What’s Next for the Patriots?
“This is what happens when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object”. Those were the words of the Joker and it perfectly described the game we just witnessed: the New England Patriots‘ (3-3) number one offense against the Seattle Seahawks (3-3) number one defense. What the Joker didn’t speak of was how the Patriots defense would deal with Russell Wilson and the Seahawks offense. After delivering a gut-wrenching touchdown with a little over a minute left, you just knew there was no coming back for the Patriots. The end result? A 24-23 victory for the Seahawks and some questioning going forward for the New England Patriots.
Am I the only one that has noticed that at least once a year, the Patriots do something questionable on offense that costs them? The 4th down pass to Kevin Faulk against the Indianapolis Colts. The intentional grounding by Tom Brady in the Super Bowl that cost the team a safety. This time it ultimately cost them the game. The play? An intentional grounding by Brady in the red zone with 1 second left. Due to the ruling on the play, a 10-second runoff ensued forcing halftime when they left, at least, three points on the board. They only loss by one.
We all know the defense will do two things: get turnovers and give up a LOT of yards. They’re also going to give up a lot of points from time to time. It’s something we’ve come accustomed to. Why it hasn’t ultimately mattered in recent years: the offense would usually outmatch what the defense allows. Things have been different this year. On the intentional grounding play that cost the Pats three, the Patriots got the ball at the Seahawks 20 yard line due to a muffled punt. Years prior, that was a guaranteed seven points on a board. The stats don’t agree with the eye test.
Now the Patriots stand at 3-3. They’re tied with both first and last place in the AFC East. Before the bye in Week 9 the Patriots have the New York Jets (3-3) and the St. Louis Rams (3-3) on the schedule. While these two games won’t make or break their season, it will certainly have a huge effect on what’s to come after the bye week. Luckily for the Pats, the AFC isn’t as deep as it has been in the past few years. Their tied for fourth place in the AFC after Week 6.
It’s on Brady, Bill Belichick, Josh McDaniels and other veteran players on the team to get this bunch on track. Based on their track record, it’s highly possible, but you have to question this team from top to bottom. This isn’t the prestigious Patriots team that we are used to. As fans, we all expect better, but as a team they should both expect. Seven days from now, we’ll know if this squad has as big a heart as most expect them to have.