Jets vs. Patriots: Should the New England Patriots Retool Their Roster?

Tom Kinslow@@TomKinslowFeatured ColumnistJanuary 17, 2011

Jets vs. Patriots: Should the New England Patriots Retool Their Roster?

0 of 11

    FOXBORO, MA - JANUARY 16:  Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots looks on near the end of their 28 to 21 loss to the New York Jets in their 2011 AFC divisional playoff game at Gillette Stadium on January 16, 2011 in Foxboro, Massachusetts.  (Photo by
    Elsa/Getty Images

    Jets vs. Patriots was a stunning loss, mainly because of the result of the second matchup between the two teams where New England took the Jets to the woodshed on Monday Night Football.

    Tom Brady won't be around forever and with his window slowly closing, it's time to ask if the Patriots should stay with what they have or if they should make some changes in the offseason. I give you five reasons why and five why they shouldn't with a conclusion.

    What do you think New England can do?

No. 5 Retool: Offensive Line Struggles

1 of 11

    EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - SEPTEMBER 20:  Logan Mankins #70 of the New England Patriots against the New York Jets at Giants Stadium on September 20, 2009 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)
    Nick Laham/Getty Images

    Logan Mankins is going to be a free agent and after the contract dispute he and the Patriots had this offseason, it's no sure bet he'll be back.

    The Jets had five sacks and the Patriots had issues keeping Tom Brady upright and you have to believe that Bill Belichick and company will look into bolstering the offensive line to protect their MVP quarterback next season.

    With the defenses in the AFC, it's pretty much a necessity.

No. 5 Stay Pat: Close Loss

2 of 11

    FOXBORO, MA - JANUARY 16:  Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots looks on near the end of their 28 to 21 loss to the New York Jets in their 2011 AFC divisional playoff game at Gillette Stadium on January 16, 2011 in Foxboro, Massachusetts.  (Photo by
    Elsa/Getty Images

    The Patriots lost a slugfest in the AFC Divisional Round. That's not exactly a bad year.

    New England had a great year and just happened to come up a bit short in a big game. It isn't the first time it happened and it probably won't be the last either. The Patriots are a great team, but they're not invincible either.

    The Patriots aren't the type of franchise to overreact over one game.

No. 4: Retool: Add Wide Recievers

3 of 11

    FOXBORO, MA - JANUARY 02:  Julian Edelman #11 of the New England Patriots carries the ball in the first half against the Miami Dolphins on January 2, 2011 at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
    Elsa/Getty Images

    The Patriots had a hard time getting people open down the field yesterday.

    New England couldn't get into a rhythm on the offense and I think that the Patriots could use a guy who can stretch the field. Brandon Tate is coming into his own, but the Patriots might be able to find a guy in free agency or the draft that can help them out.

    You can't have all guys who run underneath routes.

No. 4: Stay Pat: Division Rival

4 of 11

    FOXBORO, MA - JANUARY 16:  Head coach Rex Ryan of the New York Jets hugs head coach Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots after the Jets defeated the Patriots 28 to 21 during their 2011 AFC divisional playoff game at Gillette Stadium on January 16, 2
    Elsa/Getty Images

    In games against a division opponent, anything can happen.

    The Patriots and Jets met three times and New York won twice and then got blown out of the water once. It's a mixed bag in these games and when you throw in the playoffs, that's a whole different type of animal and the Jets had some serious momentum.

    Those teams could play 100 times and it could be a 50/50 split.

No. 3 Retool: Add Linebacker Depth

5 of 11

    FOXBORO, MA - DECEMBER 06:  Mark Sanchez #6 of the New York Jets elludes the pass rush of Tully-Banta-Cain #95 of the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium on December 6, 2010 in Foxboro, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
    Elsa/Getty Images

    An area of weakness for the Patriots is the linebacker position.

    I think New England will address that with one of its two first round draft picks in this spring's draft. The Patriots got some great secondary players as they helped rebuild their defense and now it's time to build up the linebackers.

