As a New England Patriots fan you may be used to winning, although the last twenty years haven’t been without difficulties the dynasty was a wonderful time.
So what now?
The Patriots have an MVP quarterback who ‘can’t throw to the right hand side.’
There’s one starting tight end who is having his abilities stretched and taking immense heat because fans are loading him with expectations of the ghost of tight ends past.
How about the two rookie tight ends that fans are salivating to see perform? Well, they would be… nowhere right now.
As a team relying heavily on the running game, they have just lost arguably their most versatile running back to an ACL injury for the rest of the season.
There has been some production from wide receivers but fans cry about ‘wanting more weapons.’
And where oh where is the defense? Did everyone opt out this season?
Is this really what we have become?
You know what… It’s Thanksgiving… maybe we can look at it this way?
Cam Newton, a mature quarterback who lost almost two years out of the league due to injury, has contracted Covid and lost two precious weeks with the team. This, in a season when there has been no real off-season training, no pre-season games and a severe limit in practicing. He has been dropped into an offense with a style that I would imagine is rather different to that he was used to prior to his absence due to injury.
The one true rostered tight end is injured and yet still stepping up to give the best he’s got. Taking approximately 90% of all games snaps and in fact falling poor on only approximately 13% of his plays. Unfortunately it’s much easier to look at those few times he falls short than the 87% of the plays he succeeds in. The guy is hard working athlete trying to fill arguably some of the biggest shoes in the whole of the NFL past and present. (Statistics taken from snaps against the Buffalo Bills)
The rookie tight ends are eligible to return soon and we still hold out hope they might reach a turning point after the ‘start of the season’ this Thanksgiving. Dalton Keene did give us glimmers of positive play. Unfortunately, we haven’t really seen much of Devin Asiasi to know. Therefore, I will move right along to the signing of Jordan Thomas. With his sheer size, he could perhaps set the edge and use his big body for blocking.
With the return of Sony Michel and possibly J.J. Taylor in particular, hopefully so could the strength brought by Rex Burkhead that has been severely lost now he is out for the rest of the season (I and all at Full Press Patriots wish him a comfortable and speedy recovery, we love Rex and hope he dons a Patriots uniform in 2021). And that’s not even mentioning the mammoth effort put out by Damien Harris.
Jakobi Meyers and Damiere Byrd have sprinkled a few little bits of sparkle on the field. With the addition of Isaiah Ford could we in fact see some weapons begin to sharpen? Byrd in particular has some chemistry with Cam Newton and this could continue to progress during the rest of the season.
The rotation on the offensive and defensive lines have been plagued by injury and this is something not even the Football Gods can do anything about. However, players have been trying to slot in and there has been some good performance by both. Just not frequently….
If the Patriots could just stop being so positively consistent at being inconsistent, perhaps this season won’t be too much of a loss?
And so dearest Patriots fans, I wish you a positive perspective. I hope you feel the glimmers of hope that I am trying to spark and most of all I wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving.
-Clare L. Cooper is a Special Contributor and Columnist for Full Press Coverage. Her New England Patriots insight can be found @FPC_Patriots