This will not stand.
Bill Belichick isn’t going to watch good players playing badly on Sunday night and shrug.
He’s not going to hear about Rob Gronkowski answering a question about offseason machinations after a convincing loss on the road and not react, no matter how honestly and timely (thanks to a Sunday morning report from ESPN) the answer may have been.
He’s not going to respond to Chris Gronkowski’s morning tell-all on WEEI’s Kirk & Callahan by putting his hands up and saying, “Family . . . what can ya do?”
You know how Belichick has said in the past that you’d rather be early than late personnel-wise? Same thing goes with grabbing a team by the scruff of its neck when it’s performing like these Patriots are and making completely preventable mistakes. Or giving us media jackals content.
Sunday night, we saw Shaq Mason get destroyed on a third-and-one by Ricky Jean-Francois, resulting in a one-yard loss and the Patriots third straight three-and-out. Mason didn’t seem to know the snap count.
We saw tight end Dwayne Allen get rolled by a defensive back on a third-and-one that ended up losing two.
We saw Duron Harmon let Marvin Jones traipse through the secondary uncovered for a touchdown.
We saw Dont’a Hightower get cleared out of holes with stunning ease.
We didn’t see any real resistance from Malcom Brown on the defensive line.
The Patriots have played two non-competitive performances on the road and have an upcoming game against a 3-0 team. Belichick knows the Dolphins aren’t going to look at the tape of those games and say, “Ohhhh, they’re just a play away on offense and the outcome would be so different . . . ” Miami will look at the tape and see a team ripe for the picking on both sides.
For a long time, Bill Belichick has been doing what he’s doing better than anyone who’s ever done it.
The “why” of the Patriots struggles doesn’t really matter right now.
Sony Michel’s running the ball so much because Dion Lewis left, Jeremy Hill got hurt and Mike Gillislee got cut? So?
Tom Brady’s throwing punts because Danny Amendola left, Brandin Cooks got traded and Julian Edelman got suspended? So?
The defense is slow because no linebacker speed was imported or drafted? So?
Gronk’s still miffed and his family is even miffeder? Get over it.
Gronk got fined in 2017 for carrying Brandin Cooks off the field after a touchdown. So which is more incendiary to the head coach, a piggy-back ride or Chris Gronkowski seemingly speaking for his brother and lacerating the offensive talent? Even though there wasn’t a false word in what Chris said, I would imagine Belichick won’t care about that either.
I don’t know if we’ll see the fallout in the form of reduced playing time or benchings. But on the field and off, based on years of prior observation, it feels like the stuff is threatening to hit the fan.