• Nick LeBlanc

Time to panic? Pats blown up by Niners should raise red flags


Cam Newton's head down in the picture about says it all. It was that kind of night for the Pats as they could not get nothing going against Jimmy Garoppolo and the San Francisco 49ers as they blew out Cam and the Pats 33-6 and the Patriots record falls to 2-4 on the season and fail to get a win in the month of October for the second time in the Bill Belichick era. The only other time the Patriots went winless in the month of October was the 2002 season


There are differences between these two seasons. Back in 2002 the Patriots had Tom Brady under center, and they were coming off a Super Bowl winning season. Here 2020, it's everything along with a bag of chips. Between practices being cancelled, games being moved, and many more distractions. All that along with a new quarterback for the first time in 19 seasons, and the offense having struggle after struggle.


This is third consecutive game in which the offense has failed to move the ball consistently and maintain drives. Between Newton, Brian Hoyer and Jarrett Stidham combined; Patriots quarterbacks are 52/87 passing for 509 yards. One touchdown, one rushing touchdown and nine interceptions. Not going to win games like that.


On the defensive side of the football isn't any better. They have given up as a collective unit 77 points to the opposition while the offensive has scored just 28 point the last three games. That is a -49 point differential for the last three weeks combined. The issues that the defense is having is getting off the field and not allowing the big plays to happen. The Patriots are having an extremely difficult time stopping the run and defending the big pass plays.


Granted, in Week four against the Chiefs the defense held Patrick Mahomes and Kansas City's offense to just six points in that first half and only surrendered field goals to Denver last week. Had a huge breakdown this week against the 49ers. However, the defense are getting the turnovers to give the offense a chance to capitalize. Unfortunately the Pats offense is not capitalizing at all on the extra possessions.


Where or to whom does the blame go to? Cam Newton certainly hasn't played well each of the last two weeks as he has to be frustrated. Could it be the leadership of Julian Edelman who isn't keeping the team motivated on the sideline when he is there or when the defense is on the field? He has played poorly as of late, however he isn't being targeted as much either. Could it be the young receivers who are unable to get any type of separation what so ever? N'Keal Harry so far hasn't lived up to the first round pick status.


Some of the blame can be pinned on Offensive Coordinator Josh McDaniels whose play calling has been very inadequate, especially in short yardage situations. Even when the Patriots are in a third and long situation, he is calling screen passes and run plays. Despite the play calling, the players on the field still have to execute so the offensive problems don't all fall on McDaniels but he's a huge part of the reason.


Head Coach Bill Belichick will not be excluded from the blame game. Despite the tremendous success that Belichick has over the years with lesser known players and draft picks from out of the blue schools, it's time for Bill admit defeat and go after some weapons. The way the receiving core is set up currently is last in the NFL and needs a serious boost. Brady is no longer here to bail out the defense and try to make superstars out of these no name receivers. Bill the GM has been very bad the past few seasons, with the inability to draft decent receivers or tight ends to help plug up some holes. Now not every single pick has been a bad one but a vast majority of the picks over the course of the last four or five seasons are no longer with the team.


It's time that we see General Manager Bill Belichick make some moves that will better the team right now and compete in what has been a very completive and tight AFC so far through the first seven weeks of the season. If Belichick is unable to make some serious moves prior to the trade deadline to help this team, then maybe it's time that Robert Kraft removes the GM status and complete roster control to Nick Caserio to help this team. That is a trigger that must be pulled if the Patriots fail to make any moves at the deadline and end up missing the playoff this season for the first time since 2008.


The Pats schedule doesn't get much easier from here. They play the Bills in Buffalo next week which should be treated as a must win game. They have the Jets on Monday Night Football in Week 9, which should a dominating win, given how bad and dysfunctional the Jets are. Then the Ravens come to town in Week 10 in yet another primetime slot. Each of the next three games should looked at extremely closely, as these next set of games could determine how the rest of the season goes and what the offseason could look like should New England fail to make playoffs this season.


So much needs to happen and turn around, and it has to happen now or else this season will be deemed lost very soon. If the Patriots fail to qualify for the playoffs and Tom Brady leads the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to both the playoffs and Super Bowl win, it would proves that it was Brady who made the Patriots great, not Bill Belichick. And if that's the case, it should make your stomach turn as a Patriots fan that Belchick allowed the greatest quarterback in NFL history walk away.


Currently the Patriots sit at 2-4 through six games, with a point differential of -28 and losers of three straight games. The Pats are going to need to have an excellent week of practice and look at tuns of film because the Bills are not the Buffalo team that you have been able to beat up on in the past. The Bills are hungry and want to win the division for the first time since 1995.


Can the Patriots turn things around and make the playoffs, or will the season go completely off the rails and could be looking at a top 10 pick in 2021 NFL Draft.


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