Sunday Night wrap-up: Pats take advantage of Mike McCoy

AP

Chargers coach Mike McCoy was working as an assistant for John Fox when the Broncos coach (then with the Panthers) said “a punt is not a bad play.”

Except, sometimes it is.

When the Chargers punted away to the Patriots trailing 23-14 with 6:19 to go, they may have given away the best/only chance they had to win the game.

Faced with a fourth-and-4 at the 50-yard line, the Chargers surrendered the ball, knowing they needed a two stops and two scores.

They lost more than four minutes and 30 yards in the process, and didn’t get a chance to make it matter, never moving the final score.

The conservative approach has served McCoy well in a global sense, as he built the Chargers into a clutch-and-grab team that can play with anybody in the AFC, thanks to a smart quarterback and a solid run game and defense.

They don’t have overwhelming talent on the edges, and Philip Rivers is better suited to performing meatball surgery than working in the pristine operating rooms Tom Brady is accustomed to performing in.

But for the Chargers to have a chance, their coach has to give them one. Sunday, McCoy, as smart as he is, didn’t.

Here are five more things we learned during Sunday Night Football:

1. The whole Revis Island thing is real, and it works.

Patriots cornerback Darrelle Revis draped himself all over Chargers wide receiver Keenan Allen, and kept him off the board for more than a half.

It was the third quarter before Allen was even targeted, and Revis was the sole reason for that.

Granted, Malcom Floyd’s touchdown catch was beautiful, and Antonio Gates is still a dangerous target. But without Allen, the Chargers offense is missing a key part.

2. Speaking of Patriots cornerbacks, Brandon Browner’s penalty in the third quarter which took an interception off the board was a bad call.

The combination of Browner’s track record and Ladarius Green’s head snapping backward like it was on the end of a rubber band made it look worse than it actually was.

And it was a big, hard hit. Also a legal one.

There was plenty of time to review that play before calling it a helmet-to-helmet hit, which it wasn’t, as Browner clearly got him with his shoulder.

Even though Green didn’t return to the game with a concussion, it doesn’t change the fact that the visceral reaction to the hit weighed more heavily on the refs than where it actually landed.

3. The 2-11 Titans couldn’t use linebacker Akeem Ayers.

The Super Bowl-contending Patriots are glad to have him.

Ayers came up with the redemptive interception in the third quarter, taking the refs off the hook for a botched call (see above).

And this isn’t to bang on the Titans, plenty of people have done that already.

But the beauty of Bill Belichick is the way he’s able to make odd parts fit his system, and to take undervalued commodities and make them more valuable than they were otherwise.

4. Boy, the way Tom Brady threw it right to Manti Te’o before halftime, it’s like he didn’t even see him.

Yeah, it’s a cheap joke. But it’s also reflective of the way Te’o has largely disappeared from our collective consciousness since he entered the league with the specter of a fake dead girlfriend hanging over his head.

It’s a shame we made so much of Te’o because of his ridiculous back-story at the time, and if we’d have known his future role maybe we wouldn’t have.

He’s not a horrible player, and not a great one. He’s a perfectly acceptable two-down linebacker who does a solid job, the kind the NFL is full of, who never get that kind of attention. And frankly, they probably would never want it.

5. Chargers kicker Nick Novak is not a horrible punter.

But they’re going to need a regular one if Mike Scifres is as hurt as he looks.

Scifres didn’t return after landing awkwardly on his left shoulder in the second quarter, forcing Novak into double duty.

Novak did the best he could, despite not having punted regularly since high school. He actually got better as the night went on, after a 27-yarder on his first attempt. His next three were 33, 45 and 51 yards.

Solid. For a kicker.

78 responses to “Sunday Night wrap-up: Pats take advantage of Mike McCoy

  1. I really hope the pats make it to the super bowl. Would love to see the smug faces of brady and belichick after the Hawks stomp them into the ground. Sore losers and cheaters.

    Other teams fans envy our teams players. Other teams players envy our teams fans. #choochoohawksdynastytrain
    #12thmanisheretostay #dynastybeforeyoureyes #kissthering

  2. Browner did hit Green with his shoulder, but he definitely hit him in the neck/head area. That is the criterion for a penalty. The “head-to-head” aspect of the rule hasn’t been in effective for two years. And really for the last three years that hit has resulted in a penalty (and a fine) every time. The call was good.

