New England Patriots 4 Down Review: Week 4 @ Buffalo
1st Down: Who will step up if Edelman can’t go?
Julian Edelman was limited in practice and listed as questionable all week with a chest injury he suffered against the Jets. He did in fact dress Sunday for the game against Buffalo after making the trip with the team, although there was rampant uncertainty before kickoff as to how healthy and effective he would be if/when he took the field.
Though Edelman did end up playing, it’s unclear just how hobbled he was by his injury and overall pain. He had a couple of bad drops, and Tom Brady’s first interception of the season came when the quarterback was trying to find Edelman in the endzone (although the pass itself was clearly a bad decision by Brady).
With Edelman hurt, several Patriots players were expected to rise up to the occasion to help offset some of the potential lost production from No. 11. One of those players was Phillip Dorsett, who had taken on a more prominent role in the offense through the first three weeks of the season. Josh Gordon, James White, and Rex Burkhead were some of the other members of the New England Patriots offense who were expected to carry more of the load in place of Edelman.
Unfortunately, the entire offense struggled from start to finish on Sunday, as the Buffalo Bills defense was as advertised. They were able to consistently get to Brady, and even though they didn’t register any sacks on the stat sheet, they were able to knock Brady down quite a few times.
As a result of this, no one from the offense could make an impact. White had eight catches for 57 yards, and as a pass-catcher, he was the only one that was able to make a dent in the Bills defense.
Gordon and Dorsett finished with a combined five catches for 56 yards and no touchdowns. Gordon was targeted seven times while Dorsett was targeted nine times, but neither receiver could get separation from the Bills defensive backs. Burkhead saw most of his playing time on special teams throughout the game.