For the record, I’d like to say that being from Boston, I am a hardcore fan of all teams Boston, especially the New England Patriots. Over the past decade, the Patriots have dominated the AFC, winning three Super Bowls and losing one to the New York Giants (I’m still not over that one). So when this season’s AFC Divisional game featured another New York rival, the New York Jets, I knew that although I had the utmost confidence in my Patriots, there was an underlying uncertainty as to if or when they might crumble.
The Patriots and Jets met twice already this season. In Week 2, with their defense full of rookies they lost to the Jets 28-14. The Patriots’ superb offense could not compete with their poor defense. In Week 13, the teams met again, this time with the Patriots ready to crush the Jets, which they did 45-3. They had found their groove and showed the Jets who was the boss.
Then, with the Patriots ending the regular season strong (14-2) and the Jets (11-5) just making the cut, everyone was confident that the Patriots would defeat the Jets. Unfortunately, this was not the case. So many things broke down throughout the game but the most prominent was that my boys did not have momentum, they did not have the pacing and the rhythm they usually do when they win. The wide array of all-star receivers including Welker, Woodhead, Edelman, Gronkowski, and Branch were a non-entity throughout the game. It was clear from the beginning that the Jets were dominant.
As I sat wearing my red Patriots shirt in a room filled with green Jets jerseys, I couldn’t help but feel that this was not the Patriots team that I knew. How could they be playing so poorly? How could the golden-boy Brady get sacked? How could they possibly lose? And how could they lose at home – their first time since 2006?!
I’m sure that someday we’ll get over this. I have faith that Bill Belichick will restore the team to its championship winning self for next year.