Yikes. The Patriots just lost and blew the money line parlay I had with them and Tulane. You should have seen me cheering on the Green Wave as it came all the way back from 13 points down to crush Southern Miss. I was sure that Tom Brady and the boys would up their game for the playoffs and get one last win at home.
Nope. I was wrong. Brady looked washed up and only found success when he was dinking and dunking his way slowly down the field. He went 20-for-37 for 209 yards. The Patriots’ defense did all it could to keep the team in the game, holding Tennessee to 71 passing yards. Ryan Tannehill did come through with a huge completion to Anthony Firkser that converted a critical 3rd and 8, but for the most part the Miami castoff was just a complement to Derrick Henry in the run game.
Speaking of Henry, he was fantastic for most of the game. Old-school road graters like him are supposed to be a thing of the past in today’s game where the tailback has to be part of the passing game, but Henry is clearly one of the most valuable backs in the world not named Christian McCaffrey.
Still, the Patriots were able to slow down Henry in the second half, and I still think they come away with the win if Julian Edelman didn’t drop that pass on their last meaningful possession. There was too much history on New England’s side, but history doesn’t matter much when your legendary quarterback throws a brutal pick six against a last-place team in a must-win situation and the next week plays like a washed-up has-been in a playoff game.
The Patriots have to let Brady go elsewhere in the offseason if they don’t want to turn into the New York Giants and put their quarterback’s feeling over the future of the franchise. Bill Belichick is still a master franchise-builder, and maybe he can win another Super Bowl if he’s willing to coach for a while longer and is able to find a sleeper quarterback prospect in the draft.
You’d think the Patriots would make the right move, but this is an organization that seemed to trade Jimmy Garoppolo away for Brady’s sake two years ago. On the other hand, New England didn’t build a dynasty by putting players about the franchise. Brady is different than other players, though. Maybe we’ll finally find out if Belichick is more important than Brady after all.
Penn State Beat Iowa
Earlier in the day, my Nittany Lions scored a big win in Philadelphia when they beat Iowa at the Palestra. Luka Garza was nigh unstoppable (34 points, 12 rebounds) and Penn State got almost nothing from Mike Watkins. Plus, Lamar Stevens was held to 16 points. So how did PSU win? I’m still trying to figure it out, but it had something to do with Curtis Jones hitting four clutch three-point shots and Izaiah Brockington leading the team with 23 points off the bench. Plus, the defense forced 15 turnovers and the late-game free throw shooting by Myles Dread didn’t cough up the late lead.