Patriots Drop an Ugly Game to the Dolphins with Steelers Looming

Last night the Patriots lost 27-20 to the Dolphins in a shitshow of a game. They didn’t have Gronkowski who was out due to suspension from the people’s elbow he dropped on a guy last week, but Miami hit em hard, shut down their receivers and even pretended to deflate the football (I guess?) after a TD.

It was ugly. For all the people saying this loss doesn’t matter, it’ll sure as shit matter if the Pats lose a tight one to the Steelers next week. Then the Patriots are facing the prospect of opening the playoffs on the road in fucking Jacksonville. Not like the Jacksonville is this powerhouse that you should fear, but the Patriots could very easily slip from the No. 1 seed with home field advantage to having to hike down to Florida for a playoff game in front of those diehard fans watching from goddamn swimming pools.

If we learned anything from this game its that the Patriots can lose one of Edelman or Gronk and still manage, but they absolutely cannot lose both. They won the Super Bowl last year without Gronk, but Edelman balled out all year and made all-time catches in the SB.

This year the Pats have been surprisingly fine on offense without Edelman because Gronkowski, Amendola, Cooks, Hogan, and the stable of runningbacks have shared the load. But without both Edelman and Gronkowski? Well without both the Patriots went 0-11 on third down last night. An absolutely absurd stat for a team that routinely moves the chains on offense. Without that horse of a man to draw double coverage and make big plays when you need em most, the Pats offense looked strikingly like their defense last night; a bunch of JAGs.

This was a game I worried about going into for the sole reason that dirtbag Ndamukong Suh gets off on hitting Brady late, low, and hard. And the delusional Dolphins fans that defend him.

The Dolphins have a legit defensive line with him and Cameron Wake, and Jordan Phillips, which we all know is the one thing that seems to disrupt the Pats. Throw in the fact that they ALWAYS seem to struggle when playing down in Miami late in the year and this had all the makings of a trap game with Pittsburgh looming next week.

So the Pats get down early for the first time in about a month of football and now facing a 17 point deficit, Suh and the boys are able to just pin their ears back and tee off on Brady. Not ideal.

Granted they almost came back and they probably would have if not for a ton of uncharacteristically sloppy plays. Not converting late in the 4th on 1st and goal from the 1-inch line is unexcusable. The Patriots did not look themselves at all with James White drawing an illegal motion penalty, Solder taking a holding penalty, and a couple of busted plays later the Pats are kicking a 35 yard FG. Granted they still would have had to recover an onside kick either way to have a chance, this series was a microcosm of the entire game. Bad execution, some poor throws by Brady, not enough time to throw, and just overall sloppy football.

Its for those exact reasons that I fully expect the Patriots to blow doors in Pittsburgh next week. Those guys are marshmallow soft and are feeling themselves just a bit too much for a team that has had to squeak out wins over dog shit teams. Over the past month the Steelers have beat the Colts by 3 points, smoked the Titans by 23, barely beat a Brett Hundley led Packers team by 3 points, beat the Bengals by 3 points, and the Ravens by 1 point. Not exactly the class of the AFC there. Sure, the Pats haven’t played the hardest schedule either, but before last night they weren’t just squeaking by like Pittsburgh. They were fucking demolishing teams, or tomato cans as Shanks likes to put it. Over the same period of time New England has blown out the Broncos by 25 points, the Raiders by 25 points, the Dolphins by 18 points, and the Bills by 20 points.

Don’t be surprised when they take the Steelers to the woodshed on Sunday.

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