Every year, it seems the dreaded “Patriot Panic” grips the NFL. A couple of years ago, the Patriots were throttled on Monday Night Football by the Chiefs.
This year, New England saw former assistant Matt Patricia and the Lions hold the ball nearly the entire game en-route to a 26-10 win. After that game, it occurred again. The Patriots finally hit their wall. Brady didn’t have it anymore after throwing for 133 yards and an interception.
Fast forward two weeks, and the Patriots have it again. They’ve won two games in a row and those two games weren’t even close. Brady threw two picks last night, both of which were drops by his receivers Chris Hogan and Gronk. It’s like clockwork. Death, Taxes, Atlanta Braves playoff losses and the Patriots turning things around after an early loss.
Since 2001, in the month of September the Patriots are 39-16 (.709). Not a bad record by any means, but it doesn’t match their post-September record of 209-63 (.768). In 2001, the Patriots started 1-3 and ended up 11-5 and won the Super Bowl. Last year, New England started 2-2 and were embarrassed by the Chiefs once again on opening night and ended up in the Super Bowl.
So, it’s the same old song-and-dance for the Patriots. You can credit two people for the fix; Brady and Belichick. The greatest coach in the game and the greatest quarterback of all time. They don’t panic and neither should Patriot’s fans.
Their offense is a totally different machine with Edleman back in the lineup. He caught seven balls on nine targets, but more importantly, he took some of the double-teams off Rob Gronkowski, who caught six for 75 yards (and should have had more) but dropped a 20-yard strike that ended up a turnover. We also got a glimpse of what could be from troubled wide receiver Josh Gordon. He caught a 34-yard touchdown over two defenders in the fourth quarter, which was also Brady’s 500th career touchdown pass.
If Gordon emerges as who he once was, this offense will again be one of the most high- powered forces in the league. They’ve been missing that deep threat for a while now, dating back to Randy Moss.
Another piece who’s sometimes overlooked is James White, who’s become one of the few running backs who’s stayed in Belichick’s good graces. He’s caught 24 balls for 145 yards and two TD’s the last two games. He’s also added 44 rushing yards and a TD during that stretch.
So, like it or not, the Patriots are here again. They’ve righted their ship and appear to be clicking on all cylinders again.