By: Russ Goldman
The Patriots lost at home 24-20 to the Giants in their last game, and now are getting ready to to face the Jets on the road at Met Life Stadium Sunday Night.
There’s certainly plenty to talk about, so here are some thoughts for this week ranging from my thoughts on the recent loss, along with my thoughts on the upcoming game against the Jets.
1. Tom Brady had a tough game Sunday. Brady definitely did not have one of his best performances against the Giants. He forced the ball several times, and some of his passes were just plain off.
The most important thing to note were his two interceptions and the fact he lost the ball on a strip sack. Three turnovers from the quarterback are tough for any team to overcome.
It should be fine to say that Brady was part of the reason why the Patriots lost a game. It doesn’t change anything on what I think about the quarterback. I am just calling it like I see it.
2. I Don’t blame the defense for the loss to the Giants. I have heard, and read a good amount about how the defense failed at the end of the game. That is true, but honestly this unit played tremendously well. They held the Giants to 4-of-14 on third down, and pressured Eli Manning often in this game.
The defense – as we’ve I’ve said repeatedly – is still a work in progress, and is far from perfect. However, they did enough in this game to help the Patriots win. The offense had their chances, and just did not capitalize on several of their opportunities.
3. The Patriots defense did put pressure on Eli Manning. Did I watch the same game as some media members in Boston? I read and heard in several places that the Patriots did not get after the Giants quarterback.
They had no sacks to show for it, but I saw Manning throw off of his back foot several times, which is a great sign of pressure. Again, don’t believe everything you hear and read. Let your eyes tell you the truth. Mine told me the Patriots defense did a good job attacking Manning.
Spikes had been playing well, and it’s unfortunate that he got hurt. (FILE:Icon/SMI)
4. Brandon Spikes getting injured really hurts the defense. Spikes has been seriously coming on lately, and got injured in the second half. It has been reported that he might have a sprained MCL.
That is a tough injury to deal with, and will affect the defense. He has been huge in stopping the run, and also has started putting pressure on the quarterback. His injury is a setback for the Patriots defense, and let’s hope he won’t be out long.
5. I am still waiting on Taylor Price. Reportedly he was working real hard last week in practice, and pulled a hamstring. He did not play on Sunday and it was too bad.
Again, right now all I can say is Price has potential. He is not the next Randy Moss, but he could be the next David Givens which is good enough for me. He has speed, and might be able to get deep. The question still remains, does Brady trust him? Until the quarterback feels confident in Price, we might not see much of the young wide receiver.
6. I was wrong about Albert Haynesworth. I will be the first to admit when I make a mistake. I thought Haynesworth would really take advantage of his opportunity with the Patriots.
Unfortunately he was a tease, and was cut this week. He showed us glimpses of his ability but that is all we saw. He was just picked up by Tampa Bay and best of luck to them.
7. Defenses have caught up to the Patriots offense. There is no question that defenses have figured out how to stop the Patriots offense. If you press the wide receivers, and play man coverage, you can really make it difficult on the Patriots.
To rectify the situation, the Patriots probably will need to run the ball more, and yes show some kind of deep threat. They don’t need to have a superstar receiver, but need to take shots deep more often to get defenses to respect that option. Right now there is no respect deep, and defenses are daring the Patriots to go throw long on them.
I put part of this on offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien. He needs to make quicker in game adjustments, and also seriously attempt more plays with deeper routes for the receivers. Before Randy Moss, the Patriots did not have a huge deep threat, but they did take their shots. For some reason, they are not doing that enough this year.
8. There is no need to panic at the half-way mark of the season. The Patriots are 5-3, and after the Jets game have the easier part of their schedule coming up.
Even if they lose on Sunday, I think they have an excellent chance to maybe only lose 1 more game or possibly none the rest of the season. Regardless of what happens on Sunday, there is plenty of football left.
9. I am hoping the Jets play “Ground and Pound” against the Patriots. The Jets game is to run the ball first, but against the Patriots pass defense, I would open it up.
If the Jets really try to run the ball, I have faith that the Patriots defense can stop the run. That would force Mark Sanchez to beat the Patriots. The defense showed in the last game, they can take away the 3 step drops. Again, it will be up to Sanchez to be the difference in this game. If that happens, I do like the Patriots chances.
10. I think this game is more important for the Jets to win. I have heard the argument that this game is a must for the Patriots and I disagree. If the Pats lose, they are still in the mix, and only 1 game back from the Jets.
However, if the Jets lose this game, they would have dropped both games to the Patriots, and winning the division will be very difficult. In my opinion, the Jets need this win more.
Those are my 10 thoughts for week 10, but feel free to leave some of your thoughts or concerns on this upcoming game in the comment section below.