EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Sports

September 20, 2010

Maybe Pats simply aren't tough enough

Bill Burt

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Where have we seen this, a facsimile of the New England Patriots' 28-14 loss to the New York Jets, before?

Where the entire New England Patriots team opens the game not looking good, but great, with Tom Brady, Wes Welker and Randy Moss looking like first ballot Hall of Famers.

Hell, even the Patriots ballboys look more spiffy and together than the other team's grunts.

You wonder if the other team, be it the New York Jets or Indianapolis Colts, is worthy to be in their presence. You wonder if the Patriots will ever lose another game. You wonder how Bill Belichick has this mediocre group of young defenders playing at such a high level.

Then the second half begins.

And soon very little makes sense.

Brady looks confused and angry. Moss sulks and appears disinterested. Welker is either double-covered or doesn't get open. And if Belichick's defense stunk any more it would need a sewage permit.

You saw this same Patriots' show last night. It was the same show you saw about five or six times last year — the Patriots version of Groundhog Day, the movie.

The Patriots lost the second half, 18-0, yesterday.

Moss made the best catch of the year near the end of the first half, grabbing a pass with one hand in the back of the end zone and then he wasn't heard from again in the second half.

Brady wasn't much better completing only 7 of 16 second half passes, including two interceptions (both with Moss' help).

A few times this summer, Brady went out of his way to say this 2010 team was different, referring particularly to last season's mess (see playoff tilt versus Baltimore).

He wasn't saying that last night.

"It is going to be a long week, I can tell you that," said Brady. "We gotta get the ball in the end zone ... We had way too many third and longs. We couldn't run. We couldn't pass ... We just sucked."

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