Well, the only way to describe the Monday night game would be to hit the shift key and run my fingers across the numbers until I created the greatest string of profanity the comic book world has ever seen.
Blame it on the offensive line, Tom Brady or Bill Belichick, but it’s becoming very apparent that this is not the Super Bowl contending New England Patriots team that fans thought they were going to be. Instead, this looks like every other team in the AFC East, which is pretty much the worst thing to say about an NFL team.
What is the problem with this team? Is it really Brady? Am I going to have to sit through an entire season of every reporter/blogger/“expert”/New York Jets fan spewing nonsense about how Brady has finally reached his decline. And you know that some idiot is going to say, “But Peyton Manning looks great still!” and use that as an argument Manning is better.
To return to the point of my ramblings, the biggest problem with the Patriots is not Brady or even their offensive line (though that is problem 2-7). The biggest problem is the Patriots’ coaching staff and their inability to adjust.
Now first let me recognize that I am not a NFL coach. I do not know what is going on behind the scenes at Foxboro. I am just a very, very obsessed fan who thinks he knows what’s best for this team. But even with that said, there are decisions that Belichick has made so far this season that leave me scratching my head, starting with Darrelle Revis.
When the Patriots brought in Revis, every single Pats fan (myself included) thought that he was the missing piece. He was Revis Island and was going to shut down top wide receivers. But instead, the coaching staff has Revis lined up 10 yards off the line of scrimmage, something that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers did until Revis said he wanted out. Belichick is so worried about giving up the big play that he won’t let players just do what they do best on defense. Revis is a press corner who plays physical on the line and gets receivers off their routes.
Why is Chandler Jones playing linebacker? Jones’ top skill is getting after the quarterback. He is an elite pass rusher who can play the run well and can drop back into coverage, but those are not his best traits. Why isn’t he just being sent after the quarterback play in and play out? Maybe Matt Patricia doesn’t like high sack totals or something ridiculous like that.
Continuing with the defensive line, what happened to the tackles? Beyond Vince Wilfork, who looks more worried about re-injuring himself than actually making a play, no one is making an impact. Chris Jones obviously isn’t the answer, Sealver Siliga is on IR and Dominique Easley has been underwhelming. Boy do the Pats look stupid for cutting Tommy Kelly now, who is having a nice time out there in the desert with the undefeated Arizona Cardinals.
Let’s start picking on the man I hate the most on the Patriots staff: offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels. I have made my opinions known about this joke of a coach, but this game sent me into a whole other rage. For the second week in a row, the Patriots’ first drive consisted of three passing plays leading to a three-and-out. Coincidence? I think not. How about running the football against a team that has a bad run defense?
The Logan Mankins trade is looking worse by the second, not only because the offensive line is seriously struggling, but because McDaniels and Belichick seem unwilling to let Tim Wright see the field.
And where have Aaron Dobson and Kenbrell Thompkins been? Dobson has yet to see the field this season and Thompkins has been more hot and cold with the coaching staff than Katy Perry was with whomever she was signing that song about. Why aren’t the Patriots giving Brady access to all his weapons? Instead they keep putting out Danny Amendola because you can’t have $10 million just sitting on the bench.
It seems to me there are some very easy and quick fixes to be made for this Patriots team, but who knows if Belichick will admit his mistakes and make the changes.