COMMENTARY | After an impressive 23-3 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the New England Patriots have now started the season 3-0 for the first time since 2007. It would be hard to dismiss any team that has Bill Belichick and Tom Brady, but after three weeks of NFL action, can New England still hang with the best of them?
Their first two wins over division rivals Buffalo Bills and New York Jets were nothing to brag about, especially since neither had a quarterback who was expected to keep his team in the game after the first half. New England’s defense has done a fine job of carrying the load for the team, but for an organization that’s heavily relied on Brady for the better part of 13 seasons, 2013 has already been cringe worthy at best.
It’s It’s crazy to think that there would be even the slightest hint of doubt for a team currently undefeated, however, it doesn’t take a genius to realize this team is surely lacking in one main category – receiving. Aside from Julian Edelman and an often injured Rob Gronkowski, Brady has no main receiver from 2012 back on the active roster.
- Aaron Hernandez is awaiting his murder trial.
- Wes Welker is with the Denver Broncos.
- Deion Branch is sitting at home.
- Brandon Lloyd is sitting at home.
Those along with newcomer Danny Amendola already missing two games and expected to miss an additional 2-4 weeks due to injury could make one imagine the current mindset of Belichick as he likely wishes he had a time machine to go back and give Wes Welker the money he desired.
Even the heavily hyped running game has been reduced to rubble. Shane Vereen was placed on IR not too long ago, and Stevan Ridley hasn’t seemed to find his footing despite playing against three teams with a below average defense.
NESN reported that rumors have begun to swirl that Brady’s frustration with his lack of developing rookie receivers has forced him to contact Branch and Lloyd to see if they would be interested in returning to the team.
Is there truly anyone to blame for the Patriots depleted offense? Could it be a plethora of unfortunate events that brought themselves about at the same time?
A team never knows their true capabilities until their back is fully against the wall. These next few weeks will be the most important as the Patriots take on much more competitive teams such as the Atlanta Falcons, Cincinnati Bengals, and New Orleans Saints.