I make a pact with you, Bill Belichick–I have detested you long enough. Let there be commerce between us.
No, I’m just kidding about the detesting bit. I respect you, Belichick, even though your team has tormented mine for nigh on twelve years now. I believe in supporting my team’s conference, and especially my team’s division. Plus, I enjoy watching your team play. Your guys are pretty good, you know that? Especially that guy who wears number 12.
Actually–that’s a good place to start. It seems like your entire gameplan for the last, say, five years, has been “Number 12 throws for at least 400 yards and four touchdowns and thus we win”.
Your entire gameplan seems to be based around the idea that your quarterback play not just a good game, not just be a game-manager, but actually go out and tie or break some passing records every single game. And, indeed, he’s good enough that he can come close to doing that.
But football is not horseshoes. Nor is it hand grenades. “Close” does not count. And here’s the real problem: some teams–not my team, of course, but good teams–eventually pick up on the fact that your entire offense is based on the performance of this one player. Thus, any disruption of the performance of said player ruins your entire plan.
Teams often talk about how they want to make the opponent “one-dimensional”. Your team makes itself one-dimensional by choice. I mean, Andrew Perloff writes on SI.com about your running backs in the game yesterday:
“Danny Woodhead was effective catching passes out of the backfield and BenJarvus Green-Ellis had a couple of nice runs and continued his amazing streak of not turning the ball over. But with the Pats’ emphasis on passing, this unit wasn’t going to be able to make that much of a difference.” [Italics mine.]
“With the Pats’ emphasis on passing”. Not anything your opponent did, mind you, but by your own design, you have a unit that “wasn’t going to be able to make that much of a difference”. Why have units that can’t make differences?
Some fans are saying your team needs to get “one more good deep receiving threat”. No. This is folly. Your passing game is perfectly fine the way it is. It’s just that even the best passing offense in the history of the sport could have an off-day eventually. In fact, it already has.
Why am I writing about how to make your team better, when I’ve already said that I’m a fan of a team that would like very much to be able to beat you? Well, as I see it, my team is many years away from contending, and I enjoy seeing good football, no matter who is playing it, and your team is quite good. I just enjoy the theory of the game, as much as anything, and your team’s decisions baffle me.