*Pre-editor post (forgive any typos)
You want to go “How sad do the Patriots look? Is the run over?” Every time any of us say that, predicts the date of the rapture – we’re all always wrong. The Patriots are soon found winning their division and going to the Super Bowl the next thing we know.
With that said, the Patriots look pretty bad the past two weeks.
It’s one thing to lose to the Lions at Detroit on MNF, I get it. But the Lions looked the greatest team in football and the Patriots looked completely inept and without answers and without weapons. Just when the Patriots look done, they’ll raid the Browns of more players and find some other free agents and make them stars and then they’ll be back on top in short order…but they got stomped this night. Not even close.
It was just three weeks ago the Lions played the most embarrassing game of football in 2018 in a loss to the Jets. Now, they’re the best team in football? And the Pats are the worst? I’m not thinking this is a sign of things to come. This is a game you just forget for either side and then if it keeps up for the next 2-3 weeks, you come back to this game and go – “Oh, yeah. It started when the Lions crushed them. That was our first clue.” I’m not going there yet. If the Dolphins beat the Pats, then I’m going there…and that would make this Lions win not as impressive if this really is a dying Patriots team.
Fantasy Player Notes…
-- This game featured two rookie RBs who you probably know I don’t love. However, I get their fantasy viabilities.
After Week 1 (when he was inactive), I was redraft ‘buy low’ on Sony Michel (14-50-0, 1-0-0/3) because I knew he’d have sway as the lead RB (Pats RB group is pretty rough), and then you have something you could trade or use. After Michel’s debut, I was like – ‘sell’. To me, he looks like another terrible/mediocre Georgia rookie RB (like Nick Chubb). I hope you saw what I saw Week 2 and again in this Week 3 game…a ‘nothing’. A guy with mediocre size and NFL speed running right at a hole and falling down when something was in the way. He has no moves or gifts to make plays. He dropped passes. He looked tentative and lost.
I have absolutely no interest in Michel going forward. Not based on what I’ve seen so far.
Kerryon Johnson (16-101-0, 2-9-0/3) was our #1 ‘go get them off waivers ahead of time’ player last week. He was available in most 12-team redrafts on waivers then. I could see the time was coming…that Johnson was better than any of the other Lions’ RBs. Well, here we are…perfect timing. Now, you have an RB to with value to trade or use.
I’m, more a trader of him because Kerryon, to me, is a big version of Michel – run fast through holes but offers nothing whenever the hole is clogged. Head down, run fast, goes as far as the hole takes him. Last night, there were gigantic holes all over the Pats defensive front. Kerryon took advantage.
Kerryon is not going to outright bust. He’s useful on a team with bad RB talent. He’s just not a star of the future. Might have a moment, a nice stretch if the blocking is good…and maybe the Lions’ O-Line is coming together as part of this uprising. I’ve been more impressed with that Lions O-Line every week. I’m not as hard line against Kerryon for FF usefulness as I am Michel. The Pats have other options and I could see them dealing for an RB or grabbing one off