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Patriot Predicament

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The New England Patriots lost their home playoff game.  And boy, it was ugly.  The talking heads point to the week 17 loss of wide receiver Wes Welker because so much of their offense was run through him.  The burden of those dump-off plays that would have gone Welker’s way was thrust upon rookie Julian Edelman, who did perform admirably catching Tom Brady‘s only two touchdown passes in the 33-14 loss to the Baltimore Ravens.  Unfortunately, the Pats woes are not limited to an injured receiving core.

This past decade, us Patriots fans have been blessed.  They have one of the all time great coaches in Bill Belichick and one of the all time great quarterbacks, Tom Brady.  They have had charismatic players like Rodney Harrison, Willie McGinest, Mike Vrabel and Tedy Bruschi as well as clutch performers like Adam Vinitiary, Kevin Faulk, and Troy Brown.  Watching those players, as a fan we believed that they would come up with the play.  You could see it in their body language that they had the passion and the desire to win.  The plane and simple fact is that the 2009 Patriots were team without those important characters.

People like Jerod Mayo, Brandon Meriweather and Adalius Thomas expect to be respected because they are Patriots but must understand that they do not deserve the swagger and respect of the previous players because they have not earned it.

So what now?  They need to get better.  They need to improve their running game, get some sort of pressure on the opposing quarterback, and find a vocal defensive team leader.  Brady, Faulk, and Welker have earned their title as leaders, but who is going to step up for the defense?  Is it going to be through the draft?  Free agency?  Jeremy Lundbald, of ESPN Stats & Information put it best, “No single free agent will fix a 2-6 road record. The Patriots blew four games in which they held a 10-point lead. No draft pick can solve that.”

The answer is that it has to come from within.  Someone has to grow a pair and take the lead…otherwise the Pats are in for another early playoff exit.

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Written by lhpious

January 14, 2010 at 9:54 pm

Posted in Sports

Tagged with ,

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