What started as a comfy 64-degree night with a Super Bowl celebration and a Gillette Stadium full of euphoria, ended with a 42-27 routing at the hands of the relentless Kansas City Chiefs.
The New England Patriots didn’t look comfortable from the start, with Tom Brady missing a wide open Dwayne Allen.
Brady takes the snap, drops back and goes through his read. Three seconds tick by and Brady is expecting to be sacked. The line holds firm, yet Brady gets happy feet and makes a throw unlike himself.
So let’s move to the five things that the Patriots need to improve on.
1. Get the secondary to communicate
The most important part for a secondary is communication, and right now the Patriots are lacking in that isle. Newcomer Stephon Gilmore was evidence of that when Tyreek Hill burned down the sideline when Gilmore was expecting deep safety help and McCourty wasn’t there.
The entire secondary as a whole needs to work on their communication.
2. Pass rush
With the exception of Trey Flowers who had two sacks, this pass rush poses no threat on opposing offensive lines. Rookie Deatrich Wise Jr. needs to step up along with another newcomer Lawrence Guy.
The loss of Dont’a Hightower to an MCL sprain won’t help with the lack of pressure. Even with him in the game, the rush was lackluster which means changes have to be made and fast.
3. Spread the field
Dwayne Allen and Chris Hogan need to be utilized more, Allen was wide open on the first play as touched on earlier, but Brady missed him by a mile. Allen didn’t have a single catch in the first game and Hogan only had one catch for eight yards. Amendola meanwhile had to exit the game after hitting the 100-yard mark due to a head injury. It’s time to get the other receiving threats involved.
The loss of Julian Edelman doesn’t help either but Gronkowski only had 33 yards as well. The Chiefs did an excellent job covering all the short routes which is what the Patriots excel in. Time to go back to 2007 and throw the deep bombs.
4. The backfield
Mike Gillislee may have had three touchdowns but struggled against a tough Chiefs interior D-line to get anywhere. The loss of Blount seems to be having an effect on who the next bell cow is. Brandon Bolden plays an integral part on special teams but it’s time for him to be utilized elsewhere. He may have bought his time and Belichick may make a few maneuvers in the next week as they go on the road against the Saints.
5. Brady…Just be calm
As demonstrated by the first throw, Brady did not look like himself. In fact the entire game, Brady seemed to be struggling as represented by his 16-37, for 267 yards. It’s not to worry though he’s 40 and supposedly in the best shape of his life, and what does anyone know? Why question the five time champ? Just trust the process and look forward to this week’s game against the Saints.
All in all, the stats are in the Patriots favor. The last time they went 0-1 to start the season, they ended winning their fourth championship. Time to let history run its course and Belichick to kick some butt into gear.