Week 1 Recap: Takeaways for the Pats

Well, the Patriots sucked last night.

Did I go into this game thinking they’d be perfect? No. Defense needs work and there was plenty of questions to be answered within the offense. However, I still thought they could pull it off until about 3 minutes left in the 4th quarter.

The game started out promising for the defending Super Bowl champs, scoring in under 3 minutes and running the offense smoothly.

Kareem Hunt came out a little gun shy and fumbled on his first NFL carry and the first carry of the game. The Pats got the ball back immediately and looked to take an easy two-score lead on what looked like a beautiful, completely healthy Gronk catch. This call was overturned by a replay review and the Pats turned the ball over on downs. The Chiefs answered back with a touchdown on their next drive tying the game 7-7 and making this game look more competitive then it seemed to promise.

The Pats took the lead again, but didn’t seem in control of the game. After scoring late in the 3rd quarter to go up 27-21, the Chiefs outscored them 21-0 in the final 15 minutes.

Main Takeaways:

Run Game & Short-Yardage:

The Pats could not get the short-yardage game working. Losing LeGarrette Blount hurts, but thanks to the Buffalo Bills, they did pickup Mike Gillislee. Gillislee was the sharpest tool in the shed last night. He scored on three short runs, becoming the first player since TO in Philadelphia to score three touchdowns in his debut with a new team.

Injuries:

As if we didn’t have enough to worry about with Julian Edelman out, Dont’a Hightower came out in the 3rd quarter with a knee injury. According to NFL Network Insider, Ian Rapoport, Hightower is expected to have a minor MCL sprain. He will most likely miss next week’s game against the Saints, but it is a relief it is not a more serious injury for the Pats’ best defensive player.

 Danny Amendola:

This is my main concern for this offense right now. With Edelman out, Danny Amendola is going to have to pick up his slack. Amendola finished the evening with six catches for 100 yards and has shown he can take Edelman’s role before in 2015. However, he has to stay healthy and his track record doesn’t bode well for this season. He came out of this game in the 4th quarter with a head injury. Additionally, he’s missed 32 games due to injury in his career.

Attitude:

How many times have you heard Tom Brady in a postgame presser mention the team’s attitude and competitiveness not being enough?

“That is a winning attitude and a championship attitude that you need to bring every day…We’ve got to dig a lot deeper than we did tonight because we didn’t dig very deep tonight.”

This is something that NEEDS to be fixed if there’s any shot at fixing the other issues.

There were some bright moments to pull from this game though. It took Alex Smith having one of his best career games, Kareem Hunt with the best Week 1 debut of any rookie ever and a thinner Andy Reid to beat a week Patriots team. This team will be just fine and now the 16-0 “pressure” (and annoying talk) is gone.

On to New Orleans.