Abysmal: Pats Did Nothing Right in Monday Night Beatdown
Abysmal. That’s one way you could describe how the Patriots played against the Kansas City Chiefs on Monday Night. The Chiefs, backed by their ruckus fans, routed the Pats, 41-14. The multitude of problems cannot be put on a single person or unit; the entire team was to blame for the embarrassing showing on national television.
On the offensive side, a lot of attention has been focused on the poor job of the offensive line this season. Tom Brady’s quarterback rating has dropped from 90.03 to a measly 79.1 compared to the first four games of last season. Although Brady’s passing numbers have been gradually declining, the beating he is taking after every snap is clearly having an effect on his performance. The targets Brady has, or the lack thereof, is also not helping the deteriorating offense. Julian Edelman has had the most targets this season, at 36 through only four games; that’s 10 more times than the next leader in targets, Rob Gronkowski. Brandon LaFell and Danny Amendola have combined for a grand total of 13 receptions, half the amount Edelman has alone.
The Patriots lined up in a three wide receiver set for 22 of the 50 plays ran on Monday; baffling considering they only had three receivers active for the game. If the team wants to succeed going forward they need to get Brady some more reliable targets; young receivers such as Kenbrell Thompkins and Aaron Dobson are taken on and off the inactive list. This needs to change if the Patriots want Brady to find some chemistry with his receivers.
Switching gears to the defensive side of the ball, letting up 41 points to any team is an absolute defensive failure. Just like Brady, Darelle Revis’ age is catching up to him, especially considering how physical of a corner he is. Revis has lost a lot of his ability due to the rule changes regarding contact and the use of hands, but even so, he is still losing his man and allowing deep plays assuming that he has safety help.
The defensive line still needs improvement rushing the quarterback. Chandler Jones can only do so much and Rob Ninkovich seems like a completely different player. Jamie Collins has been non-existent on the field so far, relying on Dont’a Hightower and Jerod Mayo to clean up after him. Hightower has been one of few bright spots on the team along with Devin McCourty who continues to play superb at his free safety position. Defensive coordinator Matt Patricia should look forward to sticking to a more successful 4-3 defensive scheme.
Going forward, the Patriots need to take a serious look at the struggling offensive line, lack of viable targets for Brady, and inconsistent defense. It is up to the coaching staff to improve on the failures of the season this far.