The Pats escaped with a win Sunday in Foxborough. Yes, I used the word “escaped”. And yes, I meant to use it. That was by far the worst game the Patriots have played thus far, and if all goes well, they won’t play that badly again this season. So let’s take a look.
First, the defense…
- This is the biggest problem I had with the Pats’ D today; they couldn’t tackle. Like seriously, I couldn’t tell you how many times I saw guys penetrating the backfield and just missing tackles. You have no excuse for not being able to get to an injured Chris Ivory. He’s an excellent back (on the fringes of the top ten in the league if you ask me), but he’s not a burner. The fact that he couldn’t accelerate is even more embarrassing. Specifically, here, I’m talking about Chandler Jones. Bro, you’re 6’5” and 270 lbs… Why are you helplessly flailing your arms in the backfield? His positioning today was awful. Wrap up man, don’t throw your arm at someone.
- You cannot… I repeat, CANNOT, let Ryan *bleeping* Fitzpatrick tear you apart like that. Honestly, it’s a joke that they couldn’t force Fitz, a notorious gunslinger and turnover machine, into throwing a pick. They did force a fumble on the Jets’ first possession, but it’s disappointing when you only come away with 3 points. He went 22-39 for just shy of 300 yards and 2 scores. That doesn’t count the 29 yards he had on the ground. He moved the ball efficiently and he made smart plays. If you’re the Patriots’ secondary, you’ve got some work to do.
- Speaking of the secondary! Malcolm Butler and Logan Ryan did not look good. Period. Butler had Eric Decker, who does not impress me. He shouldn’t be a guy that you have to base your game plan on and he shouldn’t be torching your defense. But there he is with 6 catches for 94 yards. He made almost every big play the Jets got on the offensive side of the ball. Butler looked awful. In one instance, he got two penalties in one play; he was just lucky that they were offset by a hold on the Jets’ o-line. He took what I thought was an iffy PI call, but nonetheless he wasn’t in a good spot. And moving on to Ryan, it’s not fair for people to think that he could keep a monster in Brandon Marshall subdued, especially given the size disadvantage he has. But either way, he looked bad. I’m just glad he didn’t get us for a touchdown.
Now for the offense…
- Oh how quickly the tide changes in New England. We went from “Welcome back Brandon LaFell!” to “LaFell, you suck, get off the field!” in like 3 hours and change. And yes, he sucked. There’s no excuse for 6 drops. Don’t give me this ‘rust’ BS- if you’re an NFL receiver, you catch the ball when it hits you in the hands. Period. But let’s not pretend like he was the only guy to make some bad drops- Edelman and Gronk had a few bad ones too. Even though both of their final lines looked good, especially in Gronk’s case, they both left plays on the field.
- Tom Brady led your team in rushing, that’s a first for him! Cool as that may be, let’s never have that happen again. Like, ever. Okay? I love his desire to win, and Brady is tough, regardless of what people want to say. But bro, we need you. Avoid running. And if you can’t, SLIDE. SLIDE SLIDE SLIDE SLIDE SLIIIIIIIIIDE. They really missed Dion Lewis today, as they got nothing from James White or LeGarrette Blount.
We had some good going on today, too though. Dont’a Hightower looked awesome in his comeback. He was all over the field and making plays, just like himself. Danny Amendola had a day. I won’t pretend like I’ve always been a supporter of him. For his first two years in NE, I hated him. I thought he was soft, and he just wanted the pay day. But he restructured his deal and he has become a focal point in the offense. He made every big catch and provided us with a spark.
Simply put, I was right about the Jets. The Jets are so fun to make fun of, and their fans are fun to pick on. But they’ve got real talent this year. It’s not far fetched for them to be playing relevant football in December and beyond. The Patriots will still own the East, and I won’t back off on my championship expectations for this team. But the J-E-T-S Jets Jets Jets are a real obstacle. Coach Belichick will have these guys ready by Thursday though. It helps that they’ve got Miami too.