After the New England Patriots were beat down by the Miami Dolphins yesterday, I was pretty angry. And now that I have had a night to sleep it off, I’m still pretty damn angry.
I had such high hopes for this team as the offseason progressed, and even though I predicted a close game, I thought the Patriots were going to look pretty good yesterday. But, after a second half meltdown, they are now left in the basement of the AFC East, facing the tough task of dealing with constant criticism for the rest of the week.
Here is this week’s stock watch, based off yesterday’s contest:
Edelman was one of the few bright spots yesterday, particularly in the first half. The former quarterback caught six balls for 96 yards in the first half, before getting shut out in the second. However he once again showed that he is a weapon that needs the defenses’ attention, and if Tom Brady can be afforded time in the pocket, Edelman is going to have a monster year.
Vereen received most of the snaps at running back in this one, and while his numbers don’t jump off of the screen, he made a solid impact. The third year back is impossible to guard in the passing game, as he just blows by any linebacker that tries to cover him, and he did just that yesterday. Vereen racked up 71 yards of total offense in this one, and I expect him to continue getting production like that all season long.
I was pleasantly surprised with what I saw from Chung, as he didn’t get beat in pass defense, and was physical as usual in the run game. The Patriots opened the year with a rotation at safety (which was expected), and Chung definitely helped himself in this one. Hopefully he can continue this success in the future.
Easily the worst unit of the game, the group up front played one of their worst overall games in quite some time. Tom Brady was under constant duress throughout the entire second half, getting sacked four times, and producing zero points. Bill Belichick will have to make a few adjustments up front, maybe even thinking about inserting rookie Bryan Stork into the starting lineup.
When you look at the last two games Amendola has played for the Pats, the former Rams star has three catches for 16 yards, which happen to be his total stats for yesterday’s game. I am a big fan of Amendola, but he really struggled yesterday.
The Patriots signed Lafell this offseason in an attempt to bring in a guy that could potentially make some plays on the outside. With Aaron Dobson inactive, yesterday was the perfect time for LaFell to help outside the numbers. However LaFell really struggled against Miami, committing a big offensive pass-interference penalty at a crucial point in the game, and failing to catch a single ball all day long. Brady went to LaFell six times, and none were caught.
The Dolphins racked up 191 rushing yards yesterday, averaging five yards a pop, and flat-out getting killed all game long. I touched on this yesterday, but I just want to drive the point home. The Patriots were in a 3-4 defense for the majority of the game, which just doesn’t fit well with this personnel. Jerod Mayo and the linebackers also didn’t have a great game, as they struggled to finish tackles once the Miami running backs broke free.