Patriots Have Problems "Almost Everywhere"

New England's offense looks "inept," Patriots beat writer Mark Daniels said

After Hours With Amy Lawrence
September 24, 2018 - 9:05 am

USA Today Images


For the second straight game, the New England Patriots were dominated on both lines of scrimmage and struggled mightily on offense. The result? Road losses against Jacksonville and Detroit by a combined 57-30, including Sunday’s 26-10 loss at Ford Field.

The Patriots opened the game with three 3-and-outs, as Tom Brady finished 14-of-26 for 133 yards, one touchdown and one interception.

What were the biggest issues for New England?

“Man, where to start?” Providence Journal Patriots beat writer Mark Daniels said on After Hours with Amy Lawrence. “Really, for me, it was offense. The Detroit Lions came into this game tied dead last in points allowed through two weeks. They almost gave up 50 points to the New York Jets and their rookie quarterback, and all of a sudden the Patriots make them look like the ’85 Bears.”

The Patriots were 2-of-9 on third down, as the Lions dominated time of possession, holding the ball for nearly 40 minutes.

“Brady and his team, they put up 10 points, they couldn’t convert on third down, they couldn’t rush the ball, they’re still averaging under 4 years per carry, and the problems – they’re almost everywhere for the Patriots,” Daniels said. “Even when the offensive line protects and they do their job, no one is getting open. The Pats are desperately missing Julian Edelman, so for me, the biggest thing is just Tom Brady and how inept his group looks.”

That said, Daniels doesn’t think that Edelman, who can return Week 5 against Indianapolis, will fix New England’s problems.

“He’ll make things a little bit better,” Daniels said, “but if you can’t run the ball at all, if makes your offense very, very predictable. Since the Pats can’t run on first down, they’re in second and long and third and long. They really need to correct the mistakes up front and start to win in the trenches before Edelman is going to even help them.”

Josh Gordon could help Brady, too. Or he could be cut before the end of the season.

“Josh Gordon, that’s the biggest wild card in Foxboro,” Daniels said. “No one has any idea if this guy is going to be on the team in the month, nevermind help them next week against the Dolphins.”

New England (1-2) hosts Miami (3-0) this Sunday at 1 p.m. ET.