New England nation is in for a culture shock this upcoming season. Tom Brady to Tampa Bay is official and the NFL Draft has come and gone. Yet, the New England Patriots have made zero moves to combat their need to fulfill the Quarterback position. Not even the greatest Coach of all time can win without a good quarterback who knows the system. Championship hopes dying will indeed become a reality this season at Gillete Stadium. I truly believe Patriots fans are not prepared for what they will witness when Hoyer or Stidham is taking the first snap of the season in just a few months. The facial gestures of Patriot Nation will be a sight to see if the Miami Dolphins come into Foxborough and win Week 1. Realistically, the season opener could be a mirror presentation of what we witnessed Week 17 of last year when the Patriots could not stop the Dolphins in the final minutes of the game. This resulted in the Patriots losing the two seed. Their season ended with a loss to the Titans on Wild Card weekend.
Does anyone remember several years ago when Rob Gronkowski went into retirement and the Patriots did NOTHING to fill the shoes of one of the greatest tight ends to play the game? This case is very similar with much more of a risk at hand. The tight end position blocks and receives, correct? The Quarterback position leads the team as well as just about controls the heartbeat of the franchise on and off the field. Now, there is still some time for a Cam Newton or Colin Kaepernick signing. However, the season is only getting closer by the day. With the current pandemic, the offense will already be behind come training camp due to the virtual off season program. Stidham did have a solid outing in the Preseason last year, but I refuse to buy into the hype. A solid preseason outing means nothing when he is going to be against starting NFL defenses all year long. In the 2019 regular season, the rookie threw four passes with two completions and an interception that was returned for a Touchdown. Stidham has currently thrown more Touchdowns to an opposing defense than his own team in regular season play. Does Patriot Nation really think he is going to come in and win more than eight games? I could not disagree more.
What to Expect
I am fully aware of the greatness behind Belichick. We have witnessed McDaniels ability to create and update a fantastic playbook year after year. It all comes down to the execution of the players. It is up to the guys on the field to make plays and create success for the team. Brady has seen just about every defensive scheme there is in the league. Which helped make Bill Belichick’s as well as Josh McDaniel’s job much easier. Tom was truly a coach on the field and that will be significantly missed when the season begins in just a few months. Based on win percentages from the 2019 season, the Patriots currently have the most difficult schedule heading into 2020. As the old saying goes , “when it rains,it pours” will most likely summarize this upcoming season for the Pats. Will they be at the bottom of the league tanking for a quarterback? No. But, they will definitely not be in the postseason and I will predict New England to go 7-9 and finish second or even third in the AFC East.
-Fred O’Brien @FOBSportsNFL
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