Thursday, October 7, 2010

The end of the Patriots offense as we know it

OK. Breath, just breathe. We aren't completely screwed, right? Did we actually just trade Randy Moss for a third round pick? Yes. A third round pick? A THIRD FREAKIN ROUND PICK! Are you kidding me?
Regardless of what was happening with Randy and "offensive coordinator" Bill O'Brien (I put quotation marks because we all know that Belichick runs this team from top to bottom), or even between Randy and King Belichick himself, there is no way that his value is equal to a third round pick. There are at least a dozen teams that are in dire need of a number one, and I would bet most teams want Randy Moss. And for a third round pick? They would have flown into Boston and kissed Belichick's rings! Except maybe Rex. I can't possibly accept the fact that the Patriots' best offer for one of the top receivers in the league, one of the most athletically gifted pass catchers of our time, the current record holder for most receiving TD's in league history, was a third round pick!
Now lets be clear. If Belichick was going to trade him, he was going to get him the hell out of the AFC. This alone makes me believe that Belichick thinks Randy's got a lot left in the tank. Believe it or not, I've read opinions of people who mention his 9 catches this year and dropped passes, who say that Randy is deteriorating before our eyes. Yes, he has lost a step since his ridiculous 2007 campaign. And yes, he has dropped a few balls that he used to catch. But this is the guy who makes the whole offense work. By the way, if we are going to say that Belichick wanted him out of the AFC, lets take a look at a few teams who would've probably upped the ante if given the chance:
They are tied in first place in the NFC East. Adding Moss would surely provide a boost to an offense struggling to score through the air. It would also help them pull themselves out of the pack in the crowded NFC East.
They are tied for first in the NFC North, and they have Jay Cutler playing at a pretty high level (we will forget last game, because his offensive line was atrocious). His best receiver right now is Devin Hester. Yes, he was drafted as a cornerback. So I would go ahead and say, that despite a nice season from Hester so far, Mike Martz would kill for the chance to make Moss the bigger, more athletic version of the Isaac Bruce in his offense. This would make them an instant Super Bowl contender. I can't even remember the last time the Bears had an elite number one (Marty Booker anyone??) Check this out:
Falcons- Already a serious contender in the NFC, could you imagine an offense led by Matt Ryan with Michael "the Burner" Turner, Roddy White, Randy Moss AND Tony Gonzalez! That immediately becomes a top 3 offense in the NFL.
Buccaneers- Because they started off hot, perhaps the Bucs would've taken a chance on Moss. They already have two huge targets in Kellen Winslow and Mike Williams. Adding Moss would give budding quarterback Josh Freeman another big down-field threat. A lot of fans thought this would be another putrid year for a franchise that hasn't quite recovered from their Super Bowl hangover, but put Moss on this team in this conference, and the Bucs may be able to squeak out a playoff spot.
In the pitiful NFC West (, anything is possible. There have been multiple writers who have speculated that this could be the first 6 win division winner. If so, I believe any of these teams would put themselves in a better position for a playoff berth by adding a talent like Moss. The Cardinals could team him with Larry Fitzgerald for possibly the greatest WR tandem in NFL history. The Rams could get a number one for Sam Bradford, who is in dire need of a top receiver after the injury to Donnie Avery. The Seahawks offense is atrocious, any addition would be welcomed.

My question is, did the Patriots call these teams? Did they find the best value for their most talented skill position player? Or did they just make a quick call to the Vikings, who everyone knew was in the hunt for a number one (after the VJax talks fell through) and assume this is where the best value would be?

I don't know the answers to these questions, but they are very frustrating to think about. Moss was the greatest receiver in Patriots history. He was the most explosive, exciting player they have ever had. In 2007 he was a one man wrecking crew (with the help of Gisele. oops. I mean Tom). He averaged just a smidgen under a TD per game since he joined the team. And we literally traded him for nothing. Give me a second while I gauge my eyes out with a plastic fork.

