A number of the Patriots’ key players have underperformed through New England’s first six games of the season.
Julian Edelman has looked like a shell of himself, only logging 13 catches outside of his monster Week 2 performance. Stephon Gilmore also hasn’t been even close to as dominant as he was in his last two seasons with the Patriots.
New England will need Edelman, Gilmore and other team leaders to elevate their games if the Patriots are going to right the ship. This certainly includes Cam Newton, who ESPN believes is the Patriot who most needs to step up at this point in the campaign.
“Would the real Cam Newton please stand up?” ESPN’s Mike Reiss wrote. “Is it the QB who electrified New England in the first weeks of the season? Or the struggling QB who hasn’t looked the same over his next three games? The contrast is striking. Fewer interceptions and better accuracy and decision-making are where the improvement starts.”
Improvements across his supporting cast would go a long way in Newton turning things around. That said, the ceiling for the Patriots’ collection of pass-catchers appears to be fairly low. The NFL trade deadline is fast approaching, but it’s unclear how active New England will be in trying to improve its offense.
The Patriots will try to halt their losing streak at three Sunday when they visit the AFC East-leading Buffalo Bills.