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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Patriots Zone week three

Danny+Amendola+has+been+a+major+disappointment+for+the+Patriots+so+far+this+season
Danny Amendola has been a major disappointment for the Patriots so far this season

Following their convincing win against the Vikings, the New England Patriots returned to Foxboro for their home opener against the win less Oakland Raiders.
The Patriots were up against rookie quarterback, Derek Carr, who had shown flashes of brilliance in the pre-season. Carr was Oakland’s second round pick in this year’s draft and played his college ball at Fresno State. The Raiders had also signed many veteran players this off-season including defensive linemen Justin Tuck and LaMarr Woodley as well as wide receiver James Jones. The additions of these veterans could only help the Raiders in their effort to defeat the Patriots.
The main thing to take away from this game was both teams’ lack of offense. The Raiders struggled throughout the contest to get into the end zone and the Patriots continued to look dysfunctional. Both defenses did a great job of stopping the run, as neither team came close to 100 yards.
This would leave everything up to the passing game. Carr began the game in a good rhythm and was able to find his receivers over the middle of the field for short gains. The Patriots continued to show their “bend but not break” defense. Although Carr and the Raiders offense at times marched up and down the field, they could never get anything more than a field goal.
This has been the common theme of the Patriots defense over the last couple of years. New England continues to have trouble getting their defense off the field on 3rd down. However, they continue to get big plays late on defense in order to secure games.
The most recent play was the late interception by Vince Wilfork that sealed the 16-9 win for New England. The Patriots cannot rely on the spontaneous turnover forever. They may be able to keep teams such as Oakland from scoring, but it will be much harder to check teams like Denver in the red zone.
The defense played a significant amount of zone coverage this past game. If they would play more man-to-man defense and trust their secondary, this may lead to better results. New England should trust guys like Logan Ryan and the newly-acquired Darrelle Revis to lock down receivers. This would give the defensive line time to put pressure on the opposing quarterback and create more miscommunication and turnovers.
The Patriots offense still does not look right. As the team could not establish the running game with Stevan Ridley, they turned to Tom Brady and the receivers to get things going. Throughout the day, the offense struggled to get any momentum going. Brady is still relying too much on Julian Edelman for production.
The Tom Brady that Patriots fans are accustomed to is a quarterback who would spread the ball around and find the open man. It seems now that he can only find Edelman, as he had ten receptions for 84 yards. However, some other receivers did get involved in the offense this week. Brandon LaFell caught his first four balls of the season for 46 yards and Rob Gronkowski caught his second touchdown of the year. As Brady continues to spread the ball around, the offensive repertoires of the Patriots can only increase.
The poor play of the offensive line seems to be the main reason Brady is not finding other receivers. As the pressure continues on the veteran quarterback, he has to get rid of the football quicker. In doing so, he turns to the one receiver he expects to be open, which is Edelman. Brady was sacked twice in the game and had pressure in his face throughout the day. If the struggles of protecting Brady continue, it will be extremely tough to get this offense moving in the right direction.
Despite their struggles, the Patriots defeated Oakland and are now 2-1 on the young season. There is still a long season ahead of them and plenty of time to fix the issues at hand. New England is now off to play the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead stadium on Monday, September 29.