The New England Patriots might need to blow it up
The New England Patriots seem to still be transitioning during their post-Brady era. Should the team just enter a full scale rebuild? Ok, maybe the word rebuild is not the most accurate here, but I do think there is an argument to be made that the Patriots need some serious changes on both sides of the ball.
New England’s roster is interesting to me. What they have, in my opinion, is a ton of average to good players. But what I fail to see are truly high-end, elite players. The best teams in the NFL like the Bills, Eagles, Chiefs, etc. all have truly elite players on both sides of the ball.
The Patriots simply do not. If I were to ask 10 Pats’ fans who the best player on the offensive side of the ball was, I might get five different answers. There is no clear core player on the offense that can be put into any sort of elite category.
The defensive side of the ball might be a bit different. The Patriots have more high-end players here like Christian Barmore, Matthew Judon and Kyle Dugger, but Barmore is a second year player and maybe won’t be anything more than a good player. Matthew Judon will be 31 next summer, and Kyle Dugger does not play an overly valuable position.
At 3-4, the Patriots are still in the thick of the AFC playoff race, but the team itself is not scaring anyone. They don’t have the high-end quarterback play, and the running backs, receivers, and tight ends are all good, not great.
I am not typing these words as a giant complain towards the team, but what I am seeing are some flaws. The Patriots, as I said earlier, have quite a few good players, but they are missing true difference makers, and these difference makers are missing on both sides of the ball.
Outside of a soon to be 31 year old Matthew Judon, who else can rush the passer at a high level? What about in the secondary? Does the team have a true shutdown cornerback? Do any of the receivers currently on the roster have the capabilities to be included in the tier with guys like Justin Jefferson, Ja’Marr Chase, or even in a slightly lesser tier like Courtland Sutton or Michael Pittman?
I’d ask similar questions for most of the other positions on the roster.
I don’t think the Patriots are likely going to finish with a winning record this year, and that’ll be two out of the last three seasons that they finished with a sub-.500 mark. Their defense is largely fine, but their lack of a true identity on offense and lack of high end talent makes me think the Patriots should simply embrace a bit of a rebuild.
Perhaps they should stick with the core offensive line players they have and go from there? Jakobi Meyers is a nice piece on the offense and I think he should stick around. Perhaps Hunter Henry can be someone like that as well, but I don’t have faith in any of the quarterbacks for the long-term.
Both sides of the ball need some true difference makers, players that you have to identify on every single play. I don’t think New England has that, and my thinking is that they need to rebuild a bit to get to that point.