What Is Wrong With The Patriots?

NEPD Staff Writer: Mike Gerken

I think we all can agree that the Patriots have been dominant for almost two decades. That is an impressive feat to say the least. I have lived as a Patriots fan in the Midwest all my life, so needless to say, seeing the Patriots in person or on TV was rarely an option. Now that I am older and have moved closer to an NFL city, the opportunity to see them, while still rare, has become more of a possibility. The first time I saw the Patriots live was here in Kansas City when the Chiefs destroyed the Patriots and there was talk that the team was finished. The second time was this past weekend. My wife surprised me for my birthday with a trip to Boston and tickets to see the team I love play a home game for the first and probably the only time in my life. Once again, in this window of dominance, I happen to witness one of the teams worst performances and a rare home loss. My only hope now is that the season will take on a similar fate to the one that I witnessed my first live game.

So what is wrong? Can it be fixed? These are the questions the coaches and players have to figure out if this season is going to be successful. Now, as fans, we have all come up with our own theory for why this season has gotten off to such a rocky start for our beloved Patriots. The scary thing is, it is not one player or one aspect of the game that, if addressed, everything will be fixed. This team is making mental errors that we have not seen in almost twenty years. Players are consistently out of position and are not trusting in themselves or in each other. This problem has been disguised with words like miscommunication, but I find it hard to believe that after six months together, including training camp, preseason games and now a quarter of the regular season in the books, the communication aspect isn’t figured out. What clearly hasn’t been figured out between the players is trusting that the guy next to him will do his job. Belichick has been preaching “do your job” for years and it now seems players feel they need to do more than their job. This is the issue that needs to be resolved. Without trust, this team will not live up to their expectations, despite having probably the most talented roster in the NFL.

Now, I admit, expecting everything to be fixed in just four days is an unreasonable expectation. However, in years past, this team has thrived when adversity has reared its ugly head. They have had a knack of rallying around each other when everyone outside of the locker room starts to doubt them. So tonight, don’t expect everything to be perfect, but lets hope we see signs of improvement. I want to see guys playing with passion and swagger again. I want to see guys feeding off the emotions of what their teammate is doing in a positive way.





88 Responses to “What Is Wrong With The Patriots?”

  1. Mike Gerken says:

    Hey all,
    Sorry I haven’t posted in awhile. I have been dealing with a sinus and ear infection. I have never had an ear infection before and wow, does it really mess you up. Anyway, I am trying to get caught up with some work as well as getting some reports written. I hope to get something out in the next couple of days.

  2. steve earle says:

    Well we”re into mid October and I’m starting to think more seriously about the 2018 draft. Not ready to make a mock out yet but looking for some input. I’ve been suggesting for some time that BB could put some kind of tags on both Jimmy G. and CB Butler. Am I wrong in thinking that Bill can do that? Also my initial thinking is we should go early and often after OT/OL and Def front 7. How do you guys out there feel no the matter?

    • macspak says:

      You certainly can’t franchise tag both. What other tags are available?

      Speaking of personnel moves how many of these do we now consider good moves?

      Draft pick for Dwayne Allen, or
      Allen for M Bennett, essentially
      Gillisee for Blount, essentially
      Gilmore for Ryan, essentially
      Burkhead signing
      Dorsett for Brissette
      Cooks for 1st round pick

      Did the Pats really win the offseason?

      I think BB’s comments today about incomprehensible expectations on how soon a team is supposed to jell and play well were disingenuous at best. Were these his and his coaches true expectations? I sure as hell hope not. On the other hand being 4 and 2 is better than 2 and 4 and there certainly is ample opportunity for improvement.

      • Matt says:

        Well from what I have seen so far with the Pats I think your right. Lewis is much better then Gillisee. Burkhead from what I saw wasn’t to bad. Dorsett stinks the Pats should have tried to trade Brissette from an OT or a LB. I think Solder is done. And as for Gillmore hes either lazy or to stupid to pick up the system maybe hes both. The Pats have a lot of work to do.

