FOXBORO, Mass. — When Jets strength coach Sal Alosi intentionally kneed a Dolphins gunner Sunday, the Jets’ recourse followed a typical guideline. First, fine the pants off Alosi, and then blame the Patriots.
And when Colts quarterback Peyton Manning couldn’t win at Gillette Stadium, he believed it was because the Patriots were bugging the visiting locker room. Yup, he blamed the Patriots.
Of course, the Colts’ immediate response to Manning’s inability to beat the Patriots was to complain about New England’s defensive style. Bill Polian got the rules changed, right after he blamed the Patriots.
Earlier this season, when the Broncos were busted for a Spygate scandal, former Denver head coach Josh McDaniels accepted his punishment, and then he blamed the Patriots.
When the Patriots beat the Raiders in the snow in the 2001 playoffs, the Raiders blamed the officials’ surprising use of the tuck rule. Over time, the Raiders made it a little simpler. They blamed the Patriots.
Naturally, after the Pats were bagged for Spygate, a good chunk of the league — from the Steelers, to the Rams, to the Jets — blamed the Patriots … for games during the 2007 season and many others. Basically, any team that lost to Bill Belichick‘s Patriots over the better part of a decade played the camera card. (Whether those teams have a just cause to complain or they were simply looking for excuses, that has just been something the Patriots would have to live with.)
Then, two weeks ago, when New England blew out the Jets 45-3, New York wide receiver Braylon Edwards accused the Patriots of running up the score, which is something the Pats have been blamed for over and over again. But of course, Edwards said the Jets would have done the same thing.
It’s become socially acceptable in the NFL to blame the Patriots for everything, even when they’re not involved. The latest unprovoked attack from Jets special teams coach Mike Westhoff is as comical as this notion has become.
But here’s a thought: Don’t let coaches trip players, and don’t throw interceptions at defensive backs who are banked in a zone, and don’t forget to show up on a nationally televised game on Monday night.
Self-accountability can be a whacky concept, and if it’s too tough of a quality to attain, hey, blame the Patriots.
Do the Patriots deserve to get lumped in with every controversial topic in the NFL? Leave your thoughts below.