By: Jake Mackey
The New England Patriots are riding high right now on the football field. They stand at 7-1, and if we you watch a lot of NFL football you know that they are by far and away the best team in the league. They were able to go 3-1 in the first month without Tom Brady, and since he has come back they have carved through each team with a red hot offense, that is ranked fifth in the league.
Brady is 98 of 134 this season, with 1319 yards, 12 touchdowns, and zero interceptions. He was also just named AFC Player of the month for October. Add to that the emergence of Rob Gronkowski and Martellus Bennett and steady play of the offensive line, and the Patriots offense has been lethal.
On the defensive side of the ball, the Patriots have been disappointing to say the least. They are chalk full of talent. However, they just have not looked to play with that intensity that should be expected from with all the young talent in their prime.
Yes, they only give up 16-points per game, but they are leaving themselves out there for much too long. Belichick’s unit is 21st in the league in overall defense, and gives up an average of 354.1 total yards per game. In addition, they are the 23rd in the league in third down defense.
Just look at last week for an example. The Patriots were dominating Buffalo up by three touchdowns in the third quarter, when they had stopped the Bills on three and out. Until, Buffalo’s punter botched the snap and took off for 16-yards to gain the first down. From that point on the Bills went right down the field, scoring on a 25 yard touchdown run by Tyrod Taylor on a fourth and three play, in which the whole stadium knew that Taylor was going to run.
In addition, how will the Patriots mediocre defense improve now without Jamie Collins?
Collins has not been great this season for sure. He has looked like he has been freelancing and doing his own thing a lot of the time. Although, is that because of his own wrong doing, or is that because the coaching staff is not putting him in the right position in order for him to reach his maximum potential? Possibly because if they know they do that, a player such as Collins in a contract year could see his value go through the roof. A bit of a conspiracy, but interesting none the least.
The move just does not make sense from a 2016 standpoint on and off the field. The team gets virtually nothing in return. They gained 30-spots on the second day of the draft. Now they are forced to increase the work load of rookie Elandon Roberts, and take a player who is well liked out of the locker room and send him to Siberia (Cleveland). Not only that, but you have Bill Belichick puppets like Mike Lombardi ripping him as he goes out the door. Collins handled the trade with class stating, “That shows their character” when asked about the comments.
The Patriots are great on the field right now for sure. However, let us not forget how quickly last season went down the toilet. The most important part of this upcoming second half for the Patriots is that Bill Belichick keeps his players on page with the program and the goal at hand, because in times like these when players are dealt things can take turns for the worst.