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Post time 2019-04-15 14:42:23 | Show all posts |Read mode
Two weeks Calvin Johnson Jersey , two head-shaking losses by the New England Patriots.In Week 2, the Patriots' defense was deficient in a 31-20 loss to Jacksonville in which the Patriots were victimized on third down.There were problems all over the field in Sunday's stunning 26-10 loss at Detroit, though it was Tom Brady and the Patriots offense that struggled the most against a defense coached by former Patriots defensive coordinator and new Lions head coach Matt Patricia.It's left New England at 1-2 for the first time since 2012. Things won't get any easier as the Patriots prepare to open their division schedule against 3-0 Miami.Patriots coach Bill Belichick said he sees problems everywhere on the field right now."We're not making enough plays in any phase of the game, so we've just got to perform better," he said. "I think the energy and the effort and all of that 鈥?we're trying. Everybody's trying hard. We're just not getting it done, which is all that matters."One of the most surprising things in Sunday's loss to the Lions was how ineffective Detroit managed to render quarterback Tom Brady.The reigning regular-season MVP completed just 14 of 26 passes for 133 yards with one touchdown. He also had a costly interception midway through the fourth quarter that helped the Lions seal the victory.The 133 passing yards for Brady were his fewest in a game since he went 8 of 16 for 80 yards against Buffalo on Dec. 28, 2014.What's more troubling, though, is an offense that over the past two weeks has gone 6 of 21 on third down."We're not scoring enough points. We're not executing well enough on a down-by-down basis. Certainly, at a high level, we should have our expectations set in," Brady said."The process has been the same, there's been a lot of talk about it in practice, and we're going through it and watching the film and correcting stuff, it's just not getting done on the field. And we have to get it corrected soon."One common theme in the way the Jaguars and Lions succeeded in limiting the Patriots offensively Matthew Stafford Jersey , was keying on tight end Rob Gronkowski. One of Brady's favorite options, Gronk has just 13 catches for 189 yards and a touchdown this season.He hasn't scored in either of the two losses, hauling in only six total receptions.But Gronkowski said no one inside the Patriots' locker room is panicking about starting 1-2."I mean, it's early, it's football and it's the NFL," he said. "Some crazy things happen every single week and we've just got to bounce back. We can't put our heads down, we have to keep them up. We've got to keep on fighting and there's another week next week.""We've got a big division game next week versus Miami. We've just got to keep on fighting. It's a long season, I know we're 1-2 right now, but we've got to keep on fighting and keep on going. There's no other way to do it." Both on the field and off the field, it’s been a rough season for first-time head coach Matt Patricia. He’s had odd spats with the media in Allen Park, and his football team has essentially been out of the playoff race since early November. For a team that had been relevant for the past few years under Jim Caldwell, this year has been a clear regression to the times in which the Detroit Lions were making the headlines for all the wrong reasons.The latest example of that came on Wednesday. All year, Patricia has been consistently late for his near-daily press conferences with the media. While a minor annoyance, it didn’t seem to matter all that much. He clearly didn’t place his media sessions on high priority, so it didn’t come as much of a surprise that he continually showed up late.But a former Lions player told the Detroit Free Press that his punctuality problem extends beyond the media room. According to the player—who asked for anonymity “to avoid reprisal from other coaches or teams”—Patricia was continually late for his own meetings with the team. Patricia seems to have billed himself as a strict disciplinarian head coach. There were reports that certain rules—such as no social media posts with pictures or videos from the locker—rubbed Lions players the wrong way. He is also very clearly a stark change in personality from former Lions coach Jim Caldwell. But does that kind of strict leadership ring hollow if Patricia himself isn’t adhering to one of the simplest rules that is almost universally viewed as important around NFL circles: showing up to meetings on time? Players routinely get fined and suspended over such infractions Darius Slay Jersey , and time is a valuable resources in this league. If players are regularly wasting time sitting in an empty meeting room, it’s not only potentially harmful to Patricia’s relationship with his players, but it’s also detrimental to implementing a game plan each week. Patricia seemed to downplay the importance of punctuality in his press conference on Wednesday. “I think it just depends on the situation,” Patricia said. “There’s a pretty busy schedule from those situations I think for everybody. I think fluidity is probably the best answer for you. I think, definitely in the game of football, you have to able to adapt and I think that’s a great kind of important way to be able to handle all the situations that come up, is to just be fluid in all of them.”The questions is whether the Lions players will be willing and able to adapt to Patricia’s methods. Lions defensive tackle Ricky Jean Francois told the media after Sunday’s loss to the Vikings he believes there needs to be change within the team for Patricia’s message to connect.“I’m not finger-pointing on who needs to be changed or who needs to go somewhere, but if you want a different regime, if you want a different buy-in or system like that, the only way you get a different culture is to change the people that sit in it,” Francois said per MLive.com. Whatever the cause for the Lions’ current situation, it’s obvious that something isn’t sitting right. Changes will almost certainly come in 2019, but will it be enough and will it arrive on time?
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