The New England Patriots just suffered their first loss of their 2018 campaign. Simply put, there were not many positive things to come out of it. They now have to turn around for their first primetime game of the year against their former defensive coordinator, Detroit Lions rookie head coach Matt Patricia. The former rocket scientist has to deal with the Patriots new weapon, WR Josh Gordon, who was acquired on Monday from the Browns in exchange for draft picks. Belichick is not known for grooming very good head coaches, so we’ll see how he fares facing his second disciple of the year.
Since Patricia took over as defensive coordinator in 2012, the Patriots finished top 10 in scoring defense all six years, finishing in the top five twice. Right now, the Lions are dead last in scoring defense, giving up 48 pts to the Jets in Sam Darnold’s debut week one and 30 pts to the 49ers last week. Week 1 was about Darnold and the passing game, but week 2, they allowed 190 rushing yards from the 49ers, which is a cause for concern for the lions, and something the Patriots could jump on.
The Patriots trail 25 other teams converting only 31% of third downs. Last year they finished 10th converting 41%. Some of those third downs from this past weekend in Jacksonville could have been more manageable if the offensive line had not struggled so much, forcing Brady to make early throws. Tony Romo kept pointing out how Brady had to make throws off of his back foot and earlier than usual. The Patriots O-Line has a lot to prove this week against the league’s worst scoring defense.
In 2013, then Browns WR Josh Gordon averaged 117 yards/game while catching passes primarily from QB Jason Campbell. He led the league with 1,646 receiving yards on the season, more than doubling his 804 receiving yards from his impressive rookie year in 2012. Patriots backup QB Brian Hoyer also started 3 games for the Browns in that 2013 season, so there is tremendous potential for a historic Brady-Gordon connection.
The Patriots take on the Lions at Ford Field in Detriot at 8:20 pm on NBC and 98.5 The Sports Hub
-Johnny Maffei is a Staff Writer for Full Press Coverage Sports Media and covers the New England Patriots. Follow him on Twitter @johnnyBSBL4