The New England Patriots looked terrible in Week 14 against the Miami Dolphins.
The offensive line was a turnstile, Tom Brady got knocked around and the Patriots suffered a 27-20 loss in front of a national audience on “Monday Night Football.”
The defeat didn’t really set back New England. The Patriots beat the Pittsburgh Steelers the following week and won three straight games to secure home-field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs.
But with a report by ESPN’s Seth Wickersham published Friday suggesting there’s an ongoing power struggle involving Brady, head coach Bill Belichick and team owner Robert Kraft, FS1’s Colin Cowherd can’t help but wonder whether there was more to the Monday night meltdown than meets the eye.
Basically, Cowherd believes Belichick intentionally exposed Brady by scaling back the game plan, making it so the Patriots quarterback needed to carry New England to a victory — a feat Brady was unable to accomplish.
Cowherd’s logic? Belichick was angry that Kraft made him trade quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, and he wanted to send a message to the team owner that it was a mistake to choose his friendship with Brady over the head coach’s long-term vision.
This theory comes on the heels of Cowherd suggesting a couple of weeks ago that Belichick traded Garoppolo and fellow quarterback Jacoby Brissett for peanuts because of a grudge he holds against Kraft. Cowherd theorized that Belichick wanted to move forward with Garoppolo to prove he could win without Brady but Kraft nixed the idea, causing Belichick to basically sabotage the long-term future of the organization.
It seemed like wild speculation at the time, but it admittedly sounds much more reasonable in the wake of Friday’s ESPN report, which Brady, Kraft and Belichick downplayed in a joint statement.
Thumbnail photo via Robert Deutsch/USA TODAY Sports Images
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