FOX’s broadcast of the Patriots’ dominant win over the Falcons Thursday should’ve come with an “R” rating. It was expected that Joe Buck and Troy Aikman would spend the majority of the evening lathering Bill Belichick with praise, especially if the game got out of hand, which it did. But Aikman didn’t even wait until the Patriots’ first touchdown to go all-in.
The ex-Cowboys QB apparently doesn’t know the art of working towards a climax.
Early in the first quarter, Buck and Aikman were talking about Belichick’s longevity. Both agreed Belichick isn’t going to walk away any time soon, but Aikman went further. He seemingly thinks Belichick could still coach from the grave.
“He has a signal-caller for the next 15, 18 years,” Aikman said.
OK, let’s do some math. Mac Jones is 23 years old, so playing for 18 years would take him until he’s 41. That’s not unfathomable, but at this point, only 20 quarterbacks in NFL history have ever played into their fifth decade.
Jones is barely halfway through his rookie season.
But fine, at least Jones wouldn’t be the first quarterback to accomplish that feat. There’s no precedent for Aikman’s proclamation that Belichick could coach for 18 more years, which would take him all the way up to: age 87.
That’s some serious delusion.
Buck and Aikman were mesmerized with Jones all night, fawning over each checkdown pass. In fairness, Jones was very good. The Alabama standout completed 22-of-26 passes for 207 yards with one touchdown and one interception. He made a couple of standout throws to convert third downs in the second half, finding Jakobi Meyers under pressure and fitting the ball into a tight window for Hunter Henry.
It’s worth noting, however, that Jones was intercepted on the only pass he attempted down the field.
The praise levied towards the Patriots is so excessive, it almost seems as if there’s a coordinated effort to resuscitate Belichick’s mystique. Earlier this season, NBC’s Al Michaels and Cris Collinsworth launched into a full-throated defense of Belichick when discussing Seth Wickersham’s tell-all book — and that was when the Patriots were below .500.
This week, Rex Ryan declared this is the best coaching job of Belichick’s career. Until he coaches the Patriots to their 12th Super Bowl title on his 87th birthday, that is.
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