Well, I've been indisposed for the last couple of days with a really bad fever. It really hasn't gotten much better, but it's good enough that I can get out of my bed and actually visit this website. To be honest, I was expecting much worse than what I've seen so far. But, then again, I haven't seen it all yet. Anyway, with all that in mind, here are my thoughts based on what I saw... Offensively: 1. The ONLY complaint I have in regards to the coaching is the fact that Gronk was used more as a blocker than a receiver in the passing game. I understand why it happened, though. The thing with playing the Jets is that they overload one side of the line with the blitz. So keeping all the blockers back that you can is understandable. However, I thought that we should have used our 6'7" athletic freak match-up nightmare of a tight end a little bit more than we did. Especially with who he would have been matched up against. In the end, Gronkowski has only been targeted three times in the last two games. In order for this offense to have more success, he'll have to be featured in the passing game more than that. 2. The offensive line, for the most part, protected Brady well. But they were absolutely horrible in run blocking. The main culprit in the run blocking failures was Dan Koppen. He was consistently unable to handle DeVito and it showed. The inside run blocking, coupled by the failures at the RB position, were effectively what slowed down this running game and made the team increasingly more one dimensional. With that said, we could have also used a guy like Maroney in there instead of BJGE and his 1.9 YPC average. 3. Just to compound point number two, if this offense keeps abandoning the running game to go to the air time and time again, we're not going to have much success moving the ball this season. However, I will put that fault on the personnel in the game more than the coordinators and the coaches. Logan Mankins was possibly our best run blocker. His loss was being felt against a defense the calibre of the Jets. Koppen has always had trouble against bigger DT's and it showed again on Sunday. Stephen Neal, who is normally extremely solid, also whiffed on a couple of blocks that he shouldn't have... one of them on a key third down. There's no way around it... the interior blocking HAS to be better for this offense to execute. 4. Where has Brandon Tate been? After a solid TC and a great offseason, Tate has all but disappeared during the regular season so far. As the split end in this offense, and the WR3 in the passing game, we need more from him. Especially when he's going one on one with his man. 5. Brady looked absolutely baffled in there at times on Sunday. I sincerely hope that this is the one stinker that he usually manages to put up year after year. After looking sharper than ever in Week 1 and spreading the ball around to the open man, Brady was making mistakes on plays like the deep throw to Moss that got intercepted by Cromartie. On that play, at least two guys were open in the passing game. One of them was Gronk who could have broken off some series YAC. His other interception to Pool was also a horrible throw. A better pass in that situation would have led to a new set of downs. 6. Aaron Hernandez is going to be a presence in our passing game this season. His presence was felt on Sunday and I've felt good about him ever since he's been drafted. However, he whiffed on at least one block on a key screen to Welker. On screen plays, he either needs to be taken out of the game, or he needs to do a better job of blocking. If neither happen, we might as well abandon the screen or our most important slot receiver will get killed. Defensively: 1. Wilfork is a beast against the run, but that's about it when it comes to our defensive line. The Jets were just the start of something we will see all season. For all intents and purposes, our starting DE's are Wright and Warren. They are huge question marks against the run. This past game saw the Patriots use packages which moved Wilfork from NT/DT to DE and the Jets, particularly Tomlinson, responded by attacking the holes that were left by Wilfork's move. Our deficiencies at DE that started prior to 2009 are something that a lot of us have been harping about as the offseason went on and those nightmares, which were not exploited by the Bengals, came to life against a divisional opponent that had clearly done their homework. On top of this, Brace also had trouble, albeit sporadically, getting off blocks against both a single OT and against double teams. 2. Mayo, while a good WILB in most phases of his game, has to do a better job of getting off blocks by OG's. This is the one area of his game that has been a weakness since he got drafted, and it showed again on Sunday. At SILB, we saw some growing pains with Spikes, who also had trouble getting off of a few blocks. On top of that, he also blew important coverages... one of them on a big reception by Keller. 3. The tackling, all the way around, took a huge step back from Week 1 to Week 2. From our LB's to our CB's to our safeties, the tackling flat out sucked this past week. That's something that has to absolutely drive the coaching staff, particularly Belichick, absolutely crazy. It's also something that needs to be corrected because we had numerous opportunities to get off the field which were subsequently blown because of missed tackles. 4. On top of our DE's getting completely taken out of running plays by the Jets' OT's, the only OLB who showed even a remote knack for setting the edge was Jermaine Cunningham. Even then, he wasn't consistent at it. The OLBs' presence against both the run and the pass was something that was a question mark for this defense entering the offseason. Sadly, it's still a question mark. However, with that said, I like what I saw from Cunningham in particular. He showed good technique in getting a push toward the backfield on multiple plays. He should have a bright future with us if he keeps this up. Sadly, I can't say the same for Ninkovich in any area. Absolutely no ability to set the edge, not much better in the pass rush, and a liability in coverage. 5. We officially started seeing our growing pains at CB this last Sunday. I don't think I really need to go into detail on Butler. It was apparent to anybody with a set of eyes how badly he got abused. However, McCourty didn't hold up much better either. This was evidenced on the TD play to Cotchery, who made a simple double move on McCourty, then cut back inside for the easy TD. This should be the first of many growing pains this season as our young corners learn on the run. We need to offset this with better play from the front seven. However, with the personnel issues we have there, I'm not sure how much easier we can make life for our young corners. 6. I have never been one to harp on the pass rush here, but it would be inappropriate if I didn't mention it today. Earlier, I was going to go with a description of "utterly abysmal" to describe the pass rush, but that would be a compliment. Instead, I'll go with "completely non-existent". At one point, I counted Sanchez having six seconds to stand back in the pocket in the second half in order to complete a pass. That's absolutely unacceptable. Rodak, IMO, did a good job of pointing out that the Patriots defense probably could have afforded to be a little more aggressive in the second half on Jets' passing plays. However, by my watch, we still weren't having much success getting to Sanchez even on blitzes. While the earlier dynasty didn't live on the pass rush, it was able to generate one from multiple angles which consistently got to the quarterback. This defense? Not even close. If that keeps up, quarterbacks like Manning, Rivers, Rodgers, and even Roethlisberger are going to absolutely pick us apart. Two sad facts: 1. Mark Sanchez outplayed Tom Brady in this game. 2. Having gone 21/30 for 221 yards and 3 TD's, Mark Sanchez completed a career day against our vaunted defense. That makes him the third quarterback since the start of the 2009 season to have a career day against the Patriots defense, joining the immortal Chad Henne and the venerable Kyle Orton.