The issue with Patriots’ ‘selective punishment’ of Douglas

Curran: The issue with Patriots’ ‘selective punishment’ of Douglas originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

The New England Patriots didn’t have the services of one of their talented playmakers after the first quarter of Sunday night’s game against the Miami Dolphins. But it wasn’t because he was injured.

Patriots rookie wide receiver Demario Douglas committed a key turnover late in the first quarter when Dolphins outside linebacker Bradley Chubb caught Douglas from behind after a first-down reception and forced a fumble, which Miami recovered on its own 27-yard line to snuff out a potential New England scoring drive.

Douglas’ fumble proved costly, as the Dolphins marched down the field and scored a touchdown to take a 10-0 lead. It appears Douglas paid the price for his mistake, too: The rookie wideout wasn’t seen on offense after his fumble, finishing the game with just six total offensive snaps.

Head coach Bill Belichick denied “benching” Douglas after the game, retorting that the Patriots “played all of our skill players” and that they “can’t play everybody.” But Douglas’ offensive disappearance sure felt performance-related — and our Tom E. Curran had an issue with Belichick’s apparent decision in the wake of New England’s 24-17 loss.

“What’s wild to me is a selective way in which he approaches these penalties,” Curran said of Belichick on NBC Sports Boston’s Patriots Postgame Live. “I remember Stevan Ridley was a fumbling machine, and then all of a sudden he would get benched — and then there was a period of time where he would fumble and Bill didn’t bench him.

“He is just not as consistent a head coach as he might have been 10, 12, 15 years ago in terms of doling out punishment.”

As Curran pointed out, several other Patriots made mistakes both in Sunday night’s game and the team’s Week 1 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles but didn’t see their playing time disappear.

“You want to dole out punishment? You had Deatrich Wise offside in the first drive last week,…

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Author : NBC Sports Boston

Publish date : 2023-09-18 13:50:25

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