Sunday's 26-10 loss to the Detroit Lions is seen as a low point for the New England Patriots this season. The Patriots played so bad that they allowed Kerryon Johnson to rush for 101 yards, making him the first Lions running back to run for 100+ yards since Reggie Bush on Thanksgiving of 2013. This is the same Lions team that got embarrassed by the New York Jets on the first Monday Night Football game of the season. New England's lowly performance raises a big question: Are the Pats done?
In that Sunday Night game against the Lions, the Patriots were 2-9 on third down and had only 12 first downs compared to Detroit having 25. Tom Brady, the leader of this Patriots team, was only 14 for 26 with 133 passing yards, a touchdown, and an interception. However, Brady hasn't been the problem: No. 12 has thrown for six touchdowns, only two interceptions and a rating of 93.9.
The problem with the Patriots has been already mentioned in the blog: third downs. On the season, New England has only converted 10 third downs, leaving them tied for 28th in the NFL. New England's ground game could stand to improve to make these third down situations more bearable: the Pats rank 20th in total rushing yards (293). Overall, New England's offense is in shambles, with the pass game not clicking (26th in the NFL in passing yards with 607) and the running game barely existing. The loss of Julian Edelman stings quite a bit, for Tom Brady won't have the slot receiver that he goes to. It'll mainly be Rob Gronkowski, which will lead to teams putting an emphasis on him defensively.
Can the Pats rebound and make their return to the Super Bowl? Fortunately, they play in the AFC East, with the paltry Jets and Buffalo Bills. The Miami Dolphins are 3-0, but they've played an easy schedule so far. Their next three games will be against teams that either made the playoffs last season or are currently above .500 (that includes the Patriots). New England hasn't played their division yet, which will give the Patriots a chance to figure things out. The Patriots have a chance to make up for lost ground, but Pat fans should be concerned about their team's future going forward if this becomes a regular occurrence.
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