    It's a natural progression from last year's work in the offseason.

No. 3 Stay Pat: Poor Game Plan

6 of 11

    FOXBORO, MA - JANUARY 16:  Head coach Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots looks on during their 2011 AFC divisional playoff game against the New York Jets at Gillette Stadium on January 16, 2011 in Foxboro, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Imag
    Elsa/Getty Images

    I don't know what Bill Belichick was doing yesterday, but it wasn't typical of him.

    What was that fake punt call? It looked like Belichick was pressing out there yesterday to try and prove a point to the Jets and the rest of the nation. New England had no rhythm yesterday and a lot of it had to do with the game plan.

    A lot of the blame should fall at Belichick's feet for this one.

No. 2 Retool: Run Defense

7 of 11

    FOXBORO, MA - JANUARY 16:  Shonn Greene #23 of the New York Jets runs down field against the New England Patriots during their 2011 AFC divisional playoff game at Gillette Stadium on January 16, 2011 in Foxboro, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty
    Jim Rogash/Getty Images

    The New York Jets had a field day running the ball on the Patriots yesterday.

    New York tallied 120 yards on the ground and a little over four yards a carry yesterday. We had seen in the Cleveland game and others that New England had issues trying to defend the run and the Jets exploited that yesterday.

    That's something that has to change next year.

No. 2 Stay Pat: Young Defense

8 of 11

    FOXBORO, MA - JANUARY 02: Devin McCourty #32 of the New England Patriots is congratulated by teammate Jerod Mayo #51 after McCourty intercepted a pass by the Miami Dolphins on January 2, 2011 at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Elsa/
    Elsa/Getty Images

    New England spent this year really building up a young defensive unit.

    So the unit had some growing pains, it happens and isn't totally unexpected considering the lack of experience on the defense. With a year behind them and experience built up, along with Bill Belichick's coaching, the defense should be even better next year.

    That unit will carry the team for years to come.

No. 1 Retool: No Pressure

9 of 11

    FOXBORO, MA - JANUARY 02:  Jerod Mayo #51 of the New England Patriots congratulates Vince Wilfork #75 in the second half against the Miami Dolphins on January 2, 2011 at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
    Elsa/Getty Images

    The New England Patriots did not sack Mark Sanchez once.

    New England didn't pressure him, or do any of the things that helped turn the second meeting between these two teams into a blowout. Sanchez had time and he made the Patriots pay during the course of the game.

    The Patriots need to be able to consistently pressure the quarterback.

No. 1 Stay Pat: If It Ain't Broke....

10 of 11

    FOXBORO, MA - JANUARY 16:  Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots looks on near the end of their 28 to 21 loss to the New York Jets in their 2011 AFC divisional playoff game at Gillette Stadium on January 16, 2011 in Foxboro, Massachusetts.  (Photo by
    Elsa/Getty Images

    The Patriots were the top seed in the AFC this year.

    New England had the best record in the NFL, the MVP of the league and the coach of the year. Just because the Patriots lost one game, doesn't mean that New England has to think about a total overhaul of the roster.

    While this loss is infuriating for a lot of Patriots fans, it's no reason to change a proven formula.

Conclusion

11 of 11

    FOXBORO, MA - JANUARY 16:  Tom Brady #12 and Wes Welker #83 of the New England Patriots look on during their 2011 AFC divisional playoff game against the New York Jets at Gillette Stadium on January 16, 2011 in Foxboro, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Elsa/Gett
    Elsa/Getty Images

    In the end, I think the Patriots just need some minor tweaks to their roster.

    There needs to be some emphasis on the offensive line and the linebacking corps. We know the Patriots can win without a wide out like Randy Moss and maybe with another year for Brandon Tate and the young tight ends, the offense can be even better.

    Patience will win out in New England and the Patriots will make another run next year.

slash iconYour sports. Delivered.

Enjoy our content? Join our newsletter to get the latest in sports news delivered straight to your inbox!