Patriots Cheat Sheet – AFC Championship vs. Baltimore

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The “At Least We Were Here” Edition

We’ve been trying to play the Cliff to your Notes for conversations about the Patriots all season long. Well, with last night’s home loss in the AFC Championship, things come to an end, but we must put our chin up and give you a few quick things to say as the region laments.

The penultimate game of the season is no time for weaknesses to show themselves, front and center, and when they do, a painful loss shouldn’t be surprising. In comparison to many of the other playoff games all year, this was probably the most boring of them all, and sadly, it will be the last one featuring the Patriots this season.

What happened? Well, here’s a few points for you:

  • No Throttle Offense – The Pats got by all season by never taking their foot off the accelerator, and the one that may come back to haunt them the most is the moment at the end of the first half where they settled for a field goal when they couldn’t get their act together to stop the clock for anything longer than the attempt. That lack of momentum hurt given that the lead was slim at that point at the Ravens had just crept within a field goal.
  • Brady, Without a Cape – Usually, Brady has a way of showing up for the big games, but not yesterday. The Ravens D was fierce and swarming all of the receivers, barely giving him time to throw, either. He was leaving passes short, hitting the ground and just looking plain ordinary.
  • Second Half Woes – I didn’t go back through the record books to check, but I’d imagine it has been awhile since a foe was able to keep the Pats off the scoreboard for an entire half. Nothing was clicking, and giving up the two fourth quarter scores just made the end painful to watch.

And with that, the Patriots must wait until the fall until they play again. Like them, we’re packing up the Cheat Sheet for the winter – just watch the Super Bowl on your own, m’kay? We’ll be starting up some regular features for the other teams in town in the spring, hang in there.