        • steve earle says:

          @ Matt, Agree Gilmore real disappointment, got his money and in semi retirement it seems. Heck we all bought into the off season hype and as I suggested a bit back BB out smarted himself this time it looks like. I still like Gillislee though, he as different type back from Lewis so they complement each other and wouldn’t say Lewis is much better based on one or two games. At least not yet. Dorsett hasn’t played enough to decide if he stinks, again not yet. Still the trade for Brissette for him does seem to have been a one sided advantage deal for them. Maybe that will change, not holding my breath.

      • steve earle says:

        Had to ask but as I understand it there is the franchise tag which I think BB will apply to Jimmy G. Then there is a transition tag Bill might apply to Butler which would allow him to match any offer Butler might get I believe. Not sure if there are any other measures that can be used, unless he resigns Butler first of course.

    • Russell says:

      I’m not sure BB goes OT with the first pick. BB has a plan for Garoppolo, unless they get him signed to a friendly deal, I don’t know about the tag, costly & only 1 yr.
      I still feel trading Butler before the dead line, to costly to tag. CB Butler & 3d pick, to 49ers, for 2nd and 5th?????????? Remember Butler wound not sign his tender last year, or he likely would be in New Orleans, in the Cook deal.
      Early for mock, but My number one Patriots prospect (ONLY players they could possibly get) is LB Micah Kiser, Virginia 6’2″ 240 lbs.

      • GM-in-Training says:

        I think Butler is playing too well, and not enough of the other CB are playing well enough, to try to get a pick out of moving Butler before the trade deadline. He struggles with tall WR and sometimes double moves…but the man makes plays.

        I could see dealing Dwayne Allen away, for a very late round pick, but you still need backup Y-TE…so unless they can poach some 6’7″ guy from a practice squad like last year…dunno.

        I’m not sure what the plan is for David Harris when Shea McClellin gets back.

        I think the Pat’s deepest position group is special teams. I don’t know that any of them are tradeable.

        What else can the Pats do before the deadline?

      • steve earle says:

        Is your “possibly” based on what we currently have ( I suspect) or are you projecting any possible trades Russell? I could see your LB with the former, no problem but suspect the smarter move would still be either an LOT or DE. Always depends on who might be available of course but as of now I could see all three positions in play even if no trades take place.

    • GM-in-Training says:

      The Pats tried to go OT in the 2017 draft. 1 IR, 1 who didn’t survive waivers. They also had Max Rich UDFA with good traits, waived; Andrew Jelks NFI.

      It really looked like they were trying to develop an heir and spare for Solder…both of whom were available in the middle of the draft because they really needed a year in a strength program to be able to handle the roll. It was a sound plan. Maybe Garcia ends up ready for the 2018 season, or at least he’s part of the math.

      I think the Pats should look for a 6’8″ ex basketball player, ex TE LT with 36″ arms who has the athleticism and attitude to become great. There’s got to be somebody like that out there, especially if they use a 1st rounder on them.

      • steve earle says:

        Correct GM but those OT’s were 3rd and 4th rd picks, “make do” guys. With TB who will be 41 next season or Gimmy G. who really has little starting experience, we would be wise to provide some really top prospects up front it seems to me. Also you can’t count an injury(IR) as a failed pick unless the prospect has a history (Easley) of injuries. Right now everything is in flux so how things will evolve has yet to be clear. Should be fun though.

  3. steve earle says:

    Bowman to Raiders. So much for adding to our LB depth.

  4. Daniel Sullivan says:

    Gronk played like his old self again which makes Pat’s a different team. Andrews the center
    I was impressed with he is playing very well. Finally Jets QB passing for over 350
    isn’t good.

  5. macspak says:

    and how the hell did the NY Giants beat Denver in Denver?

  6. macspak says:

    I am amazed the Dolphins went into Atlanta and beat the Falcons.

  7. macspak says:

    Who is this team we are watching? Down to the Jets 14 – 0. I see no improvement at all.

    • steve earle says:

      “What is wrong with the Patriots” is still wrong with the Patriots. Ans. We traded our 1sr rd pick for a WR who is fast but not much of a factor in games. Should have drafted a top DE. Then traded our 2nd for a vet DE that couldn’t make the team. We should have drafted a highly rated OT. Bill sometimes outsmarts himself.

