The New England Patriots won on Sunday, but it was one of the worst wins in the last few years. The Pats’ defense played well, but Tom Brady‘s offense was as ugly as it gets, and they suffered in this week’s game grades.
Passing Offense: D-
The offensive line was bad, the receivers didn’t get open, and even Tom Brady missed a few easy throws. Yeah, this wasn’t the best day for New England’s passing offense. After that debacle, the Pats now rank 26th in the league in yards through the air, and honestly could be a lot worse than that. They just didn’t have any kind of rhythm in the game against the Raiders, as the offensive line didn’t give Brady any time to throw the ball, and Julian Edelman was the only wideout doing any kind of significant damage down the field. They are going to need to figure their problems out quickly, because a prime-time matchup with Cincinnati is looming.
Rushing Offense: C-
Stevan Ridley and the running game wasn’t much better for the Pats, as they averaged only 2.4 yards a carry, and didn’t score one touchdown. Part of the blame has to be placed on the running backs, but the offensive line did just as poorly on the ground as they did through the air, constantly missing blocks, and failing to open up running lanes for the backs. If this Patriots offense wants to get back on track, it has to start on the ground. When they run the ball well, they are an entirely different unit.
Pass Defense: B
Derek Carr finished Sunday’s game with only 174 yards, and a 62.6 passer rating. The Pats know how to defend rookie quarterbacks, and they did just that in week three. Sure, they failed to generate any kind of pass rush, but I think that was part of the design. Bill Belichick likes to try and make young quarterbacks beat him with their arm, and Carr fell just short.
Run Defense: A
The run defense bounced back in a big way against Oakland, although the Raiders are one of, if not the worst running team in the league. New England held their ground attack to only 67 yards on 22 carries, with the long run of the day being a 10-yard Darren McFadden scamper. Vince Wilfork dominated from start to finish, and Dont’a Hightower continued his excellent start to the season, finishing behind Jerod Mayo for the most tackles on the day.
Special Teams: A-
Nothing big to report here. Matthew Slater made a nice play in punt coverage, and Stephen Gostkowski drained three big field goals.