By Justin McKinney, Staff Writer
As the Patriots suffered their second loss of the year to always dangerous Seattle Seahawks 31-24, the game was especially heart-breaking as the Patriots squandered a last minute 4th quarter goal line stand that could have won the game for the Patriots.
While every football talk show will inevitably talk about Patriots quarterback Tom Brady’s goal line fumble or his first interception of the year, it was not Tom Brady or anyone on the Patriots offense that lost them this game. While the offensive-line certainly could have played better and the fact that Brady was in a rush the entire game definitely forced his stats to take a small dive, it was the defense that lost this game for Patriots.
To put it most simply Seattle scored on almost every single possession they had; whether it be a field goal or a touchdown their offense found a way. Seahawks quarterback Russel Wilson threw for over 300 yards and three touchdowns, not to mention a total of 89 rushing yards by Seattle’s offense and running back C.J. Prosise averaging four yards a carry.
You simply cannot win in the N.F.L if your defense is going to play as poorly as the Patriots did last game. If I am being honest I can’t help but think that the Patriots were missing linebacker Jamie Collins the entire game as Collins was dealt to the Cleveland Browns two weeks ago for a third round pick.
The fact of the matter is that when the Patriots won the Super Bowl in 2014 they had the third best defense in the NFL. The year before in 2013, Seattle, who won the Super Bowl, had the best defense in the league. And this past season, 2015, the Broncos were Super Bowl Champs and had the best defense in the league.
If you have the education level of a 5th grader you can very clearly see a formula here. While the Patriots have been steady on defense, they have not been Super Bowl Champs good. If they hope to capture this year’s title they need to figure out how they can be better in their secondary as outside of cornerbacks Malcolm Butler and Devin McCourty the defensive backs looked very weak.
While LeGarrette Blount had a huge game with three touchdowns and 69 rushing yards, the defensive cannot just piggy back on the offenses success into the playoffs if they hope to even make it to Super Bowl. Defensive Coordinator Matt Patricia is one of the best defensive minds in the N.F.L as is Pats head coach Bill Belichick, if anyone can figure out a winning formula going into the second half of the season it is certainly these two, so I am certainly confident the Patriots can improve.
Not to mention, this was their first game without Collins and being that Collins was a key piece of the defense I am not shocked to see growing pains against a great offense like Seattle’s. While next week will be a bit of a joke seeing as the New York Jets are the second worst team in the NFL behind the Cleveland Browns look to see the Patriots defense push forward and tie up the loose ends left by the Collins trade.