The New England Patriots face another tight situation in the AFC playoff race. They must win their upcoming game against a desperate Colts team to make it into the playoffs on top of a Tampa Bay Buccaneers victory. The last time these two teams faced was Week 14, and Brady threw for just 130 yards with no touchdowns or interceptions in an embarrassing 24-13 loss at home. If Bill Belichick were still coaching this year, would he do anything different?
The “new england patriots coach” is a topic that has been talked about for quite some time. Bill Belichick’s past could come back to haunt him in the Patriots’ Week 15 game against Kenny Moore II and the Colts.
The New England Patriots have returned to their former glory.
The Patriots are in contention for the AFC’s top overall seed once again this season, after missing the playoffs for just the second time since 2003. They are now 9-4 and in first position in the conference, ahead of the Tennessee Titans and Kansas City Chiefs.
However, in Week 15, Bill Belichick’s team will face an old nemesis, the Indianapolis Colts, who are a possible playoff club. While the Colts-Patriots rivalry has a long history, one of Belichick’s prior personnel decisions, Kenny Moore II, might come back to haunt him in this game.
In 2017, Bill Belichick and the Patriots released Kenny Moore II.
New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick before a game against the Buffalo Bills on Dec. 6, 2021. Getty Images/Bryan M. Bennett
In 2017, Valdosta State’s Kenny Moore II went undrafted. He later signed with the New England Patriots, but only stayed with the club for four months.
Those four months, however, were insufficient, since Moore doesn’t seem to be a huge admirer of Bill Belichick’s “Patriot Way.”
“The longest four months of my life,” he told Tyler Dunne and Go Long earlier this year, according to USA Today’s Colts Wire. “I thought I’d had enough of football.”
Moore was released by the Patriots before the start of the 2017 season, and the Colts quickly claimed him. Moore has subsequently proved the Pats wrong for letting him leave, despite the fact that he was probably simply thrilled to have a new start with a new club.
Moore has established himself as a valuable cornerback for the Indianapolis Colts.
Kenny Moore II has emerged as the NFL’s most underappreciated cornerback since joining the Colts.
The following are his stats from his first three seasons.
- In 16 games and 5 starts in 2017, he has 38 total tackles and 1 interception.
- In 15 games and 15 starts in 2018, he has 77 total tackles, 1.5 sacks, and three interceptions.
- In 11 games and 11 starts in 2019, he has 61 total tackles, 2.5 sacks, and two interceptions.
That’s not bad for an undrafted player from a tiny university like Valdosta State.
Moore, on the other hand, had a Pro Bowl season in 2020. With 80 total tackles, 2.0 sacks, and four interceptions, the 5-foot-9 cornerback was a force to be reckoned with. His contributions were critical to a strong defensive unit that finished in the top ten in the NFL and helped Indy reach the playoffs.
That season, though, was far from his best. Kenny has been more dominating this season, which might spell trouble for the Patriots.
In Week 15, Bill Belichick’s history may come back to haunt him and the Patriots.
Moore’s statistics for 2021 are absurd thus far. With 77 total tackles and four interceptions, he is first among all cornerbacks. Moore also has a forced fumble and a sack this season.
His performance has been so outstanding that he is now receiving the credit he deserves. When the Tampa Bay Buccaneers played the Indianapolis Colts earlier this season, Tom Brady, Bill Belichick’s former quarterback, lauded him.
According to Colts.com, Brady said to Moore, “Way to play, dude,” in a conversation that was featured on Hard Knocks. “Wow, you’re doing a fantastic job out there.” Continue to do so. You’ve got a fantastic job. You already know what you should do. For the last four years, I’ve seen it.”
Moore now gets an opportunity to exact vengeance on his (and Brady’s) former squad in Week 15.
The Patriots, who are 9-4 and in first place in the AFC, face the Colts, who are 7-6 and in sixth place. While the Patriots’ defense has been outstanding so far, their offense has also been strong, averaging 26.9 points per game.
New England, on the other hand, has a rookie quarterback in Mac Jones, and elite corners like Moore relish the chance to catch an inexperienced gunslinger off guard.
Jones has a fantastic 16-to-8 touchdown-to-interception ratio. However, he threw three interceptions against the Saints, who have forced the sixth-most picks in the NFL this season. He also had interceptions against the Buccaneers, Dallas Cowboys, and Houston Texans, all of whom are in the top ten in the league in that statistic.
So, how do Moore and the Colts fare? They have 15 interceptions and lead the league in total turnovers with 29.
When Jones takes on Indy on Saturday, it might be a long night for him.
Of course, Belichick will have his young quarterback ready to go against the formidable Colts defense. However, Jones’ inexperience, along with Indy’s penchant for forcing turnovers and Moore’s outstanding performance, might make for a challenging matchup for the Pats.
Pro Football Reference provided the statistics.
Before beating the Buffalo Bills with 46 rushes, Bill Belichick dropped a major hint about his game plan.
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