The New England Patriots are away from Gillette Stadium on their bye this weekend where they’ll try to take their minds off Sunday’s loss to the Tennessee Titans.
Something tells me Bill Belichick will remind his team of the 34-10 loss as soon as they get back to Foxboro, Mass., on Monday. The Titans left a bad taste in the mouths of Belichick and the Patriots in Week 10, With two weeks to think about it, the Patriots’ next opponent, the New York Jets, could be on the wrong side of the Patriots’ wrath.
Let’s get into this week’s mailbag.
Are we finally seeing Bradys decline or is this a correcteable problem?
Tom Brady had his worst game of the season Sunday. He didn’t look like himself, but that’s actually not that unusual against a Dean Pees-led defense.
Here are Brady’s passer ratings in games against Pees as a defensive coordinator: 101.2, 87.3, 116.8, 62.3, 99.3, 70.6. That last figure was Sunday’s game against Pees’ Titans.
Brady just isn’t throwing that many touchdowns this season. He’s still completing a high percentage of his passes, and he’s still throwing for a lot of yards. Oh, and the Patriots’ offense is still scoring at a high rate.
If Brady threw a few touchdowns rather than handing the ball off to James White, Cordarrelle Patterson and Sony Michel in the red zone, then no one would be freaking out to nearly the same degree as they currently are.
If Brady throws 2 or 3 more knuckleballs into the turf, when do we begin talking about drafting or trading for a QB?
We started talking about it as soon as Jimmy Garoppolo was traded for a second-round pick. Where have you been, Tim?!
@DougKyed who do you think pats may draft next year as successor to TB12 ???
Well before the 2017 NFL Draft, a source told me to watch out for Patrick Mahomes.
That same guy mentioned West Virginia’s Will Grier to me last season and Buffalo’s Tyree Jackson recently.
Grier is currently in the conversation among top quarterbacks in the 2019 NFL Draft. He’s an undersized senior who’s completing 69 percent of his passes for 2,961 yards and 31 touchdowns with eight interceptions.
Jackson is a 6-foot-7 junior who’s completed 55.2 percent of his passes for 2,454 yards with 24 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. He’s also carried the ball 40 times for 165 yards with seven touchdowns.
Those are the two guys I’ve followed the closest. I’d keep an eye on Iowa’s Nathan Stanley, as well, just given the Patriots-Iowa connection.
Is there even a remote chance the Pats would be interested in Le’Veon Bell next year? #maildoug
No, not after spending a first-round pick on Sony Michel.
Bell will want a boatload of money, and as good as I think he is, James Conner has proved Bell isn’t that valuable in the Steelers’ offense.
It would be crazy for the Patriots to invest so much money in Bell after taking Michel in the first round.
Why do you think they only gave Patterson touches as a RB near the end of the game this week? It really seemed like Michel was being managed as he comes back from his knee, and Patterson had a decent game the week before.
The Patriots just didn’t have that many opportunities to rush the ball against the Titans. The Titans led 17-3 before the Patriots could really even blink. The Patriots only rushed the ball 19 times, and Michel took 11 of those carries.
I think it was smart to give Michel those rushes. He’s the best running back on the roster, but there was nowhere for him to go.
Assuming there is no chance that the Patriots miss the playoffs, (a) how likely is it now that they get a first-round bye, and (b) how worried should fans be that if NE makes the AFC championship, that game probably won’t be played in Gillette?
I wouldn’t rule out a first-round bye. Chances of the No. 1 seed are also still alive.
The Patriots control their destiny for a first-round bye. They play the Pittsburgh Steelers, who currently hold the No. 2 seed. If the Patriots beat the Steelers and the two teams finish with the same record, then New England would finish with a higher seed than Pittsburgh.
The Steelers still have to play the 7-2 Los Angeles Chargers and 8-1 New Orleans Saints.
The Kansas City Chiefs are 9-1, but they still have the Los Angeles Rams, Chargers and the Seahawks in Seattle on their schedule. The Patriots beat the Chiefs, so they hold the tiebreaker over them.
The Chargers still have to play the Chiefs and Steelers.
There’s a lot of football left to play, and the Steelers, Chiefs, Chargers and Patriots all have games left against each other. I think it’s too early to be talking about playoff seeding anyway.
Should we be worried about the O-line after Sunday?
No. The Patriots’ offensive line actually didn’t do a terrible job protecting Brady until injuries mounted late in the game when offensive tackles Trent Brown and Marcus Cannon both got banged up. The Patriots also were without Shaq Mason against the Titans.
Brady only was pressured on 25 percent of snaps in Week 10. And Brown and Cannon were shells of themselves late. All three players practiced Wednesday, indicating they could be good to go after the bye week. The Patriots also should get Rob Gronkowski back after the bye, and running back James White will be two more weeks removed from his Week 9 knee injury.
