable to figure out a way to win. If we’re being honest, the real highlight of the game was when someone was absolutely stunned by the refs calling holding on a Patriots receiver.

Pretty cool that the Pats signed Lil Jon for last night. Honestly, I bet Jon could’ve helped the offense last night.

I haven’t heard a better mic’d up reaction since the “We did it” guy celebrated the Spurs maintaining homecourt advantage over the Grizzlies back in the day.

And just when you were thinking the most Jets thing ever would be for them to beat the Patriots and hurt their chances of getting Trevor Lawrence, just when you were thinking they were going to lose by winning, they came through.

Don’t kid yourselves. This isn’t a team with a ton of pride or dignity. And they sure as hell aren’t well coached.

And when they needed to, they manned down. When it would’ve been easier to give up and actually win, they dug deep, they battled, and they figured out a way to lose.

Because in the end, the Patriots march down the field and kick the game winner. That didn’t just win the game, it saved the country. Because the last thing anyone needed was for that game to go to overtime

And they did what they had to do. They had to have that one. And they were able to grind it out. And no, there are no style points. But, you beat one of the worst teams ever, playing their backup, as a ten point favorite. Congratulations. I know you’re not going to apologize for that win, but you should. Exactly what does that get you? Don’t act like it saved your season, because it didn’t. It just kept your seaso

As for the Jets, its good thing they woke the hell up before it was too late:

Nearly choked and won, jeopardizing the first pick overall last night. That lack of focus exactly why they’re an embarrassment; it’s why they’re the Jets. Eyes on the bleeping prize, fellas. Now is not the time to let go the rope. Now is not the time to fall of the path.  Now is not the time to start trying or showing professionalism. You came this close to choking, and winning. What the hell are you thinking? If management really wanted you to win games, they would have fired crazy eyes long ago. You’re not in it to win it, you’re in to lose it. And don’t forget it. So get back at it and do all those things you were previously doing:  you know, all the wrong things: the things that got you to 0-8 in the first place. In others, man the hell down. Now is not the time to convince yourselves or anyone else for that matter that you have heart, and grit and pride. You don’t. Or you wouldn’t have been 0-8 in the first place. Do. Your. Job. And your job is to do everything wrong.