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Belichick and Brady Bomb in League Opener

It was only one game, but the New England Patriots are in real trouble. New England, picked by almost everyone as the NFL’s top team, laid a big egg on the national stage. Never before have coach Bill Belichick and QB Tom Brady looked so ordinary and ill-prepared. The Green Bay Packers have to be thinking: no way will we allow ourselves to stink like that on our home turf and in our first game.

Like the 2015 Packers, a megastar quarterback lost his ace receiver on a non-contact play during the Patriots’ preseason schedule. Will the knee injury to Julian Edelman drag down his team’s passing game the way the Jordy Nelson injury did? Early indications are yes.

As to Belichick, how about the first play of the second quarter? New England has a nice eight-play drive going, and they’re on the Chiefs’ 8-yard line, fourth down and less than a yard. He’s at home, it’s week 1, and Tom Brady is under center. So Belichick opts to kick a field goal – inexplicable. I suspect Belichick well knows he doesn’t have the horses this year.

Then, with 2:07 left in the half, the Chiefs are on their own 11-yard line and facing a 2nd and 7. Belichick calls a time out – why? Mike McCarthy has done this – and had it come back to bite him – three or four times in the past two years. The Chiefs got a first down, kept the drive alive, and – helped by the their opponent stopping the clock – scored in the final seconds of the half. It’s a bad percentage choice. Save the timeout until you are sure you’re getting the ball back.

Brady’s bad performance can’t be blamed on age, but he certainly wasn’t in top form to start the season. He missed badly on several deep throws, and he threw the ball up for grabs on many mid-range tosses. How out of synch was he and his (now) quite-average receivers? He targeted his wide receivers and tight ends 21 times, completing only six.

Early in the fourth quarter the Pats were still in the game, and they were at the Chiefs’ 40-yard line, fourth down and a foot to go. The decision to go for it was obvious, but the call, with Mike Gillislee lining up eight yards back and taking the handoff straight up the middle, was too obvious. Who is running back Gillislee? He just joined the Patriots, his third team in four years of undistinguished backup play.

By the time Gillislee got to the line of scrimmage, the Chiefs’ front seven had enough time to jam things up and leave him with no place to go. Even Eddie Lacy was stopped many times over the past four years due to such play calls.

Coincidentally, the announcers told us earlier that when Brady does a quarterback sneak with a yard or less to go, he’s successful 91 percent of the time. Just about anything other than the play that was called would have been a better choice.

New England lost more than a little of its aura. Belichick and his decision-making were uninspired, Brady was rusty and ragged, and New England’s defensive backfield got shredded. Much of the crowd left well before the game mercifully ended at 42-27. When your passing game is sputtering and your pass defense is lacking, you aren’t going far in an era that blatantly favors the passing game.

We’ll see how the power rankings have changed after the weekend, but I’m thinking Green Bay, Atlanta, Dallas, and Seattle will all move ahead of the defending champs. The talent this year is in the NFC.

Rob Born

I’m with Matt: “You gotta make those chunk plays!”



  1. MJ September 8, 2017

    Actually, the Pats front seven was being pushed around like crazy. The Chiefs had their choice. Run off tackle, run up the middle, grind out those short yards, everything worked.
    At the same time, the entire league knows that if you build a lead against the Pats, you simply cannot take the foot off the gas, just ask the Falcons. Of course, that is still not an easy task, but the Chiefs got that, and never offered the chance for a comeback.

  2. Kato September 8, 2017

    This is probably an overreaction. Game one of sixteen. I remember a couple years back when the pats lost to this very team early in the season and people were writing about the end of the Brady era, and then they went on to win the super bowl.

    I will say it wasn’t pretty for the patriots. Gilmore, their big pickup at corner that many people here wanted, looked terrible.

    1. NelsonCobb September 8, 2017

      Except Gilmore didn’t look terrible. You’re obviously judging his entire night off of 1 single play, that was more of a defensive mistake. Gilmore clearly thought he had over the the top help, but instead the Safety went with the deep crosser, leaving Gilmore 1 on 1 in that situation. Probably a new player, get some signals mixed up, it happens. Outside of that though, he allowed just 1 catch for 4 yards the rest of the game. How is that terrible?? It’s not. Gilmore was one of their few bright spots on defense last night.

      1. PF4L September 8, 2017

        Good call.

      2. Xlvordie September 8, 2017

        I agree..other than one Plat gilmore looked GREAT

  3. MikeR September 8, 2017

    Um, it’s one game. I heard all the bold predictions all week on ESPN, NFL network, etc., that the Patriots are far and away the best team in the league this year. Ridiculous to make that statement before a single regular season game has been played. Respectfully, just as ridiculous to draw similar conclusions after one game about them being done. People will do the same if the Packers lose Sunday and surely go into freak out mode. Let’s wait until October before we start drawing any conclusions about any team. That being said, here is to the Patriots sucking this year.

    1. PF4L September 8, 2017

      Yes Sir.