      • steve earle says:

        And Oh yea, I really hate the Jets but where was the uncontroversial replay evidence that ASJ fumbled the ball out of the end zone?

        • macspak says:

          I had no doubt it was a TD even on replay where you saw the “fumble” making me think this is a straight rule interpretation where when you recover a fumble you must land in bounds. Landing on the flag is out of bounds. When you first have control while in bounds like a normal runner or receiver and you leap for and hit the pylon it is a TD. Apparently not when recovering a fumble. Remember this was the head of officials in NY making this call. I think where he regained control, or when, is irrelevant. He recovered a fumble and landed out of bounds. Can’t wait for the clarification.

        • steve earle says:

          @Mac, Yea guess so but on my 42 inch HD my old eyes couldn’t even see the football under three bodies or from any angle. That replay official in NY must have great eyes and some kind of screen. LOL. My eyes aren’t all that bad either.

        • macspak says:

          I think my interpretation was wrong. I’ve read and watched all the video I can find and I think there is a view not yet available. It is obvious the ball was knocked loose by Butler and the TE “recovered” that fumble while falling to the ground. The video we have seen shows him rolling over when the ball gets hidden and then we see it in his left hand. What we don’t see, probably only seen by a back end zone shot, is that while he was rolling over he again momentarily lost control as the ball shifted from his right to left hand during his roll-over. Thus two fumbles. One clearly seen but the other not except on the right replay. If he had not bobbled it a second time during the rollover it would have been a TD despite him recovering the first fumble and landing on the pylon. That is where I was wrong because the replay was not available. I was deducing what the rule must have been resulting in the changed call based upon what I could see. Seemed to be no other explanation. Now I get it. The referee said it was very clear once they saw the clear replay. Sure hope the NFL office shows it tonight or tomorrow.

        • macspak says:

          btw – how did the officials miss the obvious face guarding with back to the ball against Gronk? One of the more obvious defensive PI calls of that type you’ll ever see. Having said that – the Pats could have put this one away and they didn’t calls or no calls. There is so much room for improvement in all facets. Will they makes those improvements?

        • steve earle says:

          @Mac, Well Mac if there was a video not yet available how was I supposed to see it? All I was saying was I didn’t see anything that showed a fumble, still haven’t, but I’ve not been obsessively searching the web for one either. If the NY official saw a fumble fine, I missed it.

  8. macspak says:

    Gilmore out with a concussion. Rowe out again with a groin injury. Langi hurt in a car accident.

    Wonder if Langi goes on IR and a CB gets promoted from the PS? Also wonder of this does not open a spot for Navarro Bowman (is that correct name and spelling?) next week if he is willing to accept veteran minimum or something close to it? Langi to PS could benefit him and team since he has played so little and obviously needs time to “adjust” to pro game while the team benefits because they retain him without waiving him while opening up[ a spot. I know nothing about the severity of his injuries other than reports they are not life threatening (which does not mean they are not season or career threatening) but the accident could have a hidden benefit.

    • steve earle says:

      I think looking for Bowman to settle for a vet min is wishful thinking because there must be half a dozen teams that will be competing for his services. Teams may not want to pay his 6.75 mil as was what he was getting but going down to the min isn’t likely. As for the title contender allure Pat’s have not been playing like one so far so that’s not on the table either seems to me. If BB wants Bowman he will have to offer some reasonable money.

      • GM-in-Training says:

        Steve, there’s a few compensation issues on Bowman you need to factor in.

        1. The Niners owe him $6.75M guaranteed. There is offset language so anything other clubs pay Bowman is subtracted from what the Niners have to pay. Since no other team is likely to pay Bowman more than $6.75M, there’s no point in any of them paying more than $900K veteran minimum. The only way he gets more than $6.75M this season is to get bonuses for post season games.

        2. Bowman is probably worth more than $900K so, this may give him leverage to choose a team that will give him some playing time and has a chance to reach the post season. That could be a financial win for the Pats if they need him and believe he can come up to speed.

