The sting of the Patriots’ playoff loss to the Jets may be starting to slowly fade away, but I think the memories of the 2011 Pro Bowl will haunt Coach Belichick the entire off-season. The legendary coach was previously undefeated in the Hawaiian classic at 2-0, until today when his AFC team surrendered forty-two unanswered points to open the game. This loss was ground-breaking in many regards, but most notably, when combined with the Patriots’ loss to New York, it marks the first time that a Belichick-coached teams have lost back-to-back games, both following a bye week. Belichick is notorious for not losing back-to-back games, and not losing with more than a week to prepare for his opponent. In that light, the AFC’s loss is simply stunning.
According to “sources” Belichick was reportedly furious at half time, breaking objects in the locker room, grabbing Phillip Rivers by the facemask and reaming him out for his careless interceptions, and, most surprisingly, taking the apple out of the mouth of the traditional roasted pig at the buffet table, and using it to peg Terrell Suggs in the teet. Belichick’s tirade apparently worked wonders, as the AFC went out after halftime and scored 21 straight points. It was too little, too late, however, as the AFC was unable to overcome the massive halftime deficit.
Of note, Devin McCourty had an nice pick, and Jerod Mayo was 2nd on the AFC with seven tackles. Brandon Merriweather managed to go the entire game without leveling one of his NFC opponents. Vince Wilfork caused a temporary panic when he blocked out the sun in Aloha Stadium after exiting from the tunnel. Logan Mankins and Matt Light helped the Patriots walk away with the game’s “best facial hair” award, and Wes Welker slipped in 14 references to “dog”, “canine”, or “Scooby Doo” in a pre-game interview about Michael Vick.