Dec 1, 2009, 11:08 AM EDT
A few people noted with surprise the way that Bill Belichick removed Tom Brady and Randy Moss against the Saints with 5:26 to go in the game last night, not the least of which being the folks at Sports Pickle, who this morning grace us with the headline: ‘Ruthless Patriots Run Down The Score.’ Indeed, Steve Young was wondering about that bit of strategy right after the game. Note the following rather amusing observation:
Young, during the ESPN post-game analysis:
“What it felt like, unless Tom was nicked or something else was going on that we don’t know about … what it felt like to me was you’re playing chess with your little brother and you’re beating him and all of a sudden he gets upset and he just messes up the board. And he says ‘ah forget it.’ “
Could Bill Belichick get a do-over for November, please? Two weeks ago it was “fourth-and-reckless-gate,” Last week he’s accused of running up the score against the Jets, and now this: Giving up when many thought New England wasn’t actually quite dead yet. A couple of quick scores, a couple of onside kicks … well, they still would have lost, most likely. But what message does that send to your team when you just give up?
Young was wondering the same thing, to no one’s surprise. He is, after all, the quarterback who went absolutely mental in 1993 when, trailing the Philadelphia Eagles 40-8 at Candlestick Park, Young was benched in the middle of a series. Young, ever the team player under normal conditions, could be seen screaming in protest at head coach George Seifert on the sideline after being taken out. A starting quarterback, he figured (and obviously still does), should go down with the ship.
Should Brady have felt the same way when Belichick cried no mas with more than five minutes left last night? He also benched Moss, and presumably several other starters; and by the looks of it Moss was happy to leave the debacle. Should Brady at least have put up a protest over being taken out?
For the record, Young followed that benching in ’93 by leading the 49ers to 10 straight wins and a Super Bowl title. If this turns out to be a similar turning point in the Patriots’ season, Belichick comes up smelling great. We’ll see.
Steve Young: Pats pulling starters like a little brother toppling chess board [USA Today]
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