        • steve earle says:

          Seems, if what I think your saying is, Bowman will get his 6.75 mil irregardless whether he plays or not so his only consideration will be what team he chooses to sign with? If that’s so then my premise is wrong as far as the money is concerned. I’m still concerned there are several other teams he could find more attractive just on how the Pat’s have been preforming. The other side of that is with our weakness at ILB he would almost be assured of playing time and possibly starting. It will be worth watching for sure.

  9. Daniel Sullivan says:

    The Patriots in future drafts should keep an eye on Eric Dungey QB Syracuse the best
    college QB I have seen this year. He is Fast (6-4,222) very good passing and running.
    He is a Junior this year.

    • steve earle says:

      Good eye Dan. I’m assuming he is Coach Dungey’s son so probably was raised in football knowledge ingrained in him as were the Manning brothers. That’s great but I think Bill will be looking for a new backup QB this year. Still you spotted a kid worth watching, good going Dan.

      • Daniel Sullivan says:


        He is no relation to former Coach Dungey. Pats had in today Garret Grayson former 3rd
        round pick of Saints from Colorado State he is very similar to Jimmy G.
        I think the Pats will sign him. Tough tonight watching Logan Ryan play but I do
        think Gilmore was a good signing.

  10. Philip says:

    N.Bowman released by 49er … do you think the Pat’s should take a chance on him? Cap could be an issue, but by releasing D.Harris – given his snap count and even BB and the rest of the team is high on his leadership – it might be possible.

    • steve earle says:

      Might be worth a look see, no idea why SF released him off hand. Got anything on that Philip?

      • GM-in-Training says:

        SF tried 31 times to trade Bowman, but that would’ve included his big contract, which nobody wanted. Since SF couldn’t get Bowman to restructure to make a trade possible, they released Bowman to get him off their books. This allows Bowman to bypass waivers and go wherever he wants (that will have him).

        The Niners put a feel-good wrapper on it, by saying the guy deserved it and they were being nice.

        Bowman has been a pretty good human being and I hope he finds a suitable landing spot.

        If he’s interested in the Pats, I hope he’d be willing to come in for a workout, and take veteran minimum to be with a contender who might be willing to give him some playing time. The Pats have a history of taking on veteran war horse LB and extending their careers. I don’t know if that’s a winning formula this year given how few pass-defending LB the Pats have.

        They’d have an incredibly experienced LB core of Hightower, Harris, and Bowman.

        Why might they turn down such an option? Shea McClellin could be looking good to return. Harris might be coming along, and staying fresh. Transitioning to the Pats defense is not necessarily a trivial thing mid season. Bowman has mostly only been a run defender of late…they’ve got enough of those.

        I’d put the odds of it happening below 25%.

        • steve earle says:

          With that info in mind I wouldn’t be against the Pat’s bringing him on for a team friendly number. As for enough run stuffing LB’s Harris has seen minimal snaps for what ever reason, Roberts is adequate, no big deal and Hightower is no guarantee to stay healthy. Having some insurance at ILB is not a bad thing. I’d also like another OLB and a DE but don’t see those anywhere on free agency so strengthen where we can and do what we can seems to me.

  11. Russell says:

    This is the same O-line that helped win the SuperBowl. McDainels play calling, & Tom holding the ball are the main factors. Last yr. avg. had Tom holding the ball 2.2- 2.6 sec. this yr. (So far) Tom is holding the ball, avg., 2.4- 2.8 sec.
    McDainel’s Part of this is play action from under center;, with Tom’s eyes looking down field slower. SOME, Play design does not “open” WR, they must “make’ separation. Teams are better at “knowing” Patriots play designs. It’s likely, McDainels is holding back some plays, for later in the season, & on tape trying to show teams a Patriots “look” to set-up changes later on.
    Watching lots of college game tape for Patriots prospects, and a short list is forming.
    If you could draft ANY College QB , who is your guy?

