Sunday, September 7, 2014
Patriots-Dolphins Post Game Thoughts
Well that sucked..
Even though the score was 33-20 it felt just like the 31-0 beat down Buffalo put on New England back in 03'. Similar to that infamous game the Patriots could do little right today, offensively or defensively. Is it time to panic? Not yet, but the Patriots have legitimate questions that need to be answered.
1. The Run Defense
What is going on here? This has been a weak unit for the past year. While it's way too early to say they wont get things right this season this is definitely something Pats fans should pay attention to. I'm happy Vince Wilfork is back as much as the next guy, but the run D wasn't exactly great with him healthy last year either. I don't recall anytime in the game where this unit seemed to get a consistent push upfront. Instead they seemed to get pushed around all game long. I'm glad this is happening in Week 1 rater then Week 11, lets hope Bill Belichick can makes the necessary adjustments
2. Offensive Line
I'm sure most people will say the unit struggled due to Logan Mankins departure today. While there's no way to tell how this sudden move impacted the line's chemistry, I think today showed the unit needs time until they're going to be right. Belichick was switching Connolly and Wendell in at Center, when he wasn't doing that he was moving Connolly or Jordan Devey in and out at Guard. Having consistent chemistry on the Offensive line is important, you're going to struggle while you have questions about who goes where, until these positions solidify themselves these could be bumpy for the Patriots on offense.
Funny thing is, this same awful team I'm talking about today was dominating the first half. While it's clear the Dolphins took full advantage of a run defense that was showing leaks in the first half, the sudden total collapse of the offense was a mystery. I give players like Cameron Wake of the Dolphins credit, but today was just a total breakdown on the offensive side of the ball. Tom Brady missing wide open receivers, Rob Gronkowski looking like Diddy Kong instead of Donkey Kong today, etc.
Give the Dolphins credit, they kicked the Patriots ass today. But the Patriots we're like a hot mess that just completely melted down in Sunny South Florida in the second half.
Going into next week's match up, I'm really expecting a bounce back performance. I'm not sold on the Vikings dominating the Rams without Sam Bradford. The run defense certainly will be tested again next week facing Adrian Peterson, if they're off like they were today the Patriots could very well start out 0-2. As much as I want to see the run defense look better next week, I'm just as concerned with the offensive line. They had issues last season, added new pieces during the off season and it's obvious they're still moving those pieces around. The Offensive line has a lot of improving to do, hopefully that happens sooner then later.
Next Week: Patriots @ Vikings 1 PM