Brutal. This defense is brutal. Right now, I would rather stick needles in my eyes than watch this monstrosity that Belichick calls a defense. Cam Newton and that offense without Greg Olsen and with a hurt Kelvin Benjamin has been worse than many anticipated, but they came into Foxboro and put up 33. The former MVP who had looked no better than mediocre looked like a star once again picking this defense apart.
The Patriots were down by fourteen at one point, and guess who came to bail them out again? Thomas Edward Patrick Brady Jr. swooped in and pulled this team from the grave and nearly forced OT. All Brady asked for in return was a stop to bring them to OT. Carolina ended up in field goal range (with some help from the refs) and hit the game-ending field goal. The Patriots are 2-2 and would have lost last week if it wasn’t for the GOAT. They are tied for second in the division with the Jets and the Bills ahead of them. Bill can’t expect Brady to throw up thirty plus per game and get the win when the other side of the ball is worse than we’ve ever seen.
This defense right now ranks 32 out of 32 teams in the NFL. No, you didn’t read that stat wrong. They rank last in defense, and that’s not even including this terrible game. If you say, “this stat doesn’t matter. Brady has carried us before, he can do it again,” you are so wrong. In the past 6 years, the Pats defense hasn’t won a Superbowl unless they are in the top 8. Actually, Brady has never won a Superbowl with his defense out of the top 8. In fact, they haven’t made it there without one. In 2001, that defense ranked 6th. In 2003 and 2004, they ranked in the top 2. In all of these stats, there is one outlier: the 2011 team. They ranked 15th in the league, which is right in the middle of the pack, but Brady put the team on his back and put up insane numbers. Tom Brady has been to 7 Superbowls and 6 out of the 7 times, he had a top 8 defense with him. I’m not telling you it can’t be done, I’m just telling you it will not be easy unless the defense changes drastically.
In fairness, something similar was happening with the 2014 team when Revis and the defense needed some time to get comfortable. Both teams have now started 2-2, and both teams can’t block for shit as well. The only difference is that on the 2014 team, the front 7 for that defense had some experienced leaders. On this team, other than Hightower, who can you say is an experienced leader for the front 7? I’ll save you the brain work and answer the question. Nobody. That front 7 is the weakest spot on the team and needs improvement desperately. Now the front 7 has an excuse of why they are so bad, and it’s a talent issue, but this secondary has no excuse. With McCourty, Chung, Harmon, Rowe, Gilmore, and Butler there is no lack of talent. This secondary is loaded with talent, and should be helping the front 7 be just a little bit better, but they can’t cover anything right now.
I think this team can end up being good, but they need a fire lit under their ass. I think the defense will end up being a top 8 defense, but they are definitely going to need to work hard and Bill might need to make some trades, like the Jaimie Collins trade. If they aren’t a top 8 defense by the end of the year, they will not win the Superbowl.