    • steve earle says:

      So holding the ball longer is getting TB knocked around pretty good which points out just how valuable Edelman is and how much impact he represented. Can’t see any real fix for that. I am hoping McCarron shows some potential in that spot at some point, still.
      Any QB you ask, okay my choice would be Mason Rudolph, Okla St. Now that does seem a remote possibility at this point in time but then anything can happen down the road.

      • Russell says:

        I like Mason Rudolph was well.
        McDainel’s needs to run the ball from the “shotgun” , pitching the ball to run outside the tackles. Mixing in some “shuttle” passes up the middle. A two back set in the shotgun (one on either side of Tom) where he could pitch the ball, R or L, sent one or both out in the flat, or hold one in pass protection. This will hold the LB’s, opening the middle of the field.

        • macspak says:

          I agree. You would think having four good and diversely skill RB’s would be a blessing. Instead, it seems to be a curse. RB’s need multiple touches to be most effective. You can’t give 4 RB’s multiple touches. The type of run plays you describe are probably best suited for Lewis or Burkhead and maybe even White who now is a much more effective runner. A blessing, right? Not really. I really like Burkhead’s skill set as I do Lewis and White but maybe Burkhead better disguises run v pass? Hopefully he’ll be back soon.

          Adrian Peterson had to go because three didn’t work. Depth is good unless you don’t need it.

        • steve earle says:

          Sounds like a reasonable approach, keeping 2 RB’s in the backfield. You couldn’t do it every down but could be very effective on 3rd and short or any short yardage. Sometimes match up White with Lewis, others with Burkhead or Gillislee but I believe the key should be with White most often. White runs inside or out, catches passes and can pick up blitzes very effectively, a skill the rest need to develope.

        • steve earle says:

          @Mac, I don’t think it’s as much the 4 rb’s as it is a lack of commitment, or mental toughness of the O-line just now. Pretty sure most o-linemen love to just fire out and impose their will on defenders rather then passive resistance of pass blocking 70% of the time. Run blocking hardens and instills a fire in the heart of a linemen.

      • macspak says:

        When Edelman went down I thought and stated it really would be felt on third down and it has. It also has impacted other downs because no one can separate like he could. No doubt that is a rippling effect on every aspect of the offense including the OL. But I think we are overlooking the obvious. There have been numerous examples of DL immediately defeating their OL and either moving TB off the spot, hitting him or sacking him. I understand play calling, deeper routes etc. but the immediate break downs in pass protection and the poor run blocking and running game also are major contributors to the offensive woes.

        I also admit I was wrong in expecting the RB’s to step up in Edelman’s absence. RB’s are not in a position to create quick separation and even if lined up in the slot or out wide don’t have the same quickness to get that immediate separation. I overlooked that. (Though I wonder if Lewis could better fill that role?)

        Thanks Russ.

        Luck. I have no crystal ball but being on the road, a short week, no JE or Burkhead, an under par OL, and then no Gronk. They were too limited and what they had could be taken away. Though an intense Pats fan who takes their games way too seriously (I am devastated when they lose) I try to be objective in what I see and think.

        I still, guess I can say we, don’t know who and what this team is. Not sure what to expect this Sunday v the Jets. I suspect a close low to mid scoring game because usually that is what games in NY are. 23ish to 17ish. Hopefully the Pats. They really need to limit their penalties and mistakes, or else.

  12. macspak says:

    Top Ten OT Nick Solder:

    Left tackle Nate Solder is the 50th ranked offensive tackle in PFF’s ratings, which aligns with the general perception of his performance in 2017. Right tackle Marcus Cannon is slightly better, grading 68.1 out of 100 and ranking 33rd for offensive tackles. This is a far cry from 2016 when Cannon ranked 3rd and Solder ranked 19th.

    When your tackles can’t block your offense can’t work.

    • Russell says:

      Nate Solder has clearly not played as well, as last yr. It’s important to remember, these stats are for 16 games, and this yrs, is for 5 games.
      Great call on the last games scoring by the Patriots scoring 20.

  13. GM-in-Training says:

    Pats add Alex Carter (CB) to PS. Now have 5 DB on PS.

