From the Armchair: New England Patriots, Week 7
Rob Gronkowski made his first appearance on the field during the 2013 season. In some respects he looked as good as previous, but in others he looked a little cautious. Unfortunately, to the casual fan it looked like they were trying to force feed him too often.
The Offensive Line. Their play was truly offensive. I’ll give credit to the Jets Defense – they’re a young, talented group, but there’s no excuses for the poor play of the line. It’s hard to say was Brady really that bad, were they forcing the ball to Gronk, or was it more because the O-Line played so bad that Brady was running for his life or sacked all too often.
Aqib Talib & Je’Rod Mayo. Neither played and maybe missing these two has finally made the defense crack. Mayo is out for the year and Talib could be out for a little time. I think that if they have any ideas of post season success on defense, they need Talib to be healthy and on the field. The other DB’s play quite a bit differently than when he’s out. They will have to do a better job of getting off the field on 3rd downs going forward as there were far to many 3rd and long yardage plays converted.
Inability to stop the run. While the pass rush was decent, the run defense showed how much they miss big Vince Wilfork and Tommy Kelly. Better effort is going to be required going forward.
The call everyone is talking about in overtime was stupid, but not the reason the game was lost. They should have put the Jets away in the 3rd Quarter and didn’t. It’s a stupid penalty and call, but thinking back to the infamous “Tuck” rule that the Pats benefited from, I guess what goes around, comes around. At least it didn’t happen in the post season.
The road ahead is not a whole lot easier. This week the Miami Dolphins come to Foxboro as a much improved unit over last season. Let’s hope the Offensive Line puts this game behind them and the Defense plays up to the standards it has all season.