By Scott Jarosz ’21
After narrowly coming out on top in its week one contest against the Houston Texans by a score of 27-20, the New England Patriots dropped their next two games, falling to an overall record of 1-2. This lackluster start sparked frustration and concern from the Patriots’ fan base, as its two losses came from beatable teams, the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Detroit Lions. The Jaguars beat the Patriots in Jacksonville by a score of 31-20, as Tom Brady and the Patriots never quite found their footing and were unable come back from an early 14-0 deficit.
The following weekend in Detroit, the Patriots did not come ready to play, and suffered an embarrassing 26-10 loss to a less than stellar Lions team. However, things changed in week four, as the Patriots took care of the previously undefeated Miami Dolphins with a score of 38-7. In this game, the Patriots looked like the team its fans are used to seeing, and that is why Patriots fans should not be concerned with the team’s slow start.
This is not the first time the Patriots have had a slow start to the regular season. This past season, the Patriots also started 2-2, and still went on to play in a Super Bowl. The Patriots are a different team this season, as Danny Amendola signed with the Dolphins in the offseason, and Julian Edelman is suspended for the first four regular season games. During this time, Tom Brady has struggled to connect with his other wide receivers, and tight end, Rob Gronkowski, has been largely overwhelmed by defenders who focus on him as the Patriots’ primary target. With the lack of a true wide receiver threat, the Patriots have resorted to ground game, which has not been too effective.
After losing back-to-back games in weeks two and three, Patriots fans were likely to be nervous and eager to see what would happen with their team in week four against the Dolphins. Fans were also excited to see newly signed wide receiver, Josh Gordon, make his debut in New England. The Patriots looked determined to hand the Dolphins their first loss of the season in the friendly confines of Gillette Stadium, and racked up 38 points and nearly shut out the visiting Dolphins. The Patriots were firing on all cylinders and hushed anyone who speculated that the Patriots would have a subpar season.
With the Patriots carrying momentum into the Oct. 4 game against the Indianapolis Colts and Edelman also returning to the field, fans have no reason to be concerned with the team’s 2-2 start.