    He’s a Stanford Alumna. Maybe the Pats are swerving back to smarter DB? He’s also got great vertical leaping ability and is 6′ tall.

  14. macspak says:

    I know it is early but right now we traded a starting NFL QB for a 4th string WR. This may balance out in the long run but a starting NFL QB has much higher value than that. Indy has to be very happy with this trade.

    The more I review and think about the T Bay game the more I am uneasy. A K who misses three FG’s, a QB who until the 4th Q couldn’t connect on the most simple passes to wide open receivers, receivers and RB’s dropping easy passes, a RB who averaged what, 7 yds a carry, and a D who collapsed in the 4th Q. Add in stalled drives, points left on the board, penalties and dumb, dumb mistakes……..

    • steve earle says:

      Know exactly what you mean. It was a win but because T-Bay was giving it away. If our O-line can’t give Brady time for WR’s to get open and keep the hits down were in for a tough year.

  15. EdgeX says:

    Pats had DE Owamagbe Odighizuwa in for try out today

  16. Russell says:

    Patriots working out CB Alex Carter, 2015 3d round pick of Detroit.. Carter is 6′ 200 llbs. played college ball at Stanford. Pro-day ran 4.51 40yd,, 7.03 3 cone drill.
    Looks positive that he will be signed to the P-Squad.

    • Ryan says:

      Thought the Lions reached on him a bit when they picked him; he had good (not great) physical characteristics and his technique need a lot of work. Hopefully he’ll make good on his second chance here in NE.

  17. steve earle says:

    Still to early for any mock drafts but the more we see of our Pat’s the more I am thinking it’s time BB devotes a couple high round draft picks to the o-line and stops dinking with mid rd good-enough’s. Probably should have in past couple drafts I’m really concerned TB12 will not survive all 16 regular season games unscathed this year.

    • kevin z says:

      I agree only mason and Andrews performing based on PFF rankings. thinking Thuney will perform better soon, he turns it on for 2nd half. have to have solder and Gannon the vets step it up

      • macspak says:

        Not sure why we need PFF to tell us what our eyes do. We have a lot of people on this site, including author Mike, who pride themselves on doing their own actual scouting. I highly doubt they wait for media to create consensus before formulating and offering their analyses and opinions.

        The OL across the board, on runs and passes, is weak. As demonstrated by routinely not picking up 2nd, 3rd and 4th’s and ones and by the hurries, hits and sacks Brady has faced including when he has to deftly sidestep very early DL who make clean breaks. Last time I talked about the OL, specifically Solder, I was, beyond the name calling, told I didn’t know what I was talking about. Seems like we needed the media to form opinion and create a consensus the line is a weak spot requiring vast improvement.

        • kevin z says:

          the Pff ranking was a example showing what my eyes see. seems most pressure coming from outside. if was coming from middle, brady wouldn’t get 300yds most these games. Think some the running issues play calling. a dive run up the middle getting old and stuffed like it should.

        • macspak says:


          Sorry. I didn’t mean you personally. I meant in general and to an audience far beyond our group here.

        • kevin z says:

          its fine no problems here we all on the same team.

      • steve earle says:

        Hope your right!

  18. Daniel Sullivan says:

    Defensive secondary looked good. Why not give Brady a rest against Jets seems like
    he could use it?

    • steve earle says:

      Maybe he could use it but it won’t happen I’m sure Dan. I do think Jimmy G could handle the Jets just don’t see BB going that route while Tom is still standing.

      • Daniel Sullivan says:

        I think the Red Sox wish they rested Sale more. It would be interesting to see if Pat’s could beat
        the Jets without Brady.

    • macspak says:

      3-way tie between Pats, Bills and Jets. Playing for first next week. Brady starts regardless. Let’s hope the twn day break and a meaningful game creates urgency and a win for the Pats.

  19. steve earle says:

    At the risk of being pilloried I must ask, is it just me or has anyone else noticed a big disproportion of Tom’s passes this season’s first quarter have been off target? I have seen short hops, over throws and passes frequently behind receivers on crossing patterns that seldom happened before. In my mind I just can’t attribute this to Edelman/Gronk injuries, or new WR’s. Is the 40 yo QB “wall” beginning to come into view? Hope we see these tendency’s reversed by mid season and my worst fears put to rest. Still, I have to ask.

