The New England Patriots succeeded in limiting the Miami Dolphins' explosive players on Sunday night. That kept the Week 2 matchup close, but a lack of explosive plays from their own offense factored into their demise.
Down 14 points at the half, quarterback Mac Jones faced an uphill battle with a struggling offensive line and a group of pass-catchers that pales in comparison to the weapons Dolphins signal-caller Tua Tagovailoa has at his disposal. While they made it interesting in the fourth quarter, the offense simply didn't have enough firepower to complete the comeback as New England dropped to 0-2 with a 24-17 defeat.
For the second consecutive week, self-inflicted wounds were a major takeaway from the Patriots' loss. However, the more glaring issue to our Phil Perry was the clear discrepancy in offensive talent. He explained why on the latest episode of the Patriots Talk Podcast.
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"I think this is the kind of game that illustrates why it's important to invest in your offense, and invest in explosive players, and invest in talent on that side of the ball," Perry said. "Because you can dictate the terms. The Patriots were on their heels early in this game. They could not get off the field. Yes, they won the Tyreek Hill battle. Congratulations to 'em. Tip of the cap. What did it get them? They lost the game because they were so focused on shutting down Tyreek Hill and eliminating those explosive plays, they opened themselves up to lingering on the field defensively, allowing long scoring drives, focusing on one or two players to allow other players to hurt them. That's on the defensive side of the ball.
"On the offensive side of the ball, when you don't play it perfectly and you're undermanned from a talent perspective, and you get down and you don't have explosive players, you can't come back. Now, that sounds extreme. You can come back, and you could've come back in this game. It makes it very, very difficult. And that, to me, is the big-picture story of this game."
Next, the Patriots will travel to MetLife Stadium for a Week 3 showdown vs. the Aaron Rodgers-less New York Jets. It's a chance for New England's defense to have a field day against backup QB Zach Wilson and the shaky Jets offensive line, but the Pats offense faces a tremendously difficult task of its own against one of the most talented defenses in football.
Also discussed in the episode:
- Revoke the moral victory from Week 1!
- Grading the Patriots’ defensive performance.
- Why “bench” Demario Douglas?