The New England Patriots‘ special teams units have been solid all season — except for punter Jake Bailey, who has struggled mightily. As a result, fans on Instagram have flooded his posts with harsh comments.
Back in early August, Bailey signed a four-year contract extension with the Patriots. He took to IG to celebrate it — and that’s been the last post on his account.
Since then, he’s averaged just 42.1 yards per punt, a career low and nearly 7 yards off from his 2020 Pro Bowl season. His punting woes hit an all-time low on November 6 against the Indianapolis Colts when he butchered a first-half punt that wound up going just 7 yards.
With no recent posts to troll, Patriots Nation jumped on Bailey by commenting on his August IG post.
“leave my team, capitol stormer,” one fan wrote, even though there appears to be no reported evidence of a connection between Bailey and the January 6 events at the Capitol.
“Bro why are you doing this to me? Please just kick the ball I’m BEGGING,” another fan wrote.
“Why do you suck so bad now?” a third commenter posted.
The Patriots, meanwhile, were said to be bringing in four free agent punters — Jordan Berry, Jake Julien, Ty Long, Michael Palardy — “for a closer look,” according to an October 27 tweet from ESPN’s Mike Reiss.
As for other special teams players, veteran placekicker Nick Folk has again been the team’s most dependable scoring threat this season. Marcus Jones is coming to his own as a return man. And head coach Bill Belichick has gotten excellent play from rookie Brendan Schooler in kick coverage, and Matthew Slater has been solid usual.
Around the NFL: Tom Brady Hits 100,000
Former Patriots great and future Hall of Famer Tom Brady added another accomplishment to his laundry list of on-field feats. On Sunday, in a 16-13 win over the Los Angeles Rams, Brady became the first player in NFL history to eclipse the plateau of 100,000 passing yards (regular and postseason).
Brady accomplished the feat on this fourth-quarter throw to Leonard Fournette:
The ageless wonder threw the ball 58 times for 280 yards and one TD in the Bucs’ win on Sunday. Former New Orleans Saints icon Drew Brees is the next closest player with with 85,724 yards. If you’re wondering which active player is closest to Brady, it’s the colts’ Matt Ryan, with 61,743 in the regular season.
We might see Brady’s record broken at some point, but the 100,000 should stand for a long time.
Around the NFL: Colts Make Surprising Interim Head Coach Hire
The Patriots have seemingly beaten the Colts senseless. A day after New England handed the Colts a 26-3 loss spurred on by nine sacks, management has decided to clear house.
The Colts fired head coach Frank Reich and decided to bring in a former great from the organization’s history, Jeff Saturday as an interim coach. The most shocking aspect of this hire is Saturday’s lack of experience.
B/R Gridiron points out Saturday’s coaching experience in an eye-opening tweet:
The Colts will still have to find a permanent replacement for Reich. Is it going to be Saturday or is he simply helping owner Jim Irsay bridge the gap?
We’ll find out by the season’s end, but as it is, the Colts should be one of the more interesting bad teams to watch for the rest of the season.