Let’s go rapid fire.
Give me 3 reasons Nick Caserio doesn’t bolt to a new team in the off-season.
Because he didn’t bolt during the 2016, 2017 and 2018 offseasons.
Who should Belichick cut to make a statement in the locker room?
The Patriots already cut Kenjon Barner and Nicholas Grigsby.
Cutting Grigsby might have been a message to the Patriots’ special teams units.
Doug, which opponent has had the best accommodations for media? #MailDoug
Wanna go see Detective Pikachu w/ me in May? LMK #MailDoug
I think I was two years too old for Pokemon and Harry Potter, so no thanks.
I was born in 1986. I think both Pokemon and Harry Potter first hit with kids born in 1987 or 1988. I don’t really know that much about Hufflepuffs and Wigglytuffs.
On a scale from James Bond to Chicken Little, how much is the sky actually falling? #MailDoug
Chicken Little, I guess?
How does it feel to cover a league where Hue Jackson is constantly employed?
Makes me feel pretty good about my job security.
Who’s better: Tuukka at guard or Shaq Mason at goalie?
I’ll answer this question two ways.
I think the Patriots would have a better chance of winning a single game with Tuuka Rask at guard than the Bruins would have with Mason at goalie. Other offensive linemen, running backs and tight ends could chip in enough to possibly get by with Rask at guard. If Mason was thrust into a game at goalie, then I think the opposing team would pretty much score at will.
Long-term, though, I think Mason has a much brighter future at goalie than Rask would at guard. Rask is 6-foot-2, 185 pounds. I don’t believe he could ever bulk up enough to get near 300 pounds.
[recycled tweet 😁] Hi Doug. I will come for the first time in Foxboro from France for the Jets game. So what is your must see/must do list on gameday ? Also, I’ll stay 4 days in Boston. What are Doug’s bests in the area (bars, restaurants, whatever…).
On game day, I’d imagine you’ll be busy getting to the game, watching the game, getting home from the game. Try to see the Patriots Hall of Fame and check out the pro shop while you’re in Foxboro, though.
In Boston, I’d go to Pizzeria Regina in the North End. I’d also hit up another Italian spot in the North End and grab dessert from either Bova, Modern Pastry or Mike’s Pastry. Mike’s is the most popular, but some people think it’s overrated. You can’t really go wrong with any of the three.
If it’s not too cold, I’d walk some of the Freedom Trail in the city too. Obviously, there’s a lot of American history in Boston.
If you have a car and would be willing to take a longer trip, then the history in Salem is interesting, and Cape Cod will be a little deserted, but you can find some classic New England fried seafood and a lobster roll down there.
Hi Doug. I’ve always assumed Dwayne Allen is bald and was *stunned* to see a picture of him today with hair. Some further digging (a google search) confirmed that he does in fact have hair and seemingly has for a while now. Any idea what could have caused the mix up here? Thx
I think that’s a you problem.
Is Tom Brady’s knuckleball more comparable to Tim Wakefield or Steven Wright?
#MailDoug do you think the deflategate punishment is finally catching up on the patriots
Between their six-game winning streak and their 34-10 loss to the Titans? Yeah.
Following your reviews of the last few games do you feel as though Dorsett should be cutting into Hogan ‘ s game reps?
Yes, but not dramatically. Hogan is getting open, but Dorsett should be getting more playing time.
Favorite Bye Week song? Bye,Bye,Bye? Hello Goodbye? Goodbye Yellow Brick Road?
Hmm, I might go with either “Bye Bye Baby” by The Four Seasons, “Goodbye Forever” by Alkaline Trio, “Goodbye Song” by New Found Glory or “Of Greetings and Goodbyes” by AFI.
Let’s go with this one:
Who would Belichick and Gronk be in a Pats-themed production of Hamilton
I’m not high falutin or bougie enough to have actually seen “Hamilton,” but I do know U.S. history.
Let’s base it on Belichick’s desire to trade Gronk over the offseason.
Belichick is Aaron Burr, Gronk is Alexander Hamilton and Brady is Thomas Jefferson.
If you could alter one and only one rule of the game, which change would you make? #MailDoug
The first thing that comes to mind is I would let any player come off injured reserve after eight games.
I’m vein of the Mike Leach question about PAC-12 coaches fighting in a brawl, who would win in the AFC? Who would Bill have to fear the most and who would he have to fear the least?
Mike Vrabel would 100 percent win. I think Doug Marrone would be the runner-up.
I think Belichick would have to fear Adam Gase the least.
What’s the weirdest pre-game preparation you’ve seen a Pats player do?! #MailDoug
Just kidding. I’ve never seen a player swallow swords before a game.
WHY DON’T YOU LOVE ME #MailDoug
HOW DO YOU KNOW I DON’T?
Thumbnail photo via Christopher Hanewinckel/USA TODAY Sports Images