PHOTO: New England Patriots wide receiver David Givens, left, pulls in a fourth-quarter touchdown pass as Denver Broncos' Al Wilson (56) defends in Denver, Sunday, Oct. 16, 2005. (AP Photo/Dave Zalubowski)
Patriots Fan Files: Not Used To This
By Michelle Vitagliano, Fan Commentator
News that Tedy Bruschi will be returning to practice for the New England Patriots was the pick-me-up I needed after watching Sunday's miserable 28-20 loss to the Denver Broncos. And thanks to a bye week, he and the rest of the team will have some time to regroup and pull themselves together before they face the Buffalo Bills one week from Sunday.
I had a late night out on Saturday and found myself drifting in and out of consciousness in the second quarter but even so, somehow the numbers just didn't add up. Did we really give up three touchdowns in less than minutes? It seemed like every time I opened my eyes, the Broncos had scored. I thought I was having a nightmare but I guess not. How do you give up that many points in a quarter? It's so un-Patriotic!
With five minutes left in the game, the Pats down by 8 and the ball in Tom Brady's hands, I had hopes that he might make things happen like he normally does when his team is falling behind with just minutes to spare. I pictured him moving the ball down the field, throwing a touchdown pass and then, unlike other games where Vinatieri ends it with a game-winning field goal, I pictured Brady throwing the ball again for a two-point conversion to tie it up. I guess I hadn't really thought about the play-by-play after that that would somehow lead us to a victory but I didn't have to because the game ended and so did my vision of a 4-2 record.
It's hard to watch the Patriots lose, especially when you see half the team sitting on the sidelines with injuries (add Corey Dillon to the long list) and players like Willie McGinest out on the field with his hand all wrapped up. It's hard to watch the frustrated look on Brady's face when plays aren't being made. It's hard to watch the fans of the opposing team celebrate like its New Year because their team just beat up on the reigning Super Bowl Champs. It's hard to go into work on Monday and not be able to brag about how well your team played the day before.
The Pats need to pick up the pace or it's going to be a long season. And as happy as I am to see that Bruschi may be coming back, football is a team sport and one guy isn't going to win games for the rest of the team. They need to work on their defense. It seemed as though every Bronco that caught a touchdown pass was wide open. Where was the coverage?
Watching Asante Samuel knock the life out of Jeb Putzier was probably the most exciting part of the game. It was also nice to see the Pats come back from a 28-3 deficit but it was too little too late. The lows included, but were not limited to; Logan Mankins getting ejected from the game because he took a cheap shot on Ebenezer Ekuban's family jewels, and Tom Brady getting called for intentional grounding because no one was open. The Patriots don't have room for losing players to stupid penalties and Brady needs a little more protection so his receivers have time to get open.
Hopefully the Pats will take the next two weeks to physically and mentally recover from a tough loss and will be fresh and ready to go when they face the Bills at Gillette on October 30th.
Enjoy the Bye. Go Pats!
Michelle Vitagliano, passionate Boston sports fan that she is, can be found in the insiders forums under the screen name Patriette. Her weekly fan commentary can be found here on the Patriots Insider site, or you can search for her articles on the Insiders by searching for "Michelle Vitagliano".
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