  3. McCoy continues to show his inexperience in time management. Fourth and four down two scores with six minutes to go and you punt the ball best to one of the top QB’s of all time? Really?

  4. Respect to the Chargers for a defensive battle. It is rare to see in today’s NFL. Brady was off tonight but he came through when it mattered most, Edelman was great, the defense looked like an elite defense and the game was poorly officiated for both sides so there was no bias. Good win onto Miami. Go Pats!

  5. Good game by the Pats D. That punt was a horrendous decision. I turned the game off the second San Diego punted. Obviously that was the end of the game.

  6. Just call them the New England Champions

    ——————————————–

    Let me know when the last time they were champions was.

    That’s like saying wearing shoulder pads are still fashionable. How about those MC Hammer pants?

  7. Solid job by the Patriots defense tonight – especially in the second half. Revis completely shutdown Keenan Allen. He did’t record a catch until late in the 3rd quarter and even then, it was not much of anything.

  8. sd5547 says: Dec 7, 2014 11:42 PM

    McCoy continues to show his inexperience in time management. Fourth and four down two scores with six minutes to go and you punt the ball best to one of the top QB’s of all time? Really?
    ——————————————————————————————————————————-

    You can’t attribute that to inexperience, it’s just plain stupid. Any coach in the league should be fired for a mistake like that.

  9. The Jets must have cheated long ago too

    Here’s how many championships they’ve win since Man walked on the Moon:

    Oh and what did the Vikings do to earn such bad karma?

    The haters don’t seem to realize that going 16-0 isn’t the “proof” they “can’t win without cheating” they think it is

  10. Hard to win a big home game against a better team when 60% of the crowd is against you. Home fans can’t let that happen in their stadium.

  11. fanasaurus says: Dec 7, 2014 11:44 PM

    Simply put that was a defensive win, and the call against Browner was a total joke.
    ——————————————————————————————————————————–

    Tens of millions on the line in Vegas for that game.

  12. That’s why these coaches shouldn’t be left with too many things on their plate and just hire additional personnel to help them figure out the best way to shore up the odds of winning when it comes to calculable choices.

  13. It wasn’t a bad call. It doesn’t have to be helmet to helmet to be a penalty. It wasn’t called helmet to helmet. Did you even listen to the ref? He said blow to the head and neck area of a defenseless receiver. That’s exactly what happened, and it’s a penalty.

  14. People love blowouts…but give me a game down 14-3 on the road. Missed opportunities. Adversity at every turn. And to come out on top with 20 unanswered points to beat a good team in their house. I’ll take that all day. #characterbuilder #bigboyfootball

  15. ryantkoenig says:
    Dec 7, 2014 11:41 PM
    “Browner did hit Green with his shoulder, but he definitely hit him in the neck/head area. That is the criterion for a penalty. The “head-to-head” aspect of the rule hasn’t been in effective for two years. And really for the last three years that hit has resulted in a penalty (and a fine) every time. The call was good.”

    You’re out of your mind. Never made contact with his head. The penalty was called simply due to the fact it was such a violent (but legal and clean) hit.

    It was simply a poor call. Thankfully it did not affect the outcome of the game.

  16. Hard to win a big home game against a better team when 60% of the crowd is against you. Home fans can’t let that happen in their stadium.

    —–

    Happens when you’re in california and you have a ton of transplants and every team you play their fan base sees San Diego on the schedule and an opportunity for a vacation that week. This happens with every opponent. There is no home field in San Diego.

  17. So tired of these writers proclaiming Rivers greatness. He choked it. Again. Couldn’t make the first pick stand because the refs gave it back to him so what does Mr. Elite do? Throws another one. SD will never get a ring with him. Probably never will anyway.

  18. You simply can’t punt in that situation. Younger/Newer coaches coach scared at times and when indecisive always lean towards the conservative decision. Maybe you punt if your inside your 35 and not at mid field. Maybe you punt if it’s 4th and 10 or more and not 4th and 4. They needed two scores but had time and could have scored and got the ball back if they had forced a 3 and out. But the main reason you don’t punt there is the QB on the other side of the field. Whether it’s Brady or Manning or Rogers you simply can’t give the ball to them there because they are more than likely gonna make that throw on 3rd and 5 after running it two times to get the first down. Coaches like BB or John Harbaugh or Mike McCarthy don’t punt there. Maybe because they are playing with house money given there success but there’s only only one way to get house money, you have to gamble. And Mike McCoy didnt take that risk, and therefore didnt give his team a chance to comeback and win.

