Don't Call it a Come Back

By Bill Whyte

11/15/20212 min read

Bill Belichick's New England Patriots 2.0 is rolling. Week 10 in the second season since Brady left for Tampa, the Patriot's plan looks like its finally coming together. I understand Mac Jones fell into their lap on draft night, as well as Christian Barmore in the second round. However, both picks have been absolute home runs. The Patriots third round pick Rhamondre Stevenson, who started for the injured Damian Harris, ran for 100 yards and two touchdowns against Cleveland as the lead back. Also against the Browns the Patriots first pick last year Kyle Dugger had a pick and nearly had another. Josh Uche and Michael Onwenu have also been key contributors frim the 2020 draft class.

Another part of Bill's master plan was having a big splash in free agency. One of those free agent additions was Matthew Judon who has become the engine of the Pats defense this season. Judon has 9.5 sacks this season which ranks fourth in the NFL. Hunter Henry was another big free agent that the Pats signed. The Patriots signed Henry to a three year, $37.4 million dollar deal. The Patriots obviously believed he can be effective with Cam or Mac, and they were right. After a slow Start Henry Has been a Red Zone threat. Hunter Henry has 31 receptions, for 353 yards, and 7 touchdowns. Those 7 touchdowns lead all Tight Ends this year, and ranks fifth in touchdown receptions for any positions. However, another tight end that New England signed this off-season was former Tennessee Titan Jonnu Smith. Smith has been a major disappointment this season totaling only 21 receptions, 193 yards, and 1 touchdown. His athleticism and ability to gain yards after contact was attractive for Belichick, but Smith has made more mistakes than positive plays and on Sunday against Cleveland he was not on the field. Kendrick Bourne, Nelson Agholor, and Davon Godchaux are other free agents that have had an impact this season.

One of the problems the patriots have had this year is the offensive line. That was until Sunday when Big Trent Brown made his return to the Patriots. The o-line only gave up 2 sacks to one of the leagues toughest pass rush. Myles Garrett had 12 sacks in 9 games leading into Sunday. He was only able to record one sack on Mac Jones. That's a win for the o-line if you ask me. Trent Brown may have been the missing link.

The Patriots have been running on all cylinders while on this four game winning streak out scoring their opponents 150-50. Week 8 against the Jets was the ass kicking the Patriots needed to get the juices flowing. The 54-13 win put the pats back on track from their overtime heartbreaker against Dallas. Two weeks prior was the missed field goal against Tampa, and a tougher than expected matchup with Houston sandwiched in-between. The Patriots were in position to go one of two ways. And the Patriots decided to put in into overdrive in the right direction. Next week is a Thursday Night game in Atlanta against the Falcons. The Falcons are not a good team and the Pats should roll. The following week is against a Derrick Henry-less Titans team, and then what looks like a big time matchup against the Bill in Buffalo. Things are lining up for the Patriots to have a real chance at winning the division, and by the way things look atop the AFC with the Derrick Henry injury, Cursed Chiefs, and the unreliable Bills and Ravens anything is possible.