It was Week Three of the Matt Cassel Experiment and, after four maddening quarters, I’m begging for mercy. With Cassel at the helm of such a beautiful and talented offense, things came to a grinding halt. If you could call the Patriots offense a car, Cassel just burned out the clutch and dropped the transmission. And if Brady could see the game, I doubt he didn’t die a little on the inside because that was putrid.

I tried very hard to be optimistic after Brady went down. “I’m sure he’ll (Cassel) be fine. He has to be fine. Right? Yeah. He’ll be fine. I hope.” Last week against the Jets, I thought maybe, just maybe, Cassel was improving. Maybe he was getting more comfortable and maybe the horrendous showing in preseason was just a fluke. See, this is what happens when I try to be optimistic.

Matt Cassel looked overwhelmed all game. I don’t think he could have made a decision to save his own life yesterday. Errant passes galore. AND he got worse as the game went on. To his credit, the touchdown pass to Jabar Gaffney wasn’t bad but it was lost in a sea of bad passes.

The one glimmer of hope was when rookie QB Kevin O’Connell came out and shot a missile to Gaffney through two defenders. I’m not one to scream for a player to be benched and I regularly cringed when morons would beg for Michael Bishop to start in place of Drew Bledsoe, but this is different. What do we have to lose at this point? Oh yeah, games.

But, even with all of Cassel’s ineptness, he can’t be blamed for the PATHETIC outing for the defense yesterday. I thought the one thing on our defense that we didn’t have to worry about was our defensive line? So, how can we explain Miami’s Ronnie Brown running (and throwing, for that matter) all over our D?

The one bright spot, if you could call it that, was special teams (with the exception of Matt Slater’s boneheaded play, needlessly touching the football after he had stepped out of bounds). Ellis Hobbs looked great and I think Chris Hanson is relishing his new role as a punter. 😉

I don’t think I have ever missed a player as much as I missed Brady yesterday. This game was bad. I’m even going to go out on a limb and say this was the worst showing since Tampa Bay Bowl, also known as the Mosh Pit Bowl, in 1997. You remember, after Drew Bledsoe’s Everclear mosh pit incident, the Patriots got trampled by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. On that afternoon, I watched my dad get so angry, he ripped off his Drew Bledsoe jersey Hulk-Hogan-style and flung a Patriots mug across the room. But, in a way, without Brady there the loss didn’t sting too badly. It was almost laughable. Actually, I think I did laugh after Miami running back Ronnie Brown threw a beautiful TD pass to TE Fasano… a pass that was better than just about anything Matt Cassel had thrown all day.

Here goes my eternal optimism again – there’s still hope for the season after watching a lot of big teams *cough Colts cough* also lose yesterday. This bye week couldn’t come soon enough.