Last Sunday’s win over the Vikings is a high point of the season thus far for the Pats but did they really play well on offense?
The answer: No.
A couple of their scoring drives were vintage Brady drives, quick and easy down the field. However, it seems the redzone issues still exist for New England because they had to resort to pounding it in from the one with James Develin. Don’t get me wrong, I love Develin but if he’s your ticket for the endzone then there may be problems.
Sony Michel and James White have been great between the 20’s all season but they have a bit of an issue getting across the goal line on short yardage, granted they are smaller backs.
Tom Brady hasn’t had a great season, we all know that, but the offense should still be fine regardless. A mediocre Brady is still better than 85% of the QB’s out there. So where do the “problems” with this offense come from?
Well, it’s not the offensive line. In fact I think the big boys up front for New England have been some of the best in the league this season.
Is it the wide receivers? They’re a big part of it. Julian Edelman has been really solid since returning in Week 5 and he adds a special spark to the team. He is starting to wear down a bit though since his foot injury in Tennessee, he’ll play through it but he may have lost a little explosiveness. Josh Gordon got the offense going against Minnesota and he’s a straight up beast across the middle. Him and Edelman are fine weapons for Brady but they’ve been a little inconsistent. A big problem so far has been that number three receiver for Brady. In years past it was the trusty Danny Amendola and now it’s a mess between Hogan, Dorsett, and Patterson. The #3 guy has always been a big component of the offense and the Pats need one now more than ever.
That brings me to my next point…Rob Gronkowski.
What on Earth happened to this guy? He isn’t the beast we once knew and it sort of looks like he won’t ever be again. I’m sure we’ll see some spurts of the old Gronk and maybe that’s all they’ll need but it’s sort of sad to see the big guy struggle out there.
Patriots’ analyst Greg Bedard said last Sunday was the worst game of Gronk’s career and you know what? I agree.
He continues to be slower and weaker than his usual self and there’s some big evidence of this from the Vikings game.
-On a third down Brady went to Gronk short of the first down line. Gronk got the ball and turned upfield and was met by the Minnesota safety who overpowered #87 and kept him short of the first. The old Gronk would’ve easily gotten the first down and then some.
-On the first play of the game Gronk was called for a false start. Really?? On the first play of the game? Cmon man.
-Gronkowski was not the same in the blocking game. He was called for two holding penalties and missed one or two key blocks, including a big third and short when his guy got to White in the backfield.
I hope we’re all wrong about a weaker Gronk and he comes out next game and dominates but I’m afraid those days are all but over.
What does it mean for the Pats? Well, it’s not the end of the world (or the season) if their offense is a little stale but it’s not great.
Luckily the Pats defense has been fantastic and if they can keep that up then we’ll see the boys back in the Super Bowl, even with the offensive issues.
There were definitely glimpses of what the offense can be, a steady balanced attack, so if there’s a little more consistency the team should be fine.