After some analysts criticized New England for running up the score against Miami in Week 2, linebacker Kyle Van Noy defended the Patriots’ approach.
Unless you were a Miami Dolphins fan, there wasn’t a whole lot not to like about the New England Patriots‘ performance in Week 2. Fresh off a dominant season-opening home victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers, Tom Brady and the Patriots went on the road and manhandled the hapless Fins by a final score of 43-0, avenging last season’s ‘Miracle in Miami’ heartbreak at Hard Rock.
The only real criticism that neutral observers could have leveled at the Pats last Sunday had to do with sportsmanship. Already up 37-0 late in the fourth quarter after a pair of back-to-back pick-sixes, Brady and the New England offense continued to aggressively throw the ball down the field, eventually resulting in a 10-yard screen pass that James White took to the house for another touchdown. At the time, there was just 2:10 left on the game clock.
Some analysts and fans voiced their displeasure with the strategy, both on television and online through social media, and called out the Patriots’ relentless lack of mercy to be a bit classless. Traditionally when a team is up by that large of an advantage, it’s commonplace to just run the ball and bleed out the clock until the win is secured.
Both Brady and Bill Belichick defended their style of attack after the game, citing last season’s last-minute loss as defense for why the Patriots chose to compete for a full 60 minutes this year. Linebacker Kyle Van Noy – who missed New England’s win over Pittsburgh to witness the birth of his child – also spoke out strongly in explanation of the Pats’ no-holds-barred approach.
Speaking to NBC Sports’ Tom E. Curran on the “Quick Slants” podcast, here’s Van Noy’s full excuse, via Darren Hartwell:
"“It’s football. We’re trying to dominate the opponent. We only get 16 chances. People think that’s a lot, but it’s really not. You get to showcase your talents and all the hard work you put in in the offseason, so you want to be able to play as many snaps as you can, because you never know when your last is. And with the mindset that we have here, we’re trying to dominate.”"
While some people might still not like or agree with Van Noy’s rationale, it’s hard to argue against his logic. The Patriots have long espoused a mentality that it’s not their job to stop themselves; it’s the other team’s job to do that.
For what it’s worth, Belichick’s counterpart this weekend – New York Jets head coach Adam Gase – reportedly had no issues with New England’s approach against Miami. Per Darin Gantt of NBC Sports’ ProFootballTalk, Gase simply said, “I like it,” when asked about the Patriots running up the score.
“It’s the NFL,” Gase went on. “This isn’t pee-wee football.”
It’s a good sign that Gase sounds like he doesn’t have a problem with New England keeping their foot on the gas pedal when it comes to scoring points, as the Patriots are currently favored by over 23 points against the Jets on Sunday… meaning there’s a very good chance that Brady could still be playing and airing the ball out come the fourth quarter, even if his team is up by a lot over the visitors.