The Titans beat the Patriots in a week 10 regular season game on Sunday. The Patriots offense looked awful, and the Patriots defense made Marcus Mariota look more like Aaron Rodgers than Aaron Rodgers did last week.
It was Patriots vs. Patriots South, from both a fan and player perspective this week. All week we heard about how many Pats fans were in Nashville, and you could hear them all game. But the “story” was how a team comprised of former Patriots would fare against the 2018 Patriots. It’s actually a brilliant strategy from the Titans that I’m shocked no one has tried before. Pay all the players the Patriots don’t and try to beat them with it. From Coach Mike Vrabel, Malcolm Butler, Logan Ryan and Dion Lewis, there were a handful of guys who have won Super Bowls for the Patriots that wanted to beat their former team.
The most threatening player from a football standpoint was Dion Lewis. With 20 carries for 57 yards and 2 catches for 11 yards, the Patriots relatively contained Lewis. 2.9 yards per carry is not exactly steamrolling a defense that has a lot of questions at the linebacker position.
I openly declared that Dion Lewis was my favorite Patriots player to watch since Wes Welker, the love of my life. Fans in New England didn’t want to see him go, and neither did most of the players in the locker room. But there is no chance the Patriots were going to give him anything close to the 4-year $19.8 million contract he got from Tennessee. They drafted Sony Michel in the first round, who is years younger and way cheaper. It is a tale as old as time, and it has directly led to 5 Super Bowls.
From a business and personal perspective I really don’t see much wrong with how the Patriots and Dion Lewis parted ways. If any of the players on the Titans had a justified reason to be petty after the Titans win, it would have been Malcolm Butler. But Butler, Logan Ryan and Mike Vrabel had nothing but nice things to say after the game. Typical Patriots quotes from Patriots South.
When Ryan and Butler were asked if the game was personal, both replied in the most Belichickian way possible:
“Nah, it wasn’t personal,” Ryan said. “I have a lot of respect for that organization, and if we want to get to where we want to get to, we have to beat teams like that and beat organizations like that. I’m grateful for my entire four years there, but it made me a better player and made me a leader of the team I’m on today.”
“Most definitely not,” Butler said. “It’s not personal. I wanted to win though. I want to beat everyone I go against. It wasn’t personal. No bad blood between (Bill) Belichick, none of those players, none of the coaches, Mr. Kraft, none of those guys. I’ve got nothing but respect for them.”
But Dion Lewis took the bait and that reporter got all the headlines you could want. Must not have graduated from the Bill Belichick school of media.
Lewis answered the same question “Hell yeah, it’s personal. That’s what happens when you go cheap. You get your ass kicked.”
Let me give you a little history lesson here Dion. The entire success of the Patriots dynasty, Bill Belichick, and Robert Kraft has been going “cheap” for value and kicking everyone else’s ass. It has worked for over 15 years and it’ll continue to work as long as those two are evaluating talent.
Dion Lewis sure felt like being petty after his team got a win to go 5-4 on the season and stay close to a wild card spot in the AFC playoffs. Celebrating your teams’ Super Bowl of beating the Patriots is a bold strategy and it has yet to work out yet. Ask the Jags and Lions. Sure seems like a waste of breath for someone who has seen this story play out first hand.
“I didn’t have to prove anything. I know I can play. I just had to let our team know that these guys are beatable…I know those guys. I know that you be physical with them & let ‘em have it & they’ll fold.”
The Patriots….FOLDING?? You can list on one hand the games in the past 20 years where the Patriots have “folded”. Even down 17 points in the 3rd quarter anyone who thought that game was over is a liar. Because the Patriots don’t ever FOLD. Tom Brady’s entire brand is un-fold-able.
He continued on Twitter, Instagram and wherever else anyone was willing to listen.
— Dion Lewis (@DionLewisRB) November 11, 2018
— Dion Lewis (@DionLewisRB) November 11, 2018
I wanted to be able to root for Dion Lewis as a personal fan of his whenever he wasn’t facing the Patriots. But more than these quotes completely disrespecting the opportunity and support the Patriots gave him for years, they proved that he didn’t have that True Patriot blood in him to begin with. Dion Lewis is making $20 million dollars and he’s still butthurt about not getting a free ride to the AFC Championship game. Sorry, but you’re going to have to do a lot more than beat the Patriots in November to get there. They aren’t carrying you anymore–time to move the fuck on.
Patriots fans will remember who it was that wanted to make this personal. We’re on to the bye week.