Well, it wasn’t pretty, but your New England Patriots picked up a win to a team that while their record isn’t great, is a pretty good football team. The Patriots never seemed to get into a rhythm Sunday against the Chargers, and the scoreboard was a reflection of that. Time in and time out the Patriots seemed to move the ball down the field fine but then when they got into the red zone, they just couldn’t convert. It is hard to win in this league kicking field goals, especially when your kicker misses two of them.
Like I said, the offense looked subpar Sunday afternoon which is not what you expect from a team with this much talent. Brandin Cooks had a season low 26 yards from 5 receptions. Chris Hogan left the game with a rib/shoulder injury. Gronk had 3 drops which really didn’t help things. Thankfully, he did not drop this pass in the end zone however, which really would have been disappointing since literally no one was covering him…
I am not in the business of telling people how to stop the Patriots, however, if I was, one of my focus points would probably be make sure you cover Rob Gronkowski. Personally, I would think about double teaming him, especially in the Red Zone. But if you don’t want to do that, I would say you might wanna have at least one player covering him. One person on him would definitely be my minimum. But the Chargers did not take my advice. They believed it was a good idea to have 0 men cover Gronk. Not ideal in my opinion!
It was once again a big day for the Running Backs. Brady seemed to be checking down constantly to the combination of Dion Lewis, James White and Rex Burkhead more than usual. Some might say it was because the Chargers were getting a lot of pressure with their two very good pass rushers in Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram, which is true. However, I think it is because Tom Brady is hurt. He is hurt and he is making sure he gets rid of the ball fast to make sure he doesn’t get hit. And with Julian Edelman being out, Brady has been looking to his Running Backs early and often.
Speaking of the Running Backs, it seems like Dion Lewis has truly taken over as the lead back in the Patriots 4 man monster of a backfield. Dion not only has gotten the most snaps, but has been the most effective. He is constantly making the 1st defender miss and every time he does, my love for him doubles in size. While Dion has been the best at running the ball, James White has been the best catching it. He has made some spectacular catches recently and he had a few Sunday.
Something I really had my eye on during this game was how the Linebackers played without Dont’a Hightower. And while it obviously wasn’t going to be as good with Hightower in the lineup, the rest of the group really stepped up and had a nice game. Kyle Van Noy once again had a great game and is without a doubt the best Linebacker left on this team. I also saw a bunch of nice plays from Elandon Roberts including this nice tackle to force 4th down.
Another guy I like when he was in was David Harris. While he did not get as much playing time as I would have liked, he made the most out of his snaps, including this play where he lit up Melvin Gordon and forced Rivers out of the pocket and led to a fumble/sack.
All in all it was a good win for the Patriots who beat a team who has always been in every game they have played this season. Hopefully with the bye week now upon us, the Patriots will be able to get some guys healthy and back into the field .
And now as a reward for reading the whole article, let’s all take the time to appreciate how stupid and dumb Travis Benjamin’s safety was. Happy bye week everyone.