After starting the season with a loss, the Patriots looked to be back on the right track after beating the Saints and winning a nail-biter against Houston in last week’s match up, scoring a touchdown in the closing seconds of the game, with the final score of 36-33.
Tom Brady went 25-35, with 337 passing yards, putting together a game-winning drive, throwing a 25-yard touchdown to Brandon Cooks. The Patriots seemed to be on the right track.
This week, the Patriots put that in question after a disappointing loss to the Carolina Panthers.
Panthers kicker Graham Gano kicked a game-winning field goal as time expired to win the game 33-30.
Now, before everyone overreacts about Tom Brady and his age, let it be known that this is not because of Tom Brady. Brady had impressive numbers, again going 32-45 with 293 passing yards and two touchdowns. The offense had its struggles, but overall, they played well enough to give the team a chance to win and put up enough points.
The struggle was within the defense. The defense struggled to make big plays when they needed to and gave up too many penalties for too many yards.
Panthers quarterback Cam Newton finished 22 of 29 for 316 yards and had an interception, putting up big numbers against the Patriots. Newton is giving up an average of 461 yards and 31.7 points per game, which happens to be an NFL worst. The Patriots forced the Panthers to turn over the ball twice, but struggled to capitalize on these key moments.
Despite the turnovers, the Patriots’ defense made a fool of themselves. The old Patriots rally cry, “Do Your Job” is in need of a rebirth, for it seems no one is doing their job. In a postgame press conference, Belichick, who stuck to being soft spoken, said “[It] wasn’t good enough today.”
The Patriots are 2-2, and it would be 1-3 if it was not for Tom Brady. Even at the age of 40, he is not showing any signs of his demise. The Patriots’ issue this season, is the pressure they put on Tom Brady to do everything.
Brady’s current stats at this point in the season are 103 of 155 with 1,399 yards, with 10 touchdowns and zero interceptions. All of this is at a physical cost, taking 13 sacks and 26 hits overall. Without Brady’s main target Julian Edelman, the defense can not put this type of pressure on Brady and expect to win games.
This week, the great minds of Head Coach Bill Belichick and Defensive Coordinator Matthew Patricia, will see what they can do to put together a win against the Buccaneers this Thursday night in Tampa. Game time is 8:25 p.m..
No players kneeled during the anthem in the pregame ceremonies, after controversy was in the spotlight after numerous demonstrations during week three.
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