domingo, 5 de enero de 2020

Noticiero El Big Picture del Deporte: The Washington Post, For Tom Brady and the Patriots, playoff loss to Titans sure felt like the end of an era

Outside before the game, the longtime Patriots faithful hunched in the rainy parking lot trying to coax a flame out of damp charcoal. You got a similar feeling watching Tom Brady try to get points out of his offense, trailing by 14-13 point deep in the fourth quarter, unable to make a big play. Meanwhile there wasn't a thing anybody could do to stop the Titans' Derrick Henry, 6-foot-3, 247-pounds and a fresh-legged 26-years-old. When the final score of 20-13 was posted on Saturday night, ending the Patriots' season and possibly an era, it felt like many things all at once — flat, sudden, yet inevitable, and a long time coming, too.
  • He completed 20 of 37 passes for 209 yards and no touchdowns, a performance in keeping with a season in which he declined statistically, perhaps because he didn't have as strong as supporting cast as in other years. His contract will expire March 18, and whether the Patriots and Coach Bill Belichick will make a large commitment to a 42-year-old who struggled to connect with young receivers remains to be seen. "Right now we just finished the game," an all but inaudible Belichick said, refusing to address the issue.
  • Only this much was certain: a long great run was over and it was a stale, painful ending. "No one needs to make choices at this point," Brady said.
  • Brady and the Patriots have made winning such an expected outcome over two decades that we, and perhaps they themselves, became a little numb to it. Think about the physical and mental toll of reaching eight consecutive AFC Championship games and four of the last five Super Bowls, winning three of them. It was an insane rate of success in a sport that is brutal and constantly shifting given free agency. In retrospect, it was unsustainable. They had to have a letdown eventually, and this was it. If nothing else, they had to be worn out from all that winning.
  • Other than the neat sleight of hand from Brady to Julian Edelman that went for a five-yard scoring run, the Patriots simply could not get in the end zone. Take the way they were stymied with a first and goal on the 1-yard line late in the second quarter. It loomed ever larger as the game went on. So did the way the Titans replied, with an absolute punch in the mouth in the last two minutes of the half, with Henry chewing up whole sections of the field with his legs and accounting for 75 yards and a score, on his way to 182 rushing for the night.
  • What remained naggingly unclear was how much of the Patriots' struggles were because of a decline by Brady — who still throws a rope — and how much because of other players.


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