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Monday, September 21, 2009

Too early to panic?

I don't have any banner updates. But, because I've been silent for a week I thought I would check in with some other random thoughts, mainly on the Patriots.
Now personally, I'm a glass-half-full kind of person, so I'm going to take the optimistic view of the Patriots 16-9 loss to the Jets on Sunday and say that maybe it's good to get a loss out of the way early in the season, after we all know how the undefeated regular season did nothing to secure a Super Bowl championship. In 2007, the Pats started out on fire and faded a bit towards the end. Hopefully, they are on a reverse track this year, and will hit their stride to finish the season rather than start. Besides, a loss gives the coach a lot to dissect and correct.
Even being an optimist however, there were far too many red flags on Sunday - in my opinion - to be completely comfortable with the team right now. I know they need time to gel, I get that, especially after losing 5 starters from their defense of last year, and another to injury. So I'm ok with the occasional lapse in play/communication/execution. I have a massive problem with their defense however, starting with the secondary. I'm no football expert, but it seems to me that a defense should either be able to pressure the quarterback or cover the receivers...I mean seriously, if the quarterback can sit in the pocket all day and the receivers are wide open all day, what exactly are the 11 guys on defense doing??? The secondary isn't good enough to pull off a zone defense as often as they try to play it, especially if no one is getting to the QB. I can be patient maybe another week, but there defense really needs to start coming together.
My second issue, obviously, is with the offense. Hey, Tom Brady is coming off major knee injury/surgery, he's a bit rusty, understandably so. It's not really fair to expect him to be spot on right from the get go. But receivers - come on! Is it me or do they seem to be dropping too many passes? Which brings me to #13. Is it too early to call the Joey Galloway signing a failure? Well, yes, it is. I mean, it's only week 2. Given the first two games of the season, I am even more confused by the cutting of Greg Lewis before the season started. I went to Training Camp, and I read all the news and notes, and all you seemed to hear/read/see was Brady and Galloway (when he was on the field) not being on the same page. If this was week 1 or 2 of training camp, I'd be more patient. But they've been practicing together for what, 8 weeks now at least? And they don't seem to be getting any more in synch. Galloway was horrible yesterday. Where they all perfect throws from Brady? No. But a 15 year vet shouldn't look worse than a rookie. Again, I'm not calling his signing a failure just yet, but unless he starts looking much improved really soon, it's going to start looking that way.
The Jets are a good team with a very strong defense, and they outplayed the Pats yesterday and deserved to win. The Pats aren't as bad as they looked yesterday, so I'm not too concerned about the loss. But the defense better pull themselves together, and quick, or else hometown hero Matt Ryan is going to tear them apart next week in Foxboro.

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