Felger & Mazz: Did The Pats Somehow Take A Step Back?
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Felger and Massarotti kicked off the week discussing the New England Patriots 37-31 win over the Buffalo Bills at Gillette on Sunday.
The defensive struggles continued for New England, who allowed the Bills to pick up 481 yards of total offense, and Ryan Fitzpatrick to throw for 337 yards. But Felger doesn’t think the secondary is their biggest concern anymore — it’s the defense as a whole.
“The more you watch it, the more you wonder if corner is their biggest issue? Their linebackers can’t cover, their safety play is really poor. Their cornerback play is poor but I don’t think that’s where you begin,” he said. “It was a really discouraging outing for the Patriots. Coming out of the bye, it’s not just an extra week to prepare for the Bills, it’s an extra week to get your house in order.
“I think that was the worst game they’ve played this year,” Felger said of the Patriots defense. “I don’t accept that they just aren’t good. No, they shouldn’t be this bad. This isn’t the first year of their rebuilding process; they’ve been at it for 3-4 years, adding young players on that side of the ball.”
“The offense? A little overrated too,” added Felger. “They got a short field on a strip sack on one touchdown, they got a gift PI to put the ball on the 1 for another touchdown, pass interferences led to a third touchdown of theirs. They put together some field goal drives, but when you add it up how many times did they drive down the field for the touchdown? Once. Maybe twice. It’s really situational. More than anything, it was the Bills sucking.”
But, yesterday’s poor play on both sides of the ball could actually help the Patriots moving forward.
“I think the fact the Patriots were pretty bad yesterday increases the likelihood they’ll be good next week against Indy. That’s NFL logic frankly,” said Felger. “If you’re a good team, you’re more likely to play well coming off a good week rather than a bad week… I think yesterday was rock bottom. When have they played worse, defensively? Did you see that tackling? They couldn’t tackle, they couldn’t cover.”
“Projecting it out, I think they’ll bounce back next week, win their fair share of games in the second half. I fully expect them to be playing divisional weekend, maybe even a bye and a home game,” said Felger. “But yesterday was discouraging. You just sort of look at that and say ‘what are we doing here?’”