  4. Eduardo September 8, 2017

    All they need to do is “run the table”

  5. NelsonCobb September 8, 2017

    I’m so tired of our 2015 struggles being blamed on 1 injury at WR. It was so much more than that!! First off, our #2 WR Randall Cobb suffered his shoulder injury the very following week in the preseason, and never really recovered and battled injuries all year. Week 1, we lost Bulaga for a few weeks with no viable backup OT option. Week 2, Adams injures his ankle, and week 3 messes it up even more, missing multiple weeks and never fully returning to the promising form he showed in 2014. Lacy also injured his ankle in that week 2 game, and was over weight from the beginning and seemed to be in McCarthy’s dog house all year long. We lost our starting Center for a few weeks mid season, and our starting LT for a few weeks late in the season, and again without a viable backup OT. Hell, we lost both OT’s in that Arizona game, think Jordy could have saved that day?? Our Oline that was among the best in the NFL in 2014, only played in 8 of 18 games together and had no depth outside the Center spot. Our 1,600 yard, 13 TD RB, was a no show in 2015. Our 1,300+, 12 TD #2 WR was banged up all year. Our promising #3 WR was a major disappointment. Our 2nd year TE never progressed from being the lumbering easy to cover TE he was. Jordy was the biggest blow of them all, yes, but he wasn’t the sole reason our offense floundered in 2015, that was a multitude of reasons!! You gonna tell me that if our Oline stayed healthy that year, that if Lacy was the same guy in 2015 he was in 2014, Cobb stayed healthy and Adams stayed healthy n progressed, you still think our offense struggles the way it did?? Absolutely not!!

    1. PF4L September 8, 2017

      NelsonCobb is nailing it again, where did this masked man come from.

      Rodgers also wasn’t himself, some his his passes were just off. I give Rodgers a pass, because even if he’s little off, he’s better than 80% of the QB’s in the NFL. Also, lets be honest, he was running for his life behind that line, trying to make something happen.

      So in closing, it was everyone, not just Nelson. It was kind of like the perfect storm. But even with that, were still pretty good, just not record setting good, that season.

      Excellent football knowledge NelsonCobb…..respect.

  6. PF4L September 8, 2017

    There is a lot of talk about the Patriots this, Patriots that. But c’mon, give the Chiefs some credit also. They played a hell of a game. Not sure why Dorsey was fired, but he helped build a strong team.

  7. KILLER September 8, 2017

    We know it was just one game. We know Andy Reid pretty much did the same thing a few years ago to the Patriots and they went on to win the Super Bowl.

    That said, my schadenfreude was rocking. What a fun game to watch! What a great way to formally bust open the 2017 NFL season! Always nice to see cheaters lose and arrogance repaid with humiliation. Pretty much how I feel when I see the Cowboys or Packers lose (The Patriots, Cowboys, and Packers have, by far, the most arrogant players and the most arrogant fans).

    That K.Hunt is an FF steal! Too bad he wasn’t my steal. Congratulations to Kareem!

    1. PF4L September 8, 2017

      How did you get them to turn your cable back on?

      1. Kato September 9, 2017

        Sucked some D most likely

  8. jeremiah September 8, 2017

    another thrilling story from dick-beater writer Rob Boring. you suck

    1. KILLER September 8, 2017

      Vicious, uncalled for, and untrue “Jeremiah”. You sound like a Patriots sympathizer.

      I thought Rob did a very good job in particular making the game result relevant to the Packers in the final line of the 1st paragraph. Also, drawing a parallel to the Packers with the second paragraph. Of course, all that is really needed is a bit of honest, look-yourself-in-the-mirror schadenfreude. But Rob’s best work in this article, to me, was the entire 5th paragraph. That kind of meaningful stat/analysis, sucking marrow out of the bare bones of statistics, is what we expect and respect from Rob.

      So, “Jeremiah”, go lick your wounded ego and get ready for the Saints next week.

  9. Serves em right for that obnoxious pregame. Cunts

    In other news… Kareem Hunt blew up my fantasy opponent. Love some Kareem Hunt

    1. KILLER September 9, 2017

      In my FF Hunt was projected to score 11.43 points and actually scored 41.60. That guy is going to win even if all his other players do worse than projected.

  10. PF4L September 9, 2017

    I’m not so sure how both Seattle and Green Bay move ahead the Patriots when one of them has to lose, but ok.

    1. KILLER September 9, 2017

      Also, I wonder why Rob only listed the “Tier 2” teams of Seattle, Green Bay, Dallas, and Atlanta as moving ahead of New England but left out “Tier 1” Minnesota? Oh, I guess he already had Minnesota ahead of New England even before their loss! That must be it.

      When Seattle beats GB will GB be Tier 3 or Tier 4?

      1. PF4L September 9, 2017

        You mean the queens are 3rd tier…like where they finished in the standings?

        Tier 1 teams don’t finish 3rd in a weak division like the queens did, lonely boy.

        Although the queens did try like hell finishing in 4th, by flexing their muscles going 3-8 in their last 11 games.

        Did your Grandmother drop you on your head a lot as a child? I’m just assuming she raised you.

  11. Howard September 9, 2017

    That game showed what happens when you can run the football in the NFL. MJ is correct the Pats defensive front 7 was pushed around in the run game. Once that occurs it opens up the pass game for big plays. The Chiefs usually have good pass completion percentage, but the pass yardage per attempt is usually low. In this game the pass yardage per attempt had to exceed the normal for the Chiefs. It helped the Chiefs that the Pats front 7 has had several changes from last year.

    I heard the announcers saying how good the Pats offensive line coach and players are. I thought the Chiefs as the game went on dominated the Pats o-line in the run and pass game. The Chiefs won this game in the trenches on both sides of the ball.

    The bad news for the rest of the teams playing the Pats is, if one head coach can correct the problems it is Belechek.

    1. PF4L September 9, 2017

      Any news on Elliott passing or failing his physical?

      1. Howard September 9, 2017

        I have not heard and that probably means I lost.

        1. PF4L September 10, 2017

          Well, i had a feeling he passed, and since he’s on the boys 53 man, i’m assuming he’s good to go, and i don’t have to tell a lie to Mordecai.