The Patriots were outplayed, outcoached, and outclassed by the Lions on Sunday night. Here are my quick takeaways from the game:
– I’m not going to talk about the first half, let’s just pretend it never happened and that the Patriots just spotted the Lions 10 points and decided to play only 30 minutes instead of 60.
– Unfortunately, they didn’t play much better in the half that I’m actually counting either.
– Ja’Whaun Bentley, who was invisible all game last week made a great interception on the first drive of the game(half).
– A beautiful throw by Brady to White for their first touchdown. One thing about that play that should excite you is if they get Gordon on the field too, there’s going to be no one to cover anybody else.
– Can’t have a coverage breakdown when you have finally closed the lead. Another communication mistake, which they really need to clean up
– The run defense has been absolutely pathetic through 3 games. Detroit has been anemic on offense so far this year, but if you let them run with ease, every offense will shred you. Kerryon Johnson is the first 100 yard rusher for the Lions in 70 games. You read that right.
– This team is just not great right now. There are tons of players that are missing right now, so there’s a good chance they will look totally different
– Rex Burkhead is more injury prone than Mr. Glass. It’s getting to the point where I wouldn’t put him on the field unless you absolutely have to. He can do so many things well, but he seems to get hurt in every game he plays.
– I just don’t understand what Tom thought he had on the deep ball that was picked. Dorsett was double covered and he threw it inside too. Not a great look for Tom.
– The offense will look much different in a week or two. Right now there is no one outside of Gronk that can beat man coverage. Play man and double Gronk and there’s nothing they can do. Adding Gordon next week hopefully, and Edelman the week after will change that.
– What isn’t so easily changed is the attitude of the team. For two straight weeks they just flat out haven’t shown up. No energy, no compete. Perfectly illustrated by Cordarrelle Patterson walking back to the line as the game clock was expiring on the Patriots. Yes, the game was over, and yes, they had no shot at coming back, but Brady was up trying to call a play and Patterson is walking back to the huddle. Seems to be the mentality of this team so far this year.
– Speaking of Patterson, I’ve had just about enough of him actually running routes for the Patriots. He’s a gadget guy who can make some plays with the ball in his hands. He can’t beat man coverage and his route running is subpar at best.
– Detroit has real talent on the offense. Tate, Jones, and Golladay are as good of a receiving trio as there is in the league. If Kerryon Johnson can be a consistent playmaker out of the backfield, they are going to be extremely difficult to stop.
– Chris Hogan is not a number 1 receiver. I like him, and he’s a good player, but if you’re asking him to be you’re #1, you’re in trouble. He excels when he’s able to take advantage of a mismatch, not when he has to beat tough man coverage against a solid corner.
– The linebackers have really struggled so far, and Hightower, in particular looks like a totally different player. Collinsworth pointed out a play where Johnson beat him to the outside, and although Johnson did well to get by him, Hightower looked incredibly slow. He has yet to make his presence felt this year.
– If you feel silly yelling at Josh McDaniels through your TV, don’t. He had a horrible night. His play calling was terrible, and, as usual, he tried to run the same play too many times in a row. The Patriots were never able to get any momentum because they couldn’t pick up any first downs. The run wasn’t working early, and yet, he kept going back to the well.
– It’s clear they think Sony Michel is going to be great and will be game changer for them. I haven’t seen anything from him yet that gives me confidence they’re right. He runs pretty hard, but he doesn’t truck people, and he hasn’t been super elusive. They continued to call his number over and over, whether in the run or pass game, and he didn’t make much happen.
– Next week is a must win game for the Patriots. It’s not a big game, it’s the biggest game of the season. The Dolphins are 3-0 and playing good. The Patriots are 1-2 and playing terrible. You drop to 1-3 and are down 3 games in the AFC East and it’s a long climb back up from there. I will never count the Patriots out or say they don’t have a chance, but after the way they’ve played the last two games, it would be hard to imagine them coming back from that.
– It’s not often that the Patriots get so thoroughly outplayed in one game, never mind two in a row, so it certainly is troubling, but don’t quit on them just yet. If you’re not worried about this team right now though, you haven’t been watching these games. This isn’t 2014 when they played one horrible game against the Chiefs, this has been pretty consistent for them, certainly in the last two games.
Pat is the host of the Weekend Warrior Podcast
Interact with him on Twitter @wtplane
Photo credit: bleacherreport