For the second straight week, the New England Patriots lost a football game by double digits. The last time this happened was 2002 and it officially has many within the New England area nervous and ready to hit the panic button. Yet the season is young so let’s get right into this week’s winners and losers.
Much is being made over how bad the Patriots defense is right now and just how slow the linebacking corps is but one of the very few upsides was Bentley. He was able to come up with an interception that ended up being one of the few positive notes of the night. Look for him to attempt to invigorate this defense some more this season.
Wise Jr. stepped in for an injured Trey Flowers and was able to impact the game in a similar fashion to the starting defensive end. He attempted to get the team more rallied and excited at the beginning of the second half, but it was to no avail. Wise finished the game with 1.5 tackles for a loss, one sack, and a QB hit. He along with Bentley was very important to a defense that simply struggled heavily.
It was evident from the beginning of the game that the offense was trying to get Sony Michel acclimated to the team and give him a maximum amount of touches. Yet, many are disappointed with the result as Michel struggled mightily to get anything going against the defense and finished with less overall yards than White in 8 more touches. White has never been a three-down back, but he should get the ball more in the coming weeks as he has impressed thus far and caught the only touchdown of the day for the Patriots.
Outside of the two players that are in the winner’s column, the Patriots boasted a terrible defense this week against the Lions. They allowed the Lions to rush for over 100 yards with one player for the first time since Reggie Bush in 2013 and were shredded in the secondary as well. They are missing key pieces across the board with Flowers, Rowe, and Chung being out but this defense simply looks slow and not good enough to win a championship at this moment in time.
The Wide Receivers
Much had been made before the season about the Patriots lack of weapons around Tom Brady and although it wasn’t evident in week 1, it has gotten ugly ever since. They are recording little to no separation and giving Brady little to no help. Dorsett was nonexistent all game after impressing in the preseason and week 1. Hogan was practically a no-show himself and it seemed as Brady wanted to throw to nobody other than Gronkowski and White.
The good news for first-round pick Sony Michel? He is a rookie and it is very early in his career. The bad news? He is playing for the New England Patriots and Belichick does not typically use early round draft picks on running backs. Michel was the focal point of the offense but was not able to muster much of any offense. He touched the ball 15 times for 50 yards and was stuffed at the line of scrimmage a multitude of times.
McDaniels attacked the Lions run defense in almost every way but it was to no avail. It was clear that he wanted to establish the run against the Lions and it did make sense due to the fact that the Lions are typically bad against the run but he should have maybe trusted the passing game more instead of attempting to run on 3rd down several times. It wasn’t his best week and he will be looked upon to be much better next week at home against Miami.
Although things don’t look great right now, we have seen this story before with the Patriots. Josh Gordon will be suiting up next Sunday and Julian Edelman the week after. I would expect the offense to turn things around, but the defense will continue to struggle without massive changes. We shall see and until next week Pats Nation.
-Jared Talbot is a Staff Writer for Full Press Coverage Sports Media and covers the New England Patriots. Follow him on Twitter @JaredTalbot_