Following is a response by my cousin, Chris, to a John Clayton article I e-mailed to a bunch of my home brothers. The article was a post Pats-Bolts wrap up summing up why the Bolts (and Schottenheimer) lost... again. I couldn't resist posting this on the BP blog.
I loves me some John Clayton! There probably couldn't be a more nerdy (looking) guy in sports writing/coverage, but that cat knows his ball.
When you are a habitual offender at losing playoff games, would you expect anything else? A team that has Tomlinson pissed at the end of the game because of 'disrespect in my house.', yet Florence gets up for an imediate head butt on a simple takle play?!? C'mon.
You had yet another MVP team that has been surrounded by sycophants in both fans and sports writers alike, coming up against a hard nosed (only one pro bowl member) smashmouth football team, that also happens to be 13-2 in playoffs as the underdog yet again... what in heck did you expect? Watch the Chargers and their arrogance on almost every play. Watch the entitlement mentality of that team versus the (even though an exceedingly poor performance) unshaken, unwavering simplicity of 'BelichickBradyball'
one more time.
The best line is - after nothing was clicking on offense - "Every time I would come to the sidelines, I'd say, 'Let's try something else'." Simple, calm, cool and collected. You could watch Marty with every single missed 4th down try, and every Patriot gain saying to himself 'not again'. You aren't going to win the game on one play - you aren't going to win the game with one big LT run. You will win the game when you keep one play ahead of the other guys.
Something I found interesting that was talked about early, but missed later in the game was the fact that Marty didn't wear a headset because he was so confident in both his offensive and defensive coordinator. Funny how that headset slipped back on late in the second quarter. Funny how San Diego started to really scramble after that point. If I were the defensive and offensive coordinator and I was Mr. Playoff hex looking for his headset - I would have grabbed it out of his hands and stepped on it before he could put it on his fat head.
I was amazed at the lack of poise from the team with only two losses this season. Dodgy fourth and eleven call?!? Challenge an extremely obvious strip/fumble?!? Very odd play calling from a guy that had been there before. Granted, Marty has a rather inauspicious playoff record - but he's been there so many times you'd think he'd have his head screwed on tighter.
One playoff choke machine down, one more to go.
Although, to Clayton's point... Indi has shown a lot of the Pats resilience as of late. That is never a good thing. Manning doesn't get as shaken as he used to be, and he has become a bit of a grinder.
Thanks for the article, btw. It was a fun game to watch too.
I agree Chris, it was a fun game. I'm looking forward to an even better game this Sunday! I wonder if Peyton is going to enjoy any sleepless nights...