There really isn’t such thing as a good loss. I mean it’s literally an oxymoron. The goal is to win, and anything less is a failure. To quote Herm Edwards, “You play to win the game. You don’t just play it to play it”.
But the Patriots showed a lot of encouraging signs in a game I thought would not be particularly close. Cam Newton proved that he isn’t just a glorified Tim Tebow, in that he can throw the ball downfield with precision and accuracy. Newton did more on Sunday night with the Patriots dreadful receivers than Tom Brady did in all of his miserable 2019 campaign. That’s saying something. In the end, it of course came down to the one-yard line in Seattle, and the offensive line couldn’t provide the push they needed to secure the victory.
Super Cam was truly super on Sunday night. Aside from a moronic interception in the 3rd, Newton was nearly flawless. Some of the throws he made downfield to Edelman were frankly spectacular, and may I say Brady-esque. Speaking of Edelman, the Super Bowl MVP had a career-high in yardage while playing on one leg. The guy was absolutely nails, as we’ve all come to expect.
Damiere Byrd had a really nice game as well. It seems like he and Newton know exactly where to be on those deep out routes to the sideline. A pretty solid upgrade over Phillip Dorsett there.
N’Keal Harry was lackluster for the first three quarters, but he turned it on late, especially on the last drive. We saw more from Harry on Sunday than we saw for the entirety of last season. What was most encouraging to me is that he got open downfield, and made contested catches. He still needs to break more tackles, but I love what I saw.
Ryan Izzo still blows. I really don’t get it with this guy. Not having a viable tight end option limits this offense so much. We need to see Devin Asiasi and Dalton Keene on the field ASAP.
The offensive line was great in pass protection, but atrocious running the ball. There was no push whatsoever against a below-average Seattle front seven. Not good at all.
Simply put, the defense was disgustingly bad. Was Russell Wilson otherworldly? Yup. But did the Patriots blow coverage on crossing routes seemingly every drive. Also yes.
For what I believe is the most talented secondary in the NFL, this was a major step in the wrong direction. It’s great when you can shut down Ryan Fitzpatrick, but to be truly elite, you need a much better showing against top tier quarterbacks. Unfortunately, it’s the same story as last year. They’ll get another shot against Mahomes in Week 4.
The run defense was equally bad. The front seven couldn’t contain the edge against a pretty bad offensive line, and the linebackers couldn’t fill the gaps well enough. Chase Winovich and Kyle Dugger were just about the only bright spots on what was a porous night defensively.
The Raiders come to town Sunday at 1 PM. This won’t be a pushover game. The newly dubbed Las Vegas just beat the vaunted Saints in Week 2, and I doubt they’ll fold easily.