“Questions Worth Asking-NFL”
PATRIOTS….the Patriot Nation in the State of New England sure isn’t happy about the loss to the Eagles, and the decision by Bill Belicheck not to play starting CB-Malcom Butler at all in the Super Bowl loss. Butler played in 97.8% of all defensive snaps this year.
BELICHECK BOREDOM….The Patriots coach would not give specifics on his Monday conference call insciting even more rage from the fans and the media. Butler had been sick, maybe he didn’t practice well, but he had been an anchor thru the (3-13) season.
MATT PATRICIA COMMENTS…The outgoing defensive coordinator would only say that Butler didn’t fit some of the sub packages the Pats needed to run against the Eagles run-option-pass package.
VIDEO GAMES..Philadelphia went back to video of the early season Pats loss to Carolina, and scoped out New England’s problems with blown overages vs bunch formations and they forced the Pats into that coverage, and the breakdowns occurred, especially in the first three quarters.
BUTLER BREAKDOWNS….Eric Rowe, who replaced Butler fell apart in the first half, especially in matches against the Eagles top pass catcher Alshon Jeffrey. It got so bad, Belicheck had to put Stephon Gilmour on him, allowing tight end Zach Ertz to get open looks.
DOMINOE EFFECT….NFL scouts say the benching of Butler, the failure of Rowe, the forced change of Gilmour meant Patrick Chung had to move inside to cover slot receivers and he couldn’t handle that either. Four things happened because Butler never got on the field. You blame who?
SUM TOTAL…By benching Butler , three other changes happened and none of them worked out well for the Patriots defense. Belicheck’s bullheadedness on the change with Butler killed the team. They gave up nearly 470-yards and a ton of big plays, reverting back to the poor play the first five weeks of the season.
BUTLER END RESULT….He is an unrestricted free agent and likely exits. He is viewed as a value player, there will br an offer out there from someone else.
TAINTED TOUCHDOWN….Now questions arise over the wild Nick Foles TD catch, where they re-set the formation, for a Wildcat snap, with Foles lining up as a tight end…or was it as a wingback…a half step off the line of scrimmage…..if off the line of scrimmage, it meant the tight end was uncovered, an illegal formation penalty should have been called….was Foles acting as a tight end or a wingback? Could have changed things for sure if that score came of the board.
BRAIN DRAIN….And now that the Super Bowl is over, Belicheck’s staff will be changed. Goodbye Josh McDaniels, off to Indianapolis, and Patricia, gone to Detroit, and OL coach Dante Scarnecchia to retirement, changes are coming in Boston.
WASTED OPPORTUNITY….Tom Brady could not have done more in the game, the (505Y)-3TD performance. The last turnover wasn’t his fault, the Eagles pressured up inside, beating Marcus Cannon for the strip-sack-fumble.
ADJUSTMENTS….Brady took 8-hits in the first half from the Eagles rush. That pressure went away when New England ran the ball so well in the second half, up till the final series that triggered the hit and the turnover.
INTANGIBLE….As wild as the game was, big plays everywhere, the key drive was the Nick Foles 75-yard drive late in the 4th quarter, a drive that went (7:01) but consumed nearly 10-minutes of rest time for a beleaguered Philly defense. That blow gave them a second win and the push they needed to rally lat win the game to pressure Brady into the turnover.
REPLAY RERUN….Instant replay couldn’t screw up this game, with the long review of the Zach Ertz TD. It will fuel the offseason debate ‘What is a Catch’. The key, Ertz caught the ball, made a football move, became a runner, dove to the end zone, crossed the plane of the goalline, like a running back, for the TD. End of debate, even if the ball was moving in his hands. The off season will be fun to watch.
JUST ASKING…the hottest question that should have been asked on Belicheck’s conference call on Monday, “Do you regret benching Butler?”. “Is this loss on you for that decision?” Doubt he could have talked his way out of that one.
JUST ASKING….Have they stopped partying in Philadelphia? How creative and aggressive is Doug Pederson? How good were the acquisitions of Alshon Jeffrey, LeGarrete Blount, Tim Jernigan, Chris Long, Torrey Smith, and the MVP Foles?
TV RATINGS…This is hard to believe, the Super Bowl ratings dropped 7-percent from last year, despite the heroics and the game going to the final play…in fact the lowest TV ratings since 2009….(47.4) rating nationwide. In Philadelphia it has a (56.2) rating….in Boston (55.9)….and in hometown hosting Minneapolis (54.9)….Buffalo had highest rating market (56.6) this year.