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Remember this is still the Patriots pre-season

2021 Patriots Season:
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Next Up: vs Dolphins
Pick Results: MIA: 0% at NE: 0%

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Sep 12th

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jdlboot14

Practice Squad Player
I fully expected a very rough start to this season, and ultimately an 8-8 type year because of so much turnover - QB1, TE's, WR's, entire LB corp...
The first month of the season was much like an extended preseason for the Patriots to figure out the roster, but this year it is legitimately a preseason.
However, the fact that we could have (and should have) won our 2nd game against one of the top 5 teams right now says a lot.

1. BB and Co. are clearly just trying to figure out this team. On offense, they have hardly even used the TE's yet. Izzo has some ability, but I want to see what the rookies can bring. It seems we really need Harris in the run game because Michel doesn't seem to have it.​
2. We have 3 Rookie LB's that haven't played yet - which is our biggest weakness on this team. Bentley and Copeland are decent run stoppers, but are slow as molasses. We need the speed and ball hawking talent that hopefully Uche can bring, because I don't know how well Phillips and Dugger will work out in that hybrid role, after seeing the vulnerability in the secondary. I suspect there could be a trade to bolster the LBs, depending how fast Uche, Maluia and Jennings can become productive.​
3. Cam's ability to utilize Byrd and Harry is encouraging from last night. However SEA had lost 3 starting DB's, and got tore up by ATL last week, so they might not be a good evaluator of our passing game. Even so, it seems both of those guys took a big step. White returning in his pivotal role should only boost us too. I don't know why Myers hasn't been used after his decent rookie year, but Gunner had a great camp and could really help save Edelman when he returns.​
Which is what our whole season rides on - keeping Edelman healthy.​
4. As always, JMD has some curious, if not agonizing play calls in critical situations, but I fully believe they start simple and set up trends early in the year in planning for important matchups later on. As the team gels, I think things will get more diverse. The last play of the game is a perfect example, even the players acknowledged they had used that same play several times - the whole world knew what they were going to do. A bootleg RPO there could have been the difference.​
5. Belichick Jr. may need some time to learn how to feel the game, rather than thinking like a cloned robotic automaton in defensive play calling. But we're going to need more from Rivers, Calhoun on the edge. If they don't fix contain issues (including DT's) we'll have no chance this season with mobile QB's.​
6. The PK situation is frustrating, and Folk's early miss ultimately cost the game - where a FG at the 1 yd line would have won. But I'd rather have a solid veteran work out his kinks than a sporadic rookie right now. Gostkowski has not been efficient, but has made 2 game winners under pressure. We'll see.​
7. I think I cautiously have more optimism than expected because this team does seem to feel more like one big unit than the last couple years where Brady's perfectionism and reported soured attitude had overshadowed even winning. Cam seems regenerated, and the youth is encouraging. No one expects much in terms of post season, but the fun of "anything could happen" with the Patriot games feels like the Bledsoe era again. So, I'm in it for the ride.​
 

PATSYLICIOUS

Pro Bowl Player
Offensively I think we’re well ahead of the curve, I was impressed by both outings and I can only see it improving now that we know the passing dimension is legit and defenses can’t just stack the box. Last night we were without white as well.

Defensively it’s hard to tell. We looked amazing vs Miami and pretty much mid season form there. Last night I’m HOPING a lot of that is fixable and I’d be patient with that, but I don’t really know if it is or if we are just at that much of a disadvantage against top tier qbs who are mobile with our lb weakness.

Kicker is obviously a glaring hole too and no real solution in sight. Because of that I still have us at 9-10 wins, with a real kicker I think we’re a 12-4 type team honestly... but folk had a considerable hand in that loss and will probably cost us one or two more if we can’t upgrade.
 
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