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Roche: Death Of 2010-11 Patriots

Been a rough few days around these parts, eh?

Everywhere I go I find myself saying, "Sorry for your loss".

Sunday, January 16th, 2011.

The day the season with such unexpected promise....died.

Sunday's 28-21 was as disapointing a loss that you'll find for Pats fans. Yes, 2007 and the Super Bowl was at a whole different level, but this was a definite second for me.

Around the CBS Scene Sunday night people were walking around in complete shock. There were no rowdy drunks. No angry fans wreaking havoc. Just shocked fans. No one could believe what happened and most were at a loss as to why it happened.

After a few days, there were many factors that explained this un-Patriot performance.

A dropped TD pass.....the first int by Tom Brady in 340 throws....a dropped fake punt try....stupid penalties...poor execution...questionable play-calling.

The Patriots offense was off. They opened things up in the first two drives, but then went into a funk as Tom Brady got knocked around. They woke up late in the 3rd quarter, but it was too late. Add a couple of late meaningless drives that made the numbers misleading and that was all she wrote. After the fact, some players questioned the lack of adjustments, etc.

On defense........not one forced turnover. The Pats had been brilliant at it all season long. 38 takeaways(and an NFL record of only 10 give-aways on offense). Nothing. No picks, no forced fumbles, no sacks....nothing.

On the coaching side, the major beef I had was coming out to start the second half. I thought we would see Brady lead a fast-tempo offense and that the Pats would come out(like the first half) and take it right to the Jets No we go. Didn't happen.

And maybe the bottom line should be: The Jets were simply the better team on Sunday. They executed better in all phases of football and deserved to advance.

And, I never thought I would write that. I was 100-percent sure that the Patriots would win that game. I know the Jets were trash-talking(led by the Head Coach), but I thought the Patriots would simply do what they always do and just win, period. They didn't.

So, tip your cap to New York. And btw, enough with the Jets being classless after the game. Did you expect them not to be? And if the Pats had won no one would care about the Jets. Same thing goes here. The Jets and what they do...don't matter. Go ahead and celebrate however you want. I don't like it. Wouldn't want my son or daughter doing that, but they won.

14-2 was tremendous. I had as much fun covering this Patriot team as I have had in all my years working in Boston. Great story as they came together.

However, with that one playoff loss, the season became a disappointment as they failed to show up when it mattered for the first time with a team that good. I still think the 2007 Super Bowl was a fluke...just meant to happen. For the 2010 Patriots this one is all on them.

However, I will still be ready to go and excited come July and training camp.

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