Patriots Peak Too Soon, Blow Chance At Super Bowl Title

(I can’t wait to see how many angry emails and tweets I get from people who only read the headline.)

It’s hard to find to find much fault with the Patriots performance last night, so those who wish to force doom and gloom on their audience the next few days will have to work a little bit. I’ve seen a few references to the 45-3 December win over the Jets a couple years ago, and how that turned out, I’ve seen the phrase “peaking too soon” – how do we know the Patriots are peaking? Still seems like plenty of room for improvement, right? I’ve seen worries about the two fumbles – both recovered by the offense, mind you – and continued worries about the kicker, who didn’t attempt a field goal last night.

But if you’re going through those items and fretting over them, I’d say you’ve got issues. The Patriots ran roughshod over the Houston Texans, who were an NFL-best 11-1 coming into this game. New England jumped out to a 21-0 lead in the first half, and kept the pedal down in a 42-14 thumping.

The CSNNE interview with Wes Welker last night ended pretty awkwardly, as the receiver was asked about his tough night connecting with Tom Brady (targeted 9 times, 3 catches) and Felger suggested the drops got into Welker’s head. He wasn’t amused, nor was he interested in Troy Brown’s suggestion that being on the punt returns messed him up as a receiver. Felger also managed to chastise “sensitive” Patriots fans who interpret them listing out all the ways the opponent gives the game to the Patriots as taking away from how the Patriots played.

For all those marveling that Dan Shaughnessy called this one, as if he actually had any knowledge or foresight, I just have to shake my head. If you read his column yesterday, he was insulting to Robert Kraft, to the Patriots and especially to their fans, and the column was written in a completely disingenuous manner, hoping the Patriots could somehow lose a game that he said they should win easily, and then he could thus blast them. Really it was genius. It was a no-lose proposition for Shaughnessy. Win, and he gets credit for “predicting” the win. Lose, and he gets to blast them. Pure genius.

Alright, let’s enjoy this one for a few days before we worry about the 49ers. Can we? Is that allowed?

Get all the coverage at PatriotsLinks.com.

Season’s Greetings – Leigh Montville on Sports on Earth looks at the Patriots doing what they do – come to play in December.

What we learned: Defense answers all questions in rout of Texans – Christopher Price says that the Patriots have a championship defense.

Plan short-circuits Watt – Greg A Bedard looks at what the Patriots did to limit the disruptiveness of J.J. Watt.

Patriots’ defense comes of age – Jackie MacMullan says that earlier in the season, the idea of a Super Bowl run was “pure folly, simply unfathomable.” Why is it so hard for some to catch on to the pattern that New England defenses almost always get better as the season goes on.

5 Things We Learned about Monday’s Game- Andrew Tornetta and Tim Weisberg analyze a few points from last night.

Win over Texans a statement of purpose – If you work in a Secretariat reference, there’s a good chance I’m going to link you. Well done, Tim Whelan Jr.

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Win a Patriots-themed NFL Crock-Pot ® slow cooker from BSMW!

  • GRBSPR

    Only eleven people ‘marveled’ at Shaughnessy’s prognostication, because that’s how many people paid The Globe’s ‘Firewall Fee’ to read his rantings.

  • Winning_Again

    Bruce, couple things

    1) I know it’s hard to do but if we all collectively do not mention Shaughnessy, he will cease to exist. Not only does no-one read the Globe nor pay to read him specifically, he’s simply not important enough to dedicate rantings and ravings for. I know it’s maddening but we can do it. My guess he clearly recognizes that he’s becoming less and less important so he needs to be even more outrageous on G+Z and in print. Just don’t link or mention him here and we’ll all be better off.

    2) F+M should be interesting today. Judging how earlier in the week they tried to lie and claim Fact Not Opinion on the Texans having a tougher S.O.S, then were proved wrong, I’m fully waiting for all the caveats to appear in this win.

    a) Welker doesn’t appear himself (something you mentioned above). Is he worried about his contract.

    b) Winning the first match-up against good competition doesn’t mean much. Its the playoff win that counts, and we are likely going to Houston. Who know how we will play “in their building.”

    c) The Texans defensive injuries limited what they can do. Expect them to improve in the playoffs.

    d) Why didn’t Ryan Mallet play? How dare we run up the score on the poor Texans! It’s not like they were the consensus best team in the NFL. Oh wait…

    3) Wash, rinse, repeat earlier Texans analysis from last week for THIS week’s matchup vs San Fran. How are we going to matchup with the physical 49ers D?

    • Bullock

      RE: Shaughnessy. Agreed. The Simpsons had a Halloween special dedicated to this theory, sung by Paul Anka, if memory serves. “Just don’t look.. just don’t look.”

    • Felgeyneedsanewsidekick

      How many minutes into today’s F & M show before they bring up the 2010 Jets win in December and subsequent playoff result? Get prepared for a healthy dose of this win means nothing…

      • Gstill45

        Mazz did just call Houston, “The worst 11-1 team he’s ever seen.”

        Jesus. Didn’t Atlanta just lose to flipping Carolina?

      • http://www.bostonsportsmediawatch.com/ bsmfan

        Bruce was timing it on Twitter:

        @bruceallen Over/under when Felger and Mazz bring up the 2010 Jets game? I’ll set it at 2:13

        @bruceallen If you had the over…you win. 2:26 is the first mention.