  19. Pats are now 10-3, after coming from behind to beat a solid Chargers team, on the road!

    Hey, have you heard…?????

    Tom Brady is washed up!!!!

    BWAAAAAA HAAAA HAAA!!!!!

  20. Bills coach Doug Marrone punted on 4th and 2…… down by 14 points with 5 minutes to go in the 4th quarter against Denver.

    Wimpy punting is far too common in the NFL.

  21. I can understand why the haters are so upset, since the Patriots turned the ball over, fell behind by 11, couldn’t run very well, couldn’t protect Brady very well, had a lot of penalties and still beat an 8-4 team on the road by 9 points.

  22. Tough loss for the Bolts, they hung tough for 3 plus quarters, relying on a strong defense. Just goes to show the fourth quarter is the one that matters the most. If the Charger could have scored anything in the Second half, maybe they pull off the upset.
    On to Denver!.

  23. It’s too bad the Pats had to lose a second game.

    15-1 is the only differentiation we haven’t seen as a top AFC seed above 10 wins, in the last 10 years.
    #powerteam problems. #Spygatewasabusinessdecision #yourGFwouldhangoutwithGronk
    #seeyouinAZ

  24. Once the NE player tripped Mathews and rendered him out of the game, SD had no true rushing threat. From that point, NE didn’t have to respect the rush and they brought the heat to Rivers and it shut them down completely. And when being shut down led to a punting situation, the 35 YD punts caught up to them with respect to field position. It was eventually going to lead to a score for NE.

  25. They took advantage of Mike. Over and over again for a period covering several hours. In the most humiliatiing fashion. It’s something he’ll have to live with for the rest of his life.

  26. Pats Seahawks Super Bowl would be great to see. One team caught using a video recorder vs a team juiced outta there minds , the lens vs the needle could be the build up. Pump em up Pete vs tape them bill

  27. Ok “New England Champions” fans, whoa there. You are good, and I LOATHE the cheeseheads, but they DID lay a smack down on you that had Tom B screaming profanities… just don’t get too excited.

  28. Tom Brady is the best quarterback I’ve seen in my lifetime. With that being said as a NY Giants fanatic Brady v.s Eli i’ll take Eli for one game every time.

  29. The best thing here is seeing Ravens fans till crying about 2 weeks ago.

    #luckytohavewonanythingwithFlacco

  30. You can’t blab on about concussions as often as the NFL do and as often as you do on here and not call that penalty.

    Sure 80 or maybe 90 or more % of the contact was shoulder to shoulder. But at the same time there is a clash of helmets as well as shoulder contact to the neck area.

    You have to wrap guys up with the arms and get your head out of the way or you have to target the waist.

    Concussions and head hits are the greatest threat to football and you have to be serious about them now before the game is out of control.

  31. Also if you get side on view of the incident with the players coming together you can see a helmet glancing the other helmet and the head deviating slightly. It’s all it takes.

  32. That was a very tough, defensive struggle; the special teams play by NE was the big difference. Hats off to SD; no team has forced so many consecutive three and outs on the Pats. Denver will have their hands full in sunny SD next week.

  33. Hard to win a big home game against a better team when 60% of the crowd is against you. Home fans can’t let that happen in their stadium.
    ———————————————————-
    Transplants-all those annoying Hollywood people from NE traveled down, and normal NE fans travel, especially when you can fly to the left coast and get a ticket to the game for the price of driving to Foxboro and getting a ticket to a game, and that is with cold, rain or snow not sand and sun, and Tijuana.

    Must suck living someplace with such uninterested fans.
    If you are interested, there are still tickets available for a division game vs. the Broncos next week for under 200 beans.
    Pats tickets? Yeah sold out for the rest of the season, and a waiting list on the resale site.

  34. Phillip Rivers is the Frank Burns of football. If you don’t know who that is look it up and laugh.

    Here’s how many Super Bowls the Washington team has won since spygate

  35. As a Pats fan, my player of the game has to be Melvin Ingram. He almost single-handedly shut down the Pats run game and was the most disruptive player in the passing game, as well. He had the kind of game that I was hoping Dominique Easely would produce when he was drafted in the first round.

