Friday, September 13, 2013

My "the glass is still at least 2/3 full" outlook on the Patriots

I don't blame you Tom, but things will get better.
As I'm sure you have heard by now, last night the Patriots had more punts (11) than first downs (9), the fewest they've ever had with Tom Brady playing quarterback.  For the first time in 59 games, Brady completed less than half of his passes (19-39).  New England's offense was terrible, with just one guy (Julian Edelman) able to get anything done.

But here's the thing: the Jets (and everybody in the world watching) knew that Edelman was the only receiver Brady wanted to throw to; in fact he even set an NFL record with the fewest yards ever (78) for a player with 13 or more catches.  However Edelman was still good enough (including a huge 3rd down conversion with 3 minutes to play) to help the Pats hang on for the victory.  And we're not talking about a returning superstar here, Edelman only had 21 receptions total in 2012 (he's now got 20 through two games).  Brady's top 5 targets from last season are all gone (Wes Welker, Brandon Lloyd, Aaron Hernandez, Danny Woodhead) or injured (Rob Gronkowski).  In their opening win at Buffalo two new primary weapons were unveiled (Danny Amendola and Shane Vereen), but suddenly Brady was forced to take the field yesterday without either of them as well, and on a short 4 day week no less.

The rookies wideouts (Kenbrell Thompkins and Aaron Dobson caught just 5 of 17 balls thrown their way) will get better.  Gronkowski, Amendola, and Vereen will all come back.  Perhaps the Patriots will add a veteran free agent or two, or maybe someone who has yet to have an impact will step up (LeGarrette Blount?  Leon Washington?  Brandon Bolden?  Josh Boyce?).  New England is 2-0, with both wins coming in their division.  If they keep winning those games they'll make the playoffs, regardless of what else happens.  The last three Super Bowl winners have finished the regular season 10-6 or 9-7.  It doesn't matter how good the Pats are right now, just how good they will be three months from now, and they have plenty of time to figure it out.

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