I think that WWE has a huge challenge when it comes to being the number one “sports entertainment” industry. In the NFL today, aggression between teams seems at it’s highest, veteran coaches are disrespecting the refs, and enough penalties are being called to put me in the endzone, twice. Top this off with Torrey Smith’s brother passing less than 24 hours before, and the fact that the Pats have not been under five hundred since losing their season opener in ’03, and this game rivals any Wrestlemania event.
First and foremost, I want to give big props to the Smith family. While, the Pats should have won, I am extremely happy they lost to the hands of Torrey Smith. There were two people on that field and it showed. “He’s a stronger man than I,” said teammate Ray Rice. Ed Reed prayed with him and he proved his brother proud. It definitely rivaled Farve’s Monday night game after his father’s passing. Smith left the hospital at 1:00 a.m. and had his career game just 18 hours later. All that being said, this game was the Pats to lose, and they did.
They gave up way to many plays. Not only to Smith, but to, in my opinion, the “should be” 2013 NFL MVP Ray Rice. Rive averaged five yards a rush and ten yards a reception. That is like letting Andre Jonson tear it up for 200 and a TD. It just cannot happen. He got his 100, but did not even need 25 carries. This shows the lack of discipline still gaping in the defense. If a team cannot shut down the premier offensive weapon, things can get very scary.
The refs had just as much of an impact in this game as Rice. There were very questionable pass interference plays in both sides of the ball. Wilfork was irate after watching the game-winning kick. He tore off his helmet and screamed at the refs. Belichick even ran over and grabbed a ref, which he would not comment on later, and many people are saying he may serve a suspension. I do not think there should be any discipline. Emotions were just high and he deserved to be answered like any other head coach, but he may get finned. In my opinion, unfortunately, the kick did look good.
Two things about the refs. One, if players and coaches give them more respect then they will be able to give more respect to the players. Both sides have to act like professionals; it is not just a one way street. Once this happens, Belichick will not have to grab anyone because the ref will be standing next to him discussing the play like pros should. Second, something is obviously wrong. Calls are being blown and added. In week three disciplined teams like the Pats and Ravens should not have 218 yards of penalties. Maybe Eagles(6) vs. Cards(27) or Tennessee(44) vs. Lions(41), but not in the potential AFC championship game. The reason the Ravens were in field goal range was because of a pass interference play. The biggest possible penalty on the field. I think, with replacement refs still in, they need to temporarily change pass interference penalties to 5 or 10 yards and a first. This way, the new refs will not have such a defining impact.
The light of this game is that the Ravens took it from the Pats. They had their best offensive game and Brady looked nearly flawless, except his one pick that was called back on a blown call. But this also shows how necessary a better(primarily more determined) defense is needed. How many games are the Pats willing to lose in the final few minutes? It seems like there was a time that Brady always had the ball to win it because the D forced a three and out. But now it is the other way around and it is costing New England rings and big games.
The last time the Pats were under five hundred they did not do much, they just went 14-2 and ran through Payton Manning on their way to the Super Bowl. So, by all logical standards, the Pats will be champions this year. Personally, I like it better when they are underdogs and am of sick of them being the favorite. I do not not think this game will change the “favorite” talk, but maybe put it in the back for a while. Give the defense something to prove.
P.S. Great week in football. Three overtime games and huge upsets by the Titans, Chiefs, Cards, and especially Oakland and Minnesota.
About the Author
Written by Adam Sharp
I have always loved The Pats and I have always loved writing.