The Patriots got absolutely throttled 38-17 in a game that was pretty much over by the end of the third quarter. The Pats got beat in every facet of the game, and if it wasn't for the offense showing up in the first half and the Saints stepping off the gas pedal in the fourth quarter, this game good have been much uglier.
While this was a tough game for the Patriots, they were able to take a lot away from this game that will help them as they get ready for next weeks game against Miami and the rest of the season.
1. If the Patriots can't win on the road, then they shouldn't expect to go anywhere in the playoffs. So far this year, the Pats have been perfect at home, going 6-0, but the road game has been a completely different story.
The Pats have a 1-4 road record and their only win has come at a neutral site in London against the lowly Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The way things are going the Pats will most likely have to play at least two road playoff games and if they can't turn their road woes around then they will be ousted in the divisional round.
2. The defensive line has to get more pressure on the quarterback.
While watching last night's game, a lot jumped out at me. The Patriots weren't getting pressure on Brees at all. He had as much time as he wanted to too find an open receiver and every time he got that time he hit his wide receiver.
Likewise, Brady was rushed almost every down and it showed as he threw two picks and looked flustered after every play.
The defensive line has been a boost to the defense for years now but they've struggled this year to get to the quarterback and if this continues the opposing quarterback will pick apart the secondary all day long.
3. The Pats secondary isn't what it used to be.
Most Patriots fans already knew that the secondary isn't as good as it used to be. It was probably the biggest question mark coming into this season after losing some key veterans. The secondary has had some good games but for the most part they have struggled to stop the better QB's in the game.
In last night's game, they looked completely lost as Drew Brees picked them apart for five touchdowns and had their heads spinning. They say defense wins championships and if this secondary can't find a way to stop the big plays from happening then the Pats aren't going anywhere anytime soon.
4. The offense can't continue to just show up for the first half only.
The most inconsistent part of this team has been their inability to score points in the second half. The Pats are one of the best first half teams when it comes to scoring but once the second half starts its as if their is a completely new team out there that has never played together before.
In three of the Patriots four losses they have had the lead at half but come out and done nothing in the second half. They were shutout twice in the second half against both the New York Jets and the Denver Broncos. If the offense can't keep up their play for an entire game, then they stand no chance in the playoffs.
I still believe the Pats can fix these problems before the playoffs start and make it to the Super Bowl but after watching last night's game a part of me realized that they are starting to fall from the elite of the NFL. As long as the Pats still have BB and Tom I have total faith in them and still believe they can make it to the Super Bowl.
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