A as soon as daunting AFC East doesn’t look as intimidating after Aaron Rodgers’ unlucky Achilles tear in Week 1.
The Patriots can take a serious step in bettering their probabilities throughout the division with wins in Weeks 2 and three towards the Dolphins and Jets.
Miami proved that adept offenses can transfer the ball on them Week 1 towards the Chargers. And the Jets now a lot begin Zach Wilson for the foreseeable future at quarterback.
It’s horrible to see a participant go down with a season-ending harm 4 performs into the season. But the Patriots’ playoff probabilities definitely improved regardless of shedding to the Eagles in Week 1.
Let’s reply some questions on this week’s mailbag:
Gonna make this one quick and candy Doug:
La’el Collins. Patriot? #MailDoug
I wouldn’t rule it out.
La’el Collins is a giant title who might be signed on a price deal. Sounds like the kind of signing head coach Bill Belichick likes to make. The greatest query is whether or not or not he’s wholesome.
Collins tore his ACL and MCL in Week 16 towards the Patriots. He began coaching camp on the bodily unable to carry out record and was launched Sept. 12. He’ll meet with a doctor on Monday, per NFL reporter Jordan Schultz.
Expectations additionally ought to be set comparatively low for Collins at this level in his profession. One supply mentioned he appeared like he was on his manner downhill final season after which had one other severe harm. That can solely facilitate his decline.
But the Patriots fairly desperately want offensive line assist. While I’m scripting this, left deal with Trent Brown has a concussion, left guard Cole Strange remains to be nursing a knee harm, heart David Andrews has a hamstring harm, proper guard Mike Onwenu missed Week 1 with an ankle harm, and potential beginning proper deal with Riley Reiff — keep in mind, he signed an even bigger contract than Calvin Anderson in free company — is on injured reserve.
Plus, Sidy Sow, who began Week 1 at proper guard and performed proper deal with with the first-team unit this summer season, additionally has a concussion.
That leaves Anderson, rookies Jake Andrews and Atonio Mafi, Vederian Lowe and Tyrone Wheatley as the one absolutely wholesome offensive linemen on the 53-man roster. The Patriots even have James Ferentz, Kody Russey and Andrew Stueber on their observe squad.
It feels unimaginable to foretell what a beginning offensive line would appear like in Week 2 if everybody who’s presently injured can’t play. But perhaps it might be:
C Jake Andrews
The Patriots must hope to get Andrews, Strange and/or Onwenu again.
I don’t wish to make any excuses for Mac Jones, but when he struggles on Sunday night time towards the Dolphins, it appears honest to at the very least acknowledge what’s happening with the offensive line. All issues thought-about, he performed properly final Sunday with two rookies at guard. We simply may not have a fantastic sense of what this offense seems to be like till Brown, Strange and Onwenu are wholesome.
Will we see extra Keion White this Sunday?
Is Rhamondre over his abdomen bug?
Do the Pats have a snowballs likelihood in hell at slowing down Tyreek?
Let’s deal with these separately:
I don’t know if White will play extra this Sunday, however he ought to. He was pushing round a few of the NFL’s greatest offensive linemen in Week 1 towards the Eagles. He’s only a drive of nature. You want to search out him snaps within the passing sport.
Yes. Rhamondre Stevenson is over his abdomen bug. He just isn’t on the harm report.
And sure, the Patriots do have a snowball’s likelihood in hell of slowing down Tyreek Hill. They’ve finished it earlier than, and so they can positively do it once more. Hill hasn’t had over 100 yards towards the Patriots since 2018. He’s nonetheless productive towards them, however he doesn’t dominate the Patriots like he does different groups (he’s averaging over 100 yards per sport as far as a Dolphin).
The Patriots have a really good, skilled, disciplined protection. And they take Hill very severely.
Will there be a bundle offensively for Marcus Jones ?
Week 1 proved that the Patriots do nonetheless have a plan for Jones on offense. But he solely received one snap. It got here on operating again Ezekiel Elliott’s fumble.
The Patriots have higher playmakers on offense this yr, although. So, placing Jones on the sphere means not taking part in JuJu Smith-Schuster, Demario Douglas, Mike Gesicki or Kayshon Boutte if you happen to’re assuming that Stevenson can be at operating again, Hunter Henry at tight finish and DeVante Parker and Kendrick Bourne on the outdoors receiver spots.
Then you toss Tyquan Thornton into the combination when he will get wholesome plus Elliott and Ty Montgomery. There are simply a whole lot of mouths to feed earlier than you set a defender on the sphere.
Jones additionally may have to play extra cornerback whereas Jack Jones is out together with his hamstring harm.
With the standing of Juju up within the air, and Parker nonetheless battling accidents, will the patriots proceed counting on Boutte/Douglas to step up or is veteran assist (through commerce/free company) on the best way?
I wouldn’t essentially say that Smith-Schuster’s standing is up within the air. He simply wasn’t a full-time participant in Week 1 for various totally different causes.
I do imagine the Patriots are comfy placing Boutte out within the “X” position if Parker is out. And Douglas will share slot snaps with Smith-Schuster.
It’s sort of each too early and too late to speak about broad receiver additions. The Patriots like the fellows they’ve greater than anybody who’s a free agent. And groups aren’t prepared to surrender on their season with a commerce in Week 2. Most early-season trades are made round cuts. A commerce may not materialize till nearer to the commerce deadline.
Forget the Pats…. How is Hallie doing?
For those that are unaware, my 2-year-old daughter Hallie was recognized with acute myeloid leukemia in April and has been within the hospital since. She had her bone marrow transplant on Tuesday and is recovering very properly. Doctors and nurses proceed to be amazed by her vitality after chemotherapy, radiation, and the transplant. Any optimistic ideas are at all times appreciated.