Randy Moss could not buy a centimeter of space thanks to suffocating coverage displayed by Darrelle Revis.
The New England defense was solid in the first half, but could not contain the Jets’ when Mark Sanchez started to throw. Sanchez continuously picked apart New England’s secondary, and the Pats’ could not even contain the screen pass.
On special teams, Leon Washington ran all over the Pats’ coverage units, and the Patriots had some terrible kickoff returns.
So, why shouldn’t we be worried?
Offensively Wes Welker, Brady’s normal target if blitz pressures is coming full speed like it was today, was sidelined with a knee injury. This left Julian Edelman with Welker’s normal duty on his shoulders.
Julian performed extremely well, as he had 8 receptions for 98 yards, but it was apparent on some missed throws that Brady’s timing was off without his normal go-to guy in Welker. Wes is not expected to be sidelined for an extended period of time, so Brady will be able to hit Welker to avoid blitz packages if he is attacked again.
This is why Brady and New England’s offense looked foolish trying to play against the blitz. Normally, Brady relies on the extremely accurately synced timing he has with Welker on short routes to get rid of the ball, and he just did not have that today.
Also, Joey Galloway will become more accustomed to New England’s offense. This means that the deep threat he had today when Brady under threw him will become more of a consistent threat that teams will have to watch out for, taking a lot of deep pressure off of Moss, as safeties will have to also focus on Galloway.
Not only this, but when Welker returns, teams will have to be aware of his presence and Julian Edelman’s.
After today’s games, beating the Pats seems simple. Keep the pressure on and never let up.
Well, most teams do not have the covering capabilities that the Jets have with Revis, and Welker will normally be there as a quick dump-off target.
Another major factor that has been rarely utilized by New England: Their running game.
They have four great RB’s in Sammy Morris, Fred Taylor, Laurence Maroney and Kevin Faulk, but because of failure to get ahead early, Brady has been forced to make 50 passes a game. Well, if established early (and trust me, Belichick will), the play action pass will be a huge threat, and a simple draw play will bust blitzes so badly that their frequencies will steadily decline.
Tom was recognizing the blitzes, pointing out guys he thought were going to make a rush at him, so calling a draw play would not be a major difficulty.
Defensively, New England was without their stalwart and one of the best linebackers in the league, as Jerod Mayo has a strained MCL.
Jerod was the glue to the Patriots’ defense, and has been washed away for up to 8 weeks. Nevertheless, the Patriots’ defense will continue to grow and gel as a unit just by playing and practicing together.
The MLB filling in for Mayo, Gary Guyton, will improve. Guyton was the fastest linebacker in his year’s draft, with a 4.5 forty-yard dash time, so he does have the physical abilities to track down screens and make big coverage plays.
Give Gary some time with Bill Belichick and guys like Vince Wilfork, Ty Warren and Adalius Thomas, and the reads and football IQ will begin to develop even further.
In terms of screen passes, that will automatically be improved once Guyton starts to make the necessary reads from his MLB position, and his speed will enable him to seek out and wrap up the ball carriers, or clear up blockers for others to make the tackle.
The secondary was not a concern after today’s game, as there was just one or two major plays against them. Jonathan Wilhite played extremely well as a cover corner, Brandon Meriweather didn’t miss any tackles, and Patrick Chung (the Patriots’ 2nd round draft choice) will begin to make contributions.
Just remember, the defense did not even play badly today, as they only gave up 16 points to a capable Jets offense. Also keep in mind that this defense has been playing together for just two games, and the camaradiere and comfort level will increase, as will the ability and performance.
On special teams, the Patriots’ were missing a major return man in Wes Welker. Their special teams coverage units obviously needs work, and I’d say that after today’s game, is my biggest concern, and it is not large at all.
Patrick Chung was partially drafted because of his special teams ability, and he has seen limited action thus far. His role will soon be increased.
Also, the Pats were facing one of the best return men in all of the NFL in Leon Washington. Defensively, the Pats have the talent to make big plays and it is now about practicing together and playing as a team.
Offensively, do not even try and say the Pats can’t get it done.
When fully healthy, there is nothing a team can do to shut it down. The Giants Super Bowl performance was hugely helped by no running game from New England, which, as I said earlier, the Pats now have, and will be utilized by Bill.
Essentially, the point I’m trying to make here is that it is week 2 of the NFL season. WEEK two. If I remember correctly, the Patriots’ were shut out 31-0 against the lowly Bills early in the season (no offense or defense), but still went on to win a Super Bowl. The defense is extremely young and inexperienced, so again, playing together and practicing will strengthen the team.
The Patriots were clearly outplayed by the Jets in today’s game, and clearly have a lot of things to work on. The Pats have had some injuries so far which has adversely affected the team, but just by practicing together, they will improve and become a monstrous team to oppose.
I see all these fans panicking, ready to throw the season out the window.
Honestly? Come on, have faith in the Patriots, they will not disappoint.