NEPD Editor: James Christensen
Survive and advance. Wait for reinforcements. They don’t ask for a picture.
You can repeat any cliche that you want, but the Patriots are 2-0.
ROOKIE RECEIVERS EXPERIENCE GROWING PAINS
Rookies are going to be rookies. Kenbrell Thompkins and Aaron Dobson had their moments against the New York Jets – some sublime and some sub-prime.
Thompkins and Dobson each had multiple drops. A few would have been great catches, but Thompkins continues to let the ball get into his body. Dobson, on the other hand, was trying to pluck the ball with his hands but just couldn’t get the job done.
Dobson, however, also had flashes where you could see why the Patriots drafted him. He made a great catch on a ball thrown behind him, and got open seemingly at will. While I give most of the credit to the fantastic play-design and up-tempo offense, he also scored the only Patriots touchdown in the game.
Dobson also looked good blocking down the field on screen and run plays – sustaining blocks and securing extra yardage for the likes of Julian Edelman.
Keep in mind, this is week two. You can’t make a final judgment on rookie receivers – especially rookie receivers in the Patriots system – after just two games. What the New England coaches need to see is improvement. Add in a healthy dose of Gronkowski and these receivers are going to be even more open.
CHANDLER JONES DANCING LIKE A STAR
Moving Chandler Jones around using different alignments – Jones played both defensive tackle and defensive end – and a variety of twist stunts created havoc in the Jets backfield. Tallying two sacks in the first half, Jones was a big part of holding the Jets to only ten points in the game.
I’d like to see much more of Michael Buchanan on the edge and Jones on the interior on third down. Jones’ strength and length are magnified with his quickness on the interior. Buchanan has looked decent for a rookie on the edge and will only get better as he gets more reps.
Look for Jones to have a monster season.
SLOT RECEIVERS DESERVE HAZARD PAY
Julian Edelman earned his money tonight.
With Danny Amendola out with a groin injury, Rob Gronkowski still healing, Aaron Hernandez in jail and Wes Welker in Denver, Julian Edelman is Brady’s go-to guy.
Brady should buy him his own ice-tub after this game.
A week after Danny Amendola caught ten balls from Brady, Julian Edelman also hauled in double-digit catches. Edelman was also busy returning punts on the night.
Add it all together and you’ve got one sore football player. Once Amendola and Gronkowski regain their health and position in the lineup, Edelman can finally get some rest, because Hoomanawanui and Mulligan have been non-existent in the passing game.
-The Patriots defense continues to create turnovers. Defensive backs are getting their hands on the ball and making interceptions, stripping the ball, and rooting the ball out to prevent catches.
-It is a hidden play, but Stephen Hill coming up about 3 inches short of a first down was the direct result of a great jam at the line by Dont’a Hightower and a great open-field tackle by Kyle Arrington. That was a huge play.
-Stevan Ridley held on to the ball, but was unable to get anything going against the stout Jets defensive line. Wilkerson and Richardson are for real.
-Watching the defense close out a game in early 2000’s style was a sight for sore eyes.
-Just drop to a knee Aqib.
-Despite a couple of poor bounces, Ryan Allen looked good punting the ball. I was very confused by the Jets strategy of not using a returner.
-I thought Vince Wilfork was out-played by the Jets offensive line tonight at first glance.
-The Patriots only had one first down running the ball – that is shocking.
-Mike Loyko addressed it during the game and Tom Brady did afterwards – Brady has to become a mentor to these receivers if they are going to make the gains that he and the Patriots as a whole need. According to Brady, his body language “isn’t one of [his] strong points right now.”
-Geno Smith, like the Patriots receivers, has obvious talent, but is still going through some growing pains.
-The Patriots are 2-0 in the AFC East – already helping themselves in the potential tie-breaker department.