Sep. 19, 2018
Patriot Talk: Week 2 Recap and Week 3 Prediction
Before I get into the Patriots week 2 recap and week 3 preview, I’d like to share something. Since my last article was released, I have created a new stat, that is primarily used for QBs, but over time I will use it for Running backs and Receivers.
Week 2: 20-31 Loss, 1-1 record
Ahead of this game, recent Free Agent acquisition Bennie Fowler Jr. was released, following his pregame interview where he leaked information on who would be returning punts. As we New Englanders know, there is an all important rule: Don’t, for any reason whatsoever, tell the media anything, about anyone, ever. Period. He broke that very rule, almost immediately after joining the team.
Before the game started, Belichick stated that the Patriots can’t afford to start slow and play from behind, the Jaguars defense is difficult to beat itself, and comebacks are near impossible. So that was the game plan, start strong. Seems like the defense wasn’t paying attention however, specifically Eric Rowe, fourth year corner and second year with the Patriots, who got burned a ton early on by Keelan Cole. Once the Jaguars got off to a 14-0 start, you could see the frustration on the sideline. Quite frankly, nothing was working. The protection around Brady wasn’t bad, but no one was getting open against this tough secondary, which caused Brady to hold on a bit longer. Along with a few mistakes from rookie running back Sony Michel in his NFL debut, and you have an angry Tom Brady. He was losing it on the sideline, seriously losing it. But we had a little left in the gas tank, as we got a field goal before the end of the first half. Unfortunately though, our defense continued to look like trash, giving Blake freaking Bortles Joe Montana like moments. Just like that, the Pats were heading to the half now down 21-3.
The second half was better; we scored our first touchdown (thanks Brady and Hogan), to cut the deficit to 21-10, but clearly our defense can’t stop anything. That being said, they gave up a field goal before the end of the third quarter, the Pats found themselves getting woefully outplayed by a score of 24-10. Fourth quarter was our best, as we scored both a touchdown (thanks again Brady and Hogan) and a field goal (Gostkowski), but that wouldn’t have been enough even if the defense didn’t give up points. Then again, if the defense didn’t give up a 61 yard Touchdown to DeDe Westbrook that would ultimately annihilate any momentum that the offense had, maybe there would have been a comeback.... Before we start looking at things the Pats should’ve done different to win the game, let’s just face the truth. We lost 31-20 in Jacksonville, home of arguably the most complete defense in the league. It is still September, and Super Bowls aren’t won until February. Trust me, this team will get better, defensively and offensively. So relax, realize we faced a very tough opponent, and that it is still early on, and that there isn’t anything to worry about yet.
Following the game, the Patriots went out and traded for Josh Gibson, a star wide out who has faced some difficult personal moments involving drugs, and suspensions. The Pats gave up a conditional 5th round pick, which isn’t really much, and if Gibson does not start 10 or more games with New England, the Pats will receive a 7th rounder. Low risk, high reward. Many experts are saying they have little faith in Gordon, as he is too troubled, but I beg to differ. Belichick tends to be a good coach when it comes to players like this, as he is more disciplinary than most other coaches in the league. Gordon is clearly trying to get away from these addictions as well, so this move to New England, if it works well, might just save a career too. The Pats went on to then release Corey Coleman, and are expected to release Kenjon Barner, the running back signed early last week, and are working out running backs Andre Ellington and Charcandrick West. There is also hope that they can sign Orleans Darkwa, which I personally believe would be huge, but I am no expert.
After the acquisition of Josh Gordon, along with the fact that the Pats are facing the lowly 0-2 Lions, I expect good results. I'm fully anticipating a better defensive effort; the pass rush that shut down Deshaun Watson must be present against this weak offensive line in Detroit, and Jonathan Jones, who continues to look good, should help take the load off of a struggling Eric Rowe which will help the defense a bunch. Offensively, I believe Sony Michel will have a good game. He made a few mistakes against a real tough defense, but overall played well with his limited role. He should be used more frequently, and won't make the same mistakes. I don't think Gordon will be big in his first game as a Patriot, but I wouldn't be surprised either. I expect Dorsett to have great matchups and have another very good week, as well as Gronk, as he will be favored heavily by Brady in this next one.
Prediction: 34-16 New England win
Now onto my recently created stat, called Effectiveness Rating (not passer rating), which determines what effect a QB had both passing and running the ball. Tom Brady finished this week with an effectiveness rating of 25.169, which ranked 15th in the league among all passers in week 2. As for Blake Bortles, the Pats defense made him look good, as he sported a 27.717 effectiveness rating, which was 9th across the league.
***Next Article: Week 3 review***