Last week after an impressive win against the Cincinnati Bengals, you voted for the Player of the Week from the Patriots. Tom Brady narrowly beat out Pat Chung for Player of the Week honors. This week, after a demoralizing divisional loss to the Jets, it’s time instead to vote for the Goat of the Week. In other words, who was most to blame for the Patriots’ loss to the Jets. Truly, this was a total team loss as they completely fell apart in the second half. However, there were some hands that had more to do with what transpired than others. Make your voice heard and vote for who you feel is to blame for the loss. The nominees are:
- Tom Brady – After a spectacular start, Brady could do little to help move the offense, score points, and keep the Jets’ offense off the field. He threw 2 interceptions and had one fumble. It seemed that the Pats went away from what worked in the first half and instead tried forcing the ball down field. Brady’s final stats: 20/36 for 248 yards, 2 touchdowns, 2 interceptions, and 1 fumble.
- Randy Moss – Moss simply did not deliver. He had an amazing one-handed touchdown catch towards the end of the first half, but other than that, did nothing. He was targeted 10 times but caught only 2 balls for 38 yards and a TD. Unfortunately, 34 of those yards were on one catch. Moss wasn’t even covered by Darrelle Revis all game. For the entire second half, Moss had Antonio Cromartie on him and couldn’t shake him. Both of Brady’s interceptions were thrown in Moss’s direction, one of which was clearly Moss’s fault, as he bobbled the ball and tipped it to Brodney Poole. Some passes thrown Moss’s way were clearly catchable, but Moss seemed to have a case of alligator arms.
- Darius Butler – Butler was picked on by Mark Sanchez for most of the game and was on the losing end of many of the big plays of the game. He was also flagged for two costly penalties that helped set up a Jets touchdown. While he seemed to be in position to make a play on most occasions, he simply couldn’t make the play and got beat. This is the second week in a row that the opposing QB picked on Butler and did so successfully.
- Linebacking Corps – It’s tough to pick on a single LB, so the whole corps gets nominated as Goat(s) of the Week. The linebackers were the primary players in coverage on TE Dustin Keller(7 catches, 115 yards, 1 TD) and the running backs coming out of the backfield (5 catches, 34 yards). They also are the primary run-stuffers in the 3-4, and couldn’t get the job done against the Jets. The Jets’ backs ran for 136 yards on 32 carries (4.3 YPC), including some clock-killing runs late that sealed the Patriots’ fate. The defensive line played well, getting a good push and pass rush, but the linebackers couldn’t provide the support and seal the deal.
- Not included in the poll, though on second thought they probably should have been, is the coaching staff. They did not make the proper adjustments to what the Jets were doing and they went away from what was working in the first half. The Jets backed off of their blitzes but still got pressure with 3 rushers. Instead of spreading the ball around with short-to-intermediate passes, it became throw the ball downfield or force it to Randy Moss. The defense didn’t adjust to what the Jets were doing with the tight end, or running against the Pats’ nickel package. They also didn’t seem to provide Butler with any assistance when it was clear that he was getting picked on.
Now it’s time to vote!