Time to serve the Patriots up with some Humble Pie Monday!
I’am starting a new edition for today after every Patriots game win or lose, to talk about what I saw from the team that they could improve on.
Here are the five things the Patriots could improve on from Thursday Night’s season opening win against Pittsburgh.
1. Run Stopping: The Patriots really need to work on stopping the run. It was a problem last year and remains one after Pittsburgh’s DeAngelo Williams racked up 127 yards on 21 carries. He’s not even the starter, imagine if Le’veon Bell had played. Week 2 won’t be much easier for the run defense, as they will play a run heavy Bills team. They love to run not only the running backs, but the Quarterback. The run defense better shape up fast.
2. Covering Tight Ends: Another problem for the Patriots the past few seasons lingered Thursday Night, as Heath Miller had a pretty good night against the Patriots defense. We need one linebacker or strong safety to step up and keep tight ends from killing us this year.
3. Covering tall wide receivers: Last year, if there was a number 3 wide out that was tall and Brandon Browner wasn’t covering him, the Pats gave up a lot of yards. Look at the Packers game, for example, or the first half against Seattle. Now, I fear the number two or three guys could do some damage if the Pats don’t step it up. Brown had a good night, Butler did good, even though the stats don’t reflect that, but Bradley Fletcher worries me. He gave up only four catches but for 58 yards to Darrius Heyward-Bey. The defense was a bending one, but not breakable. That’s fine if it continues to work, but a risky way to play defense.
4. Pass Rush: Can we please get a pass rush? It was almost non-existent Thursday night. A good pass rush will go a long way in helping out the secondary. It left much to be desired Thursday.
5. Getting help outside of Julian Edelman and Rob Gronkowski: Can Tom Brady get help from someone not named Julian Edelman or Rob Gronkowski? Tom Brady was amazing Thursday night, so was Edelman and Gronk. Those three will carry the offense very far, but until Brandon LaFell gets back, I would love to see another wide out step up. Danny Amendola had two catches, Dobson had one. Not much production there. Scott Chandler added help in the redzone, catching a touchdown. So, that’s comforting.