Pats vs. Giants

The Patriots are who they’ve always been and pass interference is going the way we thought it would.Terribly.

Jim Rome
October 11, 2019 - 10:02 am
Tom Brady

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Before last night’s game, the Giants ruled out Saquon Barkley, Sterling Shepard, Evan Engram, and Wayne Gallman. In other words, if you play offense for the Giants, there’s a good chance you weren’t playing last night.

And doing that, on a Thursday night in Foxboro, with a rookie quarterback going up against Bill Belichick, you knew the G Men were in trouble. Serious trouble. 

I don’t know, but maybe you’ve l heard about Bill Belichick’s record against rookie quarterbacks in Foxboro? It’s pretty good. He handles rookie quarterbacks the way he handles tough questions about questionable personnel moves – he completely shuts them down.

Except that’s not exactly what happened last night. Because while the Patriots jumped out to a 14-0 lead, it quickly became a 14-14 game on a touchdown from Daniel Jones to Golden Tate.

Followed by a sack and fumble of Tom Brady.

Combine that with the Patriots issues on offense and we had ourselves a game. No we didn’t. Because no matter how close that game was in the first half, there was no way the Giants were winning that game. And sure enough, New England scored just before halftime to make it 21-14. And then finished it off with two touchdowns in the fourth quarter to make it 35-14.

Which was pretty much what everyone expected.

So now you have the questions: what is the deal with the Patriots offense? What is Daniel Jones? And most importantly what the hell is pass interference?

Let’s go in order. No, the Patriots offense isn’t clicking right now. There are the injuries at wide receiver. And along the offensive line. And they haven’t looked sharp since the Jets game. And Brady was off target more than usual last night.

And if you are going to use that as a reason to claim that they aren’t the team to beat in the AFC, you’re a damn fool. 

It says here that guys will get healthy and they’ll get it worked out, because they always do.

I have said it before and I will say it again and I will keep on saying it until I can’t speak any more: the New England Patriots are done when Tom Brady and Bill Belichick say they’re done. That’s it.

It doesn’t matter how they’re playing in September or October, they will be there in December and January and February.

And by the way, for all the talk of their slow start, they’re 6-0, they have the best record in the conference. They’re probably going to be hosting the AFC Championship game in January.

Here’s something else I know coming out of that game: I know that Daniel Jones is a rookie quarterback. That’s not to bash him. That’s just a statement of fact.

And I’m not going to crack on him for the fact that he threw three interceptions last night. Or that if you took away the 64-yard TD pass to Tate, his stats on the night were: 14 for 30 for 97 yards and three interceptions.

That’s not exactly the stuff of legend. Those aren’t the kind of numbers that are going to get you into the ring of honor, the way some folks were clearing space for him after a couple of starts.

I know the kind of defense he was playing against. And the weapons he didn’t have. But I also know some of the throws he made and some of them were rough. Really rough.

And he’s got a bad habit of turning over the ball – eight turnovers in four starts. That’s not great, either. 

Again, I’m not here to crack him: I’m just saying now, what I said after his great first start: slow the hell down: relax… – he’s a rookie. And this bizarre yo-yo that everyone’s been on, where one side demands an apology after a good start and the other side demands an apology for the apology after a bad start should stop right about now. Everyone just pump the brakes. And I’ll tell you exactly what we know about Jones. That he’s a rookie: and that he might be as bad as everyone thought he was coming out of college. And might not be as great as everyone thought he was after his first win. In other words, he’s probably not going to go down as the worst draft pick ever. And you can go ahead and stop fitting for his mustard blazer right now. 

Here is the final thing I know from last night and there definitely is an apology necessary for this one: the pass interference rule sucks.

I mean, we already knew that. In fact, I’ve been saying that since they announced that they were going to allow challenges, that it would be an absolute mess. And it has been.  But it’s even worse than I expected.

Let’s go to the fourth quarter of last night’s game. Golden Tate is running a route, Jonathan Jones grabs him not once, but twice in the route. It wasn’t called.

No problem, that’s why there’s the challenge system. Giants head coach Pat Schurmur throws a flag. It’s challenged. New York reviews it and says…there’s no penalty.

They got it wrong once and then doubled down on it and got it wrong again. And the bigger question is: why?

Because even in real time you could tell it was a penalty, but cut the old dudes on the field some slack. Sometimes they’re out of position and can’t get into the right spot to see it. Which is why you send it to review, where they can look at it from every angle, in slow motion, and get it right.

And they still get it wrong. And if you’re getting that one wrong, you have to be doing it intentionally. I’m not saying they’re looking to jam the Giants on that play. Or that they have a vendetta against Pat Schurmur.

I’m saying they sure as hell do not want to make the right call in that spot.

And either that’s because the review crew doesn’t want to hurt the feelings of the refs or for some other reason, but it’s insane. Absolutely ridiculous.

The thinking had been they were only going to change the result of egregious calls. Well… that was an egregious non-call and they still didn’t change the result.

What is the point of reviewing if you’re not going to correct it on review? No wonder head coaches are either raging or despondent when it comes to these calls.

This was all brought about because of one of the worst non-calls in the history of sports: Rams-Saints, maybe you’ve heard of it.

This was going to correct that. Except it’s made it worse. Review was supposed to correct that Rams-Saints blunder, but based on what I’ve seen so far, I’m not sure these clowns would’ve flagged that even on review.

And the only thing worse than getting a call wrong once, is getting a call wrong once, looking at it in slow motion, and then getting it wrong again. And they are doing that time and time again.

So in conclusion: the Patriots are who they’ve always been, Daniel Jones is who we thought he was, and pass interference is going the way we thought it would – terribly.