  36. The one thing I really noticed was the crowd noise at that stadium. It was brutal for the Chargers. It seemed there were more Pats fans than SD fans, with the boos coming when the Pats got a penalty. The cheers when they got a TD. The chants of “Brady” near the end. The loud cheering whenever SD had a 3rd down. The first time I heard that, I was wondering why they were screwing over their own team, lol.

    I felt sorry for the Chargers. It seemed like it was a warm weather Gillette or something. Brutal.

  37. It is hard to imagine why the Chargers would complain about the refs when they were given the game the week before on the worst defensive pass interference call I have ever seen. If anything it was offensive pass interference.

  38. Not a bad call…somewhat of a make up call for Browner holding and yanking at receivers shoulders on nearly every play. Easy to guard your man if you can keep them on your hip by grabbing and tugging on the shoulder of your opponent. He’s not special.

  39. The Chargers simply lost to a better team. They gave themselves a chance to win, but came up short. Our O-line is still a mess, and our 246th center was directly responsible for two sacks. Still, it was a great game and it was fun to be a part of it.

    The lack of home field advantage can get embarrassing but anyone who lives in SD knows there’s a ton of Boston transplants living here. A ton. I wouldn’t pick Boston over sunny San Diego either.

    Strange group of fans though, leaving in droves as soon as the Pats went up, and throwing hissy fits when “settling” for field goals. Loved Tom’s fist pump after a QB slide for first down, and the clown behind me saying, “All day.”

  40. “LMAO wait until Revis has to cover Odell Beckham”

    LMAO guess that won’t be this year since the Pats don’t have the Giants in their remaining 3 games and both teams from “New York” will be sitting on the couch watching the playoffs.

  41. Browner still has the Boom in him. He’s been thru the Seattle program where he learned to legally and safely blow up the ballcarrier.

    Still miss him opposite Sherm.

  42. Chargers really had a chance to win the game, given Brady had an off game, but the kicker getting KO’d made them lose field position and losing Matthews to a kick, which Arrington didn’t need to do, made them one dimensional. On the other side, Chargers did a decent job of shutting down Blount.
    That Browner call was robbery. No helmet to helmet. Could see the refs trying to make it up, once they realized how tenuous the call was. Oh well, made for a closer game than it really was. SD defense held up well, until 4th quarter…then they were gassed.
    Asking Rivers to win a game against NE secondary is asking a bit much. He needs speedy slot receivers to offload ball when NE was sending the house late in game.
    NE discipline was out the window at times in the game…Beliman is not going to be happy. NE wins games usually because the other team makes more sloppy mistakes, but not last night. Frustrating to watch them sometimes…but a win is a win. When NE is on, this game would have been over in first half…

  43. harrisonhits2 says:
    Dec 8, 2014 10:34 AM
    “LMAO wait until Revis has to cover Odell Beckham”

    LMAO guess that won’t be this year since the Pats don’t have the Giants in their remaining 3 games and both teams from “New York” will be sitting on the couch watching the playoffs.
    ————–

    Revis is overrated, and got burned last week. Your team will be on the couch for the Super Bowl, clown. You know what I meant. Stop acting like the guy is on Sherman’s level.

  44. “….as Browner clearly got him with his shoulder.”

    Right, but he got the TE’s chin with his shoulder. A hit doesn’t have to be helmet-to-helmet to be illegal … anything-to-head/neck/chin is a penalty when the guy is in the process of trying to make a catch. That was definitely a fair penalty according to the rules.

  45. Browner did not hit Green’s chin nor his head/neck area. Unless you are counting the shoulder as part of that. And the ref explicitly stated it was ‘helmet to helmet’. I had to rewind the game to see if that is exactly what he said.

    Levy then went on to say the defender hit the head/neck area.

    I get it, we have the luxury of replay at home and in real time it may have certainly looked like it was helmet to helmet, but that flag did not come out until after they saw the puddle of mess that was once Green on the field. McCourty was around the 15 yard line when the yellow hanky came out…

  46. “Revis is overrated, and got burned last week. Your team will be on the couch for the Super Bowl, clown. You know what I meant. Stop acting like the guy is on Sherman’s level.”

    Got it:

    Sherman: Greatest player of all time.
    Revis: Scrub.
    Mr. Wright: Most knowledgable football analyst in the universe.

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