    • GM-in-Training says:

      I suspect if anyone can get some release-time data you will see that TB12 is having to hold on to the ball longer in the first 5 games this season. Amendola is playing about half the snaps. Nobody else really has the route masking, decision-making and timing down with TB12.

      So, my guess is the rushed passes veering off that you see are because of that.

      • steve earle says:

        That’s very possible I guess GM, hope your right. What your thinking is we need another Welker/Edelman quick twitch type in the slot to give Brady that quick release option right? We got one of those hiding somewhere? I was hoping Dorsett might be one to fill that roll but he seems more a Cooks type, am I wrong? If TB keeps taking all the hits he has been he’ll done before the end of the regular season it seems to me. Any ideas?

        • GM-in-Training says:

          Dorsett seems like mini-Cooks.

          We’ve got a Riley McCarron on the PS who has the attributes you want in a mini-Edelman (except, I’d like him to add 10 pounds of muscle/armor to take the punishment over the middle, and help with blocking). He needs a lot of time to learn the mental part of the position for the Pats, though. If any other WR go down, I could see the Pats bringing him in late in the season.

        • steve earle says:

          McCarron has been on the P-sqd for a couple weeks now, time to pick up enough with Brady, if he’s a quick study, to allow him to contribute. He is small for sure but if he has good instincts that allows him to be a tough target so his size can be somewhat negated he could work out. What it is,is has he shown enough for them to bring him up onto the 53 and who do they cut to fit him there?

        • kevin z says:

          thinking the Offense will be fine. once riley ready and once Hollister get more involved.
          Riley could help amendola stay more healthy. hoping Cooks and Brady connect better soon. Plenty of times Brady short hopped throws to cooks. a lil worried cooks having trouble catching short routes.

  20. Mike Gerken says:

    A few thoughts from last nights win.
    1. While TB only scored 14 and the defense played better, they got some help. Winston is just not very good and missed some throws and when he did make throws, there was some very bad drops.

    2. The lack of offense was a bit surprising considering that TB’s defense was missing a lot of players and lost more during the game. I know the team was missing Gronk, but they should have done better considering who was on the other side of the ball.

    3. A lot of uncharacteristic penalties. Not only were they bad, but the timing and situation that they occurred in really could have played a bigger part in the outcome. You rarely see a Patriot team with that many penalties.

    4. Piggy backing on the penalties, I feel that, along with some odd play calls really hurt the offense in this game. It seemed like Gillislee was getting good gains and then they would go away from him, or get a penalty, or give up a sack. Too many drive killing plays to keep drives going.

    5. Nate Solder did not play well again tonight and I am not sure what exactly is going on there, but he just doesn’t look right. One of the penalties was a terrible call, but he also got away with at least one as well, so it all evened out in the end.

    6. I need Cooks to start catching those short timing routes. If he was consistently catching those balls, I think the offense would be able to do more, but right now, they can’t run those type of plays to him because he is just not reliable. I thought his last catch of the night was very nice, but he has to be able to make those 7 to 8 yard contested catches.

    7. While not perfect by any means, the secondary played better and can hopefully use this to build upon and get that confidence back.

    • macspak says:

      Very accurate summary

    • steve earle says:

      Good break down Mike. I’d like to see Hollister TE more for those short across the middle routes. He’s not the quick twitch, but shows solid hands, decent flexibility (TB throws back shoulder a lot) and fights for and controls the ball in crowds. Allan may well be the better blocker, still we need to convert more 3rd downs to help the def stay off the field.
      I was hoping Dorsett was going to become that crossing threat but seems he’s not being targeted much. Any impressions on that?

  21. Daniel Sullivan says:

    Allen, Wise ,Marsh and Van Noy have great games. Pats by 10.

