Rapid Reaction: New England Patriots – ESPN (blog)
What it means: When it comes to style points, the Patriots don’t get many for this one. It was ugly and produces more questions than answers about the team. But the end result is this: The Patriots are 2-1.
Offense sputters in a big way: Quarterback Tom Brady figures to be grumpy again after this one, as the offense continues to struggle. The problems are across the board, starting with poor protection from the offensive line, extending to questionable play-calling (three throws to open the game against the NFL’s worst run defense), time management issues in the red zone at the end of the second quarter, and limited pass-catching options outside of Julian Edelman. We could go on, but the bottom line is that the offense is not in a good place right now. What are the solutions? That is the hot-button question.
Gronkowski not yet at full participation: Tight end Rob Gronkowski is still working his way to top form, as evidenced by his limited playing time. It took him five games last year upon returning from his forearm injury to be playing every snap, and this being his third game this year, it’s no surprise he was on for 42 of a possible 73 snaps (including penalties but not kneel-downs).
Game ball: Julian Edelman. On a day in which the offense struggled, he was one of the few players who produced. It was reminiscent of how Wes Welker often delivered in situations like these. This was Edelman’s fourth career game with 10 or more receptions.