A Hangover for Monday Morning Coaches in Foxboro

Jim BouchardCorrespondent INovember 16, 2009

INDIANAPOLIS - NOVEMBER 15:  Melvin Bullitt #33 of the Indianapolis Colts tackles Kevin Faulk #33 of the New England Patriots short of a first down to gain possesion late in the fourth quarter of the game at Lucas Oil Stadium on November 15, 2009 in Indianapolis, Indiana. The Colts won the 35-34. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Monday Morning Coaches...

I watched last night’s heartbreaker at the CBS Scene at Gillette Stadium. As one might imagine, everyone at the scene instantly became a coach. I admit I fell into the vibe myself.

In the fantasy world we’re accustomed to in the New Age of New England Football Brady converts the first down, the Pats take a couple of kneel-downs to seal the deal and Belichick continues to be the Wizard of Odds.

Now let’s look at some realities:

Bad Call? Yeah, by the refs!

What nobody is talking about is whether or not Kevin Faulk had the first down. I just finished watching the play for the 200th time this morning. I’ve been a football disciple my entire life, I’ve seen every call there is to make and I’ve never seen a bauble call on a first down play unless it was related to the validity of the catch. Even if you give the ref the benefit of the doubt, by every angle they’ve shown Faulk had control ahead of the sticks.

The Pats burned their final time-out getting organized to start the drive. They didn’t have the option of a challenge.

Now to continue this Monday Morning dose of reality:

No matter what happens in the last two minutes, a football game is seldom won or lost there. Had Brady read a brilliant move by Antoine Bethea he would chucked the ball into the rafters and that drive would have continued; and the Pats left at least six on the field when Laurence Maroney fumbled on the one yard line.

Take those two plays back and it’s likely that the Pats depleted defense would have been protecting a 20 point lead at the two minute warning instead of six.

Before the game I visited The Hall at Patriots Place. Any nouveau Pats fan, those of you who have jumped on the proverbial bandwagon since the first Lombardi trophy, would do well to visit the Hall before you lose the faith.

The Hall is full of wonderful memorabilia; and for lifers like me it’s full of reminders of the glory-less days of Pat Patriot. There were great moments, but a walk through The Hall is really a hike out of the swamp and into the garden.

Before you get to the Hall of Champions with the three Lombardi Trophies on display you’ll see the old AFL gear, the reminders of the Sullivan’s quirky legacy and reminders of the homeless Patriot’s early years.

By the way nouveau fans; while we all wax nostalgic there are reasons that most of us who left frozen body parts stuck to the Schaffer Stadium bleachers don’t want to see the Pat Patriot uniform on any but special legacy days. Do the math; pre-Flying Elvis 0 championships; post Flying Elvis three and counting.

If the Pats have proved anything in this decade of New England dominance they’ve proved their resiliency. They’ve also proven that you don’t want to face them again after you’ve rubbed their noses in anything.

I’m worried for the safety of the Jets next week, and Peyton better take out some extra insurance should he face what is certainly going to be a different Patriot’s defense in the playoffs. Plus, the Pats have a chance to knock off another undefeated team in just two weeks; that would be a nice Thanksgiving!

Keep the faith! Brady and Moss look like they’ve found their groove again. Give Belichick the benefit of the doubt, and enjoy what promises to be an exciting playoff run and a great set-up for some of what we’ve now grown accustomed to: some good ol’ revenge in Indy.

I’ll be here next week and I’m looking forward to it!