  22. GM-in-Training says:

    I see the Pats having made a bunch of exceptions to how they usually do things recently and it kind of biting them in the butts.
    1. They let Alan Branch skip OTA and his conditioning is below where they need it. Run defense is lagging.
    2. They grabbed Gilmore without trying him out because he was such a hot ticket, and turns out he’s not as savvy as the DB usually are.
    3. They didn’t ensure a slot understudy was ready to go, and they can’t ask too many snaps of Amendola, so their quick passing game is lagging, which exposes their OL as so so.
    4. your ad here.

    • macspak says:

      I mostly agree though I think Branch always has done it his way. I hated the Gilmore signing then. I hate it even more now. If they were going to spend that kind of money why not keep Ryan, who I think he signed for $10 M, and bump up Butler?

      Injuries were bound to hit this year after last year and losing some top players hurts even more. I wrote a while ago how the injuries, particularly Edelman’s, reminded me of the Bill Walton injury in 1987 and the ultimate demise of those great Celtic teams, particularly 1986, which may have been the greatest team of all time. The basketball Gods said enough was enough then. The football Gods seem to be whispering the same now.

      • macspak says:

        for those who don’t remember, Steve Earle may, Walton’s foot went out in preseason on the stationary bike, Bias died, Wedman got hurt. Bird’s back went out and at the end of the season McHale played through a broken foot forever losing his lift. And ultimately, Lewis died.

        • steve earle says:

          Indeed I do remember Mac. It was an unbelievable string of disaster after disaster. Celt’s have never to this day recovered fully. What a team that was!

    • steve earle says:

      Good points GM, Gilmore is certainly a big disappointment what with the penalties and mental lapses. Also team wise failure to wrap up tackles especially on 3rd downs ( something taught in Pop Warner) drives me crazy. How many 1st downs could have been prevented I couldn’t count. Basics darn it basics!

  23. macspak says:

    I can’t imagine a dramatic turn around for tonight’s game. Without Gronk I see trouble scoring 20 never mind 30 points. In the past I would have said there was hope if this was a home game. Now not sure even about that. I have even less hope for a road game. The only player playing up to his talent is Brady. Imagine how he and the team would be playing if the others played to their level? Weal OL, DL, TE, D secondary etc. Like Mike said historically the Patriots, not necessarily this team, have pulled together when facing adversity. Well, they sure are facing adversity now.

  24. Mike Gerken says:

    No Gronk tonight. That puts even more pressure on the offense. Sure wish I had a better feeling about tonight

  25. Russell says:

    I believe Max Tuerk has cleared waviers, so I hope BB grabs him at 6’5 285 lbs, 10 3/4″ hands a great TE prospect. Tuerk is very intelligent , but has issues keeping weight ON.

    Patriots 31 Tampa Bay 16

    • steve earle says:

      Thought we would have heard something by now about Tuerk. Expected he would have drawn interest from a number of teams even surprised he cleared wavers. Any spec as to why, anybody?

      • Russell says:

        As an O-lineman Tuerk has had issues keeping weight ON, in college he got down to 265 lbs. He is intelligent , the Chargers had him playing C, at 280 lbs. His drug issue (NFL suspension 4 games) had to down with him wanting to add weight/strength..
        I see him as a good blocker, with big hands as a TE who needs time to develop.

        • steve earle says:

          Hard for me to relate to those who have a hard time keeping weight on but it happens. Still I suspect it is unlikely a move to TE would go smoothly at this point having been an OL. I still think OC would be the target for him, with frequent chocolate milk shakes added to his diet daily. But then what do I know, I just look at a shake and pounds go on.
          Still I think he would be a worth while addition in an area of need.

  26. Daniel Sullivan says:

    The truth sometimes is very hard to hear. Right now both offensive and defensive lines
    are very average as compared to teams around NFL. They can get better because
    most players are very young. I say either sign Butler or trade him for best Defensive or Offensive Lineman
    you can get.

    Great Boston Sports Night. Go Pats and Red Sox !!!!

    • steve earle says:

      With Rowe on the sideline (groin) it’s kind of tough to think about trading a starting CB with only a ST’er and Jones to fill the slot. If BB wouldn’t trade him after last season why would he now? Not as if Butler is the cause of all the problems happening.

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