    • Lou From Accounting

      Bruce suffers, so we don’t have to.

    • Winning_Again

      How did I miss this angle F&M were going to take after this win??? I should have known: THE NFC IS THE SUPERIOR CONFERENCE.

      It never ceases to amaze me. (P.S I agree the NFC is the better conference, but that doesn’t mean all NFC teams are automatically better than the Pats).

      Also, isn’t is funny that after the Pats beat Houston by a large amount, that suddenly means Houston isn’t that good. The logic is along the lines of “well if the PATS can beat them that easily, they must not be that good.” I don’t the logic F&M take. I go to a visual aid:

      My Logic:

      The PATS are up here…..

      Houston is right here….

      Down Here is Kansas City.

      Using Felger and Mazz’s visual aid:

      Most NFC Teams are up here….

      Pats…

      Detroit Lions
      Houston…..
      Arizona
      Kansas City

    • SteveFromYellowstone

      Regarding Mallet, they have their talking point; he threw a pick which resulted in a TD a few plays later so that clearly means the Pats are not prepared for the future when aging Tom Brady retires in 2 years…

      • Frank

        Did Felger really make that point? Wow, someone should point out how he said the Patriots were in serious trouble if Matt Cassel had to play before the 2008 season. And then he went 11-5 and got the Pats a 2nd round pick from KC. Of course things have not worked out so well in KC for Cassel, but that isn’t the point. The point is he said the same things before 08 and he was wrong. Frrrrrrunkis

  • http://twitter.com/DryHeave1 DryHeave

    For those telling Bruce to “ignore Shaughnessy”… what are you missing?…This blog is called, Boston Sports MEDIA WATCH.

    Those mental defectives who gave Shank credit for “predicting” the win” are the same people who will send angry emails to Bruce about his headline today…..reading comprehension isn’t their strong suit.

    • Bullock

      Lou From Accounting said it best: Bruce suffers, so we don’t have to.

  • dan

    Am I the only one who thinks Troy Brown is horrible? The guy is a mush mouth. And why are so many former Patriots in media and not on the coaching staff? Parcells always had lots of players who worked on his staff. BB has a staff of mini-me’s from community colleges.

    • http://twitter.com/BruceNV Bruce Newman

      Other than Mo Carthon and Ray Perkins, where is this plethora of players? Weiss, Coughlin, BB?

    • DrakeW

      Maybe he’s not on the coaching staff because he’s a mushmouth and a bad communicator?

    • http://www.bostonsportsmediawatch.com/ bsmfan

      That’s an interesting question.

      Is this something just with the Pats/BB? Is it something limited to NFL teams? I know this could easily expand into some doctoral-sized thesis but you brought up an interesting point.

      I’ve heard Kevin Faulk mention that he “mentors” running backs, specifically in relation to Ridley (their alma-mater LSU connection being it?). However, he did not elaborate any further on it, almost intentionally. If he does this for free, as a “paid” but “off the books” consultant is left up to our imagination.

      Another thing that was in Bedard’s Sunday piece that generated a bit of buzz is the part on how Mike Lombardi makes no secret that he serves as an ‘advanced scout’ for BB. Against the rules? Nope. The only folks who could take issue would be NFLN; and, I’ve got to think that other coaches do the same in some capacity to make sure their names are still out in circles along with some extra pay.

      Maybe this would be a good piece for Bedard/Finn or Bruce/Ryan to investigate?
      ——
      On Troy, Felger always says that when he watches each game with him and Ty that they constantly point things out because they’re able to see what’s going on from the player-side. I’ve begun to watch more of the CSNNE post but yet to really see this. I don’t know that they would not be able to breakdown the film but they could mention time/play/situation and it would be something you could reference later on.

      Later on, they could produce something like this from NationalFootbalLPost that breaks down McCourty’s INT in the 1st:

      http://www.nationalfootballpost.com/PatriotsTexans-Breaking-down-McCourtys-INT.html

      • dan

        It seems to me that there other players from other championship teams in all sports who eventually find their way on to the coaching staff due to their expertise and cache as a former championship player. These kind of players usually work well with the head coach because they know how to coach the terminology and break it down for the players and talk to the players in a way that a coach who’s never played just can’t do know matter how smart the coach is.
        I just find it interesting that almost no one from this run wants anything to do with coaching. I think it’s sad because there are some former players of ours who I think could be very valuable in passing on their experience and coaching up the players.

        • http://www.bostonsportsmediawatch.com/ bsmfan

          The only “insight” I can think of here is what’s repeated by many:

          Many players would be horrible coaches.

          On Monday, Dungy was asked in his weekly Dan Patrick segment about Peyton eventually coaching. Emphatically, Tony said, “Absolutely not.” DP asked him why. “Because he expects so much from himself and would not be happy with guys who didn’t give it as much as he did, which is impossible.”

          So, think Michael Jordan as an absolutely horrible owner/#99 failing as a coach in Phoenix and other places.

          Otherwise, I have no exact answer.

  • whitey b

    The CHB: Fool, yes. Boob, yes. Uglier than a half-burned mutt, yes. Genius, absolutely not.

  • APimpNamedDaveR

    Excellent headline.

    I also would have accepted “Meaningless Win Highlights Squandered Potential of Lost Season”, with notes about how worthless the team’s recent play is in the wake of the effectively season-ending losses to the Cardinals and Seahawks.

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