We all knew things were going to be different for the New England Patriots this year. We knew they weren’t going to be the dominant team they were the last decade or so. But, I don’t think we knew things were going to be this disheartening after Week 1.
Sure, the Patriots won their first game of the year against the Buffalo Bills, but they didn’t look good doing so. Really, they had no business walking away from Ralph Wilson Stadium with a win at all.
They gave the game and the ball away several times to the Bills. They stole one in the end, that’s a testament to Tom Brady and his ability to get the job done when it counts; but if they were playing against a better opponent, they wouldn’t have even had the chance to make that game-winning drive.
The passing game looked as out-of-sync as we all feared it would with so many new receivers. Receivers often broke the wrong way, missed on their timing or just simply ran the wrong routes. Julian Edelman and Danny Amendola had big games, but we know Edelman isn’t consistent and Amendola is already limping around on the sidelines.
The Patriots did do some things well. The defense was as good as it’s been in a long time. For them to only give up 21 points despite the offense giving the ball away three times is a good sign for the defense, which only allowed 15 first downs to the Bills. The running game was also solid, out-rushing Buffalo 158 yards to 136.
The Patriots got a win in Week 1 — that’s what matters most. But, if they don’t fix their problems in the passing game, they will find it hard to beat the better teams on their schedule this year.