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