It’s not tough to pinpoint what could be the Patriots’ fatal flaw in the postseason.
New England features one of the NFL’s strongest defenses, and its special teams unit has a knack for making big plays. The major question mark, of course, surrounds the team’s offense, and there’s legitimate cause for concern over whether Tom Brady and Co. will be able to do enough damage to the scoreboard when it matters most.
Some Patriots fans are buying into the “they’ll be fine when the playoffs start” line of thinking. It’s admittedly tough to knock this point of view, as it’s predominantly been the case over the past two decades. Former linebacker James Harrison, however, doesn’t see the switch flip happening this time around.
“I think it’s going to cost them,” Harrison said Tuesday on FS1’s “Speak For Yourself.” “I really do, because it’s not just ‘they’re going to be fine.’ He’s (Brady) getting balls into receivers’ hands when he can. When they actually do protect and they actually give him enough time to get the ball to them, they’re actually dropping a lot of passes now. It’s times in the fourth quarter where I’m looking at (Julian) Edelman and I’m like, ‘He looks like he’s spent.’ He just looks tired, he looks spent. So if they run into an offense that can actually score and go out there and put up more points and still be able to keep them to a minimum and get pressure on Tom, the offense is what’s going to cost them in the playoffs.”
— Speak For Yourself (@SFY) December 17, 2019
Harrison’s take is fair, but it’s tough to ignore the hilarity in the tail end of his remarks. So you’re saying a team will do well against New England if it can score points, minimize the Patriots’ scoring and make Brady’s life miserable? Yeah, that sounds like a pretty solid plan of attack.
But in all seriousness, New England probably doesn’t need to transform into some offensive juggernaut in order to make a deep playoff run. The defense is that good, and even modest production from Brady and Co. might be enough to stage another Super Bowl run.