Ok, I'm back. I just want to give you something to think about. The following stats are completely made up and have no supporting proofs whatsoever.
A third round pick (in my opinion) has:
a 10 percent chance of becoming a starter
a 2 percent chance of becoming a pro bowler
and a .00001 percent chance of becoming the next Randy Moss

OK, I'm done crying about the fact that we traded the key to our offense for a third round pick. Now I'm going to discuss how Randy's departure affects the Patriots offense. Well, in a word, his departure is devastating. He explained his role in the offense a few weeks ago saying, "I take the top off the defense." By doing this, Randy opened up all of those underneath routes for Wes Welker, and the intermediate routes for Aaron Hernandez (who, by the way, is an unbelievable player. Great hands, fantastic after the catch, a real keeper. And he's only 20!). Now what do we do? There is no doubt teams will start paying a lot more attention to Wes, and from what we saw from the Patriots' two games without Wes last season (we had a dreadful loss to the Jets where Brady looked lost, a nice win over the Falcons in what was Fred Taylor's last effective game as a Patriot, and the shocking playoff loss to the Ravens where our offense was abysmal) the offense doesn't fare too well without him. Guess who we play next? You guessed it, the Ravens! That's going to be fun. It's not like they haven't gotten much better since that game...O wait, they added Anquan Boldin and TJ Houshmandzadeh? S#%@

I don't think the offense is going to all the sudden plummet to Lions-like levels. We still have Tom, Wes, Aaron, Gronk and an emerging Brandon Tate. The "Energizer Bunny" (Julian Edelman) has looked dead, but if he could emerge, we would still have one of the top receiving/tight end groups in the AFC. Playing without Moss will be tough, but it won't be impossible. At least we get to see him in Gillete one more time. Circle October 31st on your calender. It's going to be a doozy.

On to the links:
Hilarious interview that my brother sent me-

Roy Halladay is just unbelievable. He keeps chugging along. I had a conversation with a friend yesterday, and we agreed: overall, Roy Halladay has been the best pitcher in the league since 2002.
[Video was taken down due to copyright infringement. Check youtube for a good one]

A tribute, to one of the greatest performances in NFL history, and one of the greatest years of my life as a sports fan. You may want to sit down for this, some of these catches are absolutely ridiculous. Enjoy the show, and if you're a Pats fan, you should probably weep.

Say hello to the start of the Semih Erden era in Boston. This kid looked awesome last night going 3-3 from the field, 7-8 from the line for 13 points, to go along with 5 rebounds (2 offensive) and 2 blocks in only 23 minutes! Check out this block, which won block of the night awards over at it is nothing special, but people in Boston seem to be pretty excited about this Turk-


Mazz is always good for a solid read. Nice take on the Moss trade-

Great article by Shaughnnessy regarding the Moss trade. I swear I didn't read this before I wrote the article- there are some similar ideas in here-

Fantastic Article by MacMullan. She always seems to write the right things-

Can an article make you happy (Lebron's not MVP) and sad (Lakers win, AGAIN!) at the same time?

Great comparison by Tom Verducci-

And one last thing:
The Patriots have made 2 god awful trades in the last two years. The Seymour trade was certainly a surprise, but a Raiders first round pick is certainly good compensation. I am talking about the Matt Cassel-Mike Vrabel for a second round pick trade. At the time, people thought Cassel was a potential 26 year old franchise quarterback. So we trade a potential franchise quarterback and one of our few remaining veteran leaders and pass rushers for a second round pick! Why was Vrabel even in the deal? Because we were planning on replacing him? With who? Pierre Woods? Shawn Crable? There was no reason for us to add him in that deal. It adds more frustration when reports were leaked that the Broncos were offering a late first round pick for Cassel. I guess that's how it works in the NFL. You win some, you lose some.

1 comment:

  1. This is a great post Eitan - I am very impressed!!! I really enjoyed reading this... hopefully the Pats did explore other option but unfortunately we will never know for sure...