The New England Patriots entered the bye week with at a 6-2 record which is as sluggish a 6-2 as you could have gotten.
The glaring superiority that always stood with the Patriots in every game they played has been replaced with feelings of doubt and uncertainty.
An offense that was supposed to be dominant has struggled to score points and cash in inside the red zone despite all of their weapons. Make no mistake, the loss of wide receiver Julian Edelman has made life a little more difficult for everyone on offense.
Wide receiver Brandin Cooks isn’t by any means disappointing anyone in his first go round with the Patriots posting elite yards after the catch numbers and an amazing 563 yards on only 33 receptions. That being said, his numbers could be better and with the loss of Edelman’s presence in the slot, it is making it easier to double cover the Patriots’ deep threat.
This offense is far from perfect and doesn’t look nearly as elite as its predecessor. Patriots quarterback Tom Brady knows this and says that the team needs to play better football down the stretch.
“We can definitely do a better job. There are high expectations for us,” Brady said. “There has been a lot of great effort, but the execution hasn’t really matched that to this point. Hopefully our best football is ahead of us.”
If you want to see one of the most improved units around the league, look no further than the Patriots defense. The past four games since giving up 33 points to the mediocre Carolina Panthers’ offense, the group has not allowed over 20 points.
Despite the weak conference and all great pieces on this team, the Patriots still must prove that they are capable of winning the Super Bowl three out of four years for the second time in the Brady-Belichick era.