October 22, 2017 by marlonpitter
Written by Ryan Delaney
Well, we’ve finally reached week 7. The week that I’ve been talking about as the biggest test of the Patriots season, at least for the first half. The second half of the season is actually the tougher part, but we’ll focus on that when we get to it. Before I get into the upcoming game against the Falcons, let’s talk about what happened last Sunday against the Jets. I’m not sure if I’ve ever been this confused about what to think about a Patriots team. It seems that every time the defense takes a week off, the offense rises to the occasion. Since the Panthers, I’ve said I know the defense hasn’t looked good, but I’m honestly not that worried about them going forward just yet. Every week I continue to see panicked Patriots fans telling me, “how can you say you’re not worried, this is the worst they’ve ever been.” Can everyone just calm down for a gd second, it is six weeks into the season. Yes, they’ve given up a huge amount yards and yes, they’ve given up a huge amount of points, but if you at the last two weeks they’re trending in the right direction.
Sunday’s game started off, to put it lightly, less than ideal. The Jets marched down the field on their first two drives and jump out to a quick 14-0 early in the 2nd quarter. Now, I’m going to ask all Pats fans a question. Did you honestly feel that the game was in doubt at this point? Because I can tell you I did not, not for one second. I felt the same way in the Chiefs game and in the Panthers game. In fact, I’m not totally sure there isn’t a chance we win the Chiefs game. That’s the true reality of being a Patriots fan, this team is never dead no matter what the scoreboard looks like, and if you felt differently, I don’t think you’ve watched this team. The offense responded well to the deficit and immediately put one in the tank to make it a 7-point game. Then Brady looked a little off on the next drive, followed by a missed Stevie G field goal, which was then answered by a Malcolm Butler int. Bang bang, long story short it’s a tied game at half. Then we double them up coming out of halftime and the game is all, but over. Same old song and dance we’ve seen a thousand times.
There were points in the second half where it looked like the Jets may make it a game, but I never thought they had a real shot at winning. I’m not even going to get into the controversial call on the Seferian-Jenkins fumble because it was the right call, but fans who don’t fully understand the rules think the Jets got porked. It might be a dumb rule, but it’s the rule and they got it right. Same thing on the Dez “catch” and same thing on the Calvin Johnson play. If you want say the Jets score there then fine, they still don’t win that game. If you put the ball in Brady’s hands with a chance to win the game or put the game away in the 4th quarter, he’s going to do many more times than not.
Was the best performance we’ve seen from this defense? Absolutely not. Did they get the job done in the end though, and still held the opponent to under 20 points? Yes. The big argument is that opposing quarterbacks are having career highs in numbers every week against this D, but look who they’ve faced. Week 1 Alex Smith, a known game manager, puts up over 400 and 4 TDs. Ok, this was probably their worst performance all season and were really just stunned, but they lost Hightower midway through the game. Then Deshaun Watson tears them up. Well I’ll tell you what, the Pats haven’t been the only defense to not figure him out, and they still won the game. Next. Cam Newton has one of his best career games, but he’s a dual threat and not a pocket passer, so yes, he’s had games where he’s put up a lot of yards, but getting up there isn’t as tough as some other guys. Then Jameis puts up over 300 yards and 1 TD. Key thing to look at there is 1 TD. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Yards alone do not win football games, points do. Yards can lead to points, but you have to put up points to win games and that’s what the Bucs didn’t do. Finally, we reach last game. Josh McCown, a career back up has his third best game of his career… with 354 yards. No it is not a normal thing to see from this defense, but 354 yards is not really that bad. And, they only scored 17 points. The defense must be doing something right for that to happen. “oh, but they got bailed out by the fumble call.” Well, Malcolm Butler knocked the ball out for it to be a fumble in the first place so that’s an important play. I know they need to tighten things up, but come on people, it’s not like Peyton Manning and Dan Marino are putting up career numbers on them each week. I didn’t even mention that they held Drew Brees, by the far the best quarterback they’ve faced, in check. They don’t want to bring that up do they?
I just don’t get the outrage and the panic here in the New England through 6 games. People act like the sky is falling when we’re 4-2 and still in first place. Also, there’s only 1 AFC team with less losses then you, so like I said, no one is that good. We’re six games into this season, SIX GAMES, and I’ve already heard that it’s the end of an era. What? What do you mean? The defense has a couple shaky games and you think it’s time to take our ball go home? Seriously, this is not even comprehensible to me how worried everyone is. Do you watch other games than the Patriots? Who can you say is far and away a better team than us. Not the Chiefs. They’re a Rob Gronkowski dropped touchdown away from being right behind us. The Steelers? No, they’ve lost to the Bears, and needed every second to beat the 0-6 Browns. Come on guys, you’re better than this. You do this every time the Patriots look any bit less than perfect and guess what, they take your words, ball them up, take a nice leap from the free throw line and dunk them right back down your throat. This Sunday is mightily important, but I think they win. The Falcons offense is extremely high powered, but they just lost to the Dolphins at home after leading by 17 points and pitching a shutout at halftime. Now you think they’re going to come into Gillette, Gillette Stadium, the Thunderdome and win on Sunday night. What is, no way Jose? It’s not gonna happen, it’s never gonna happen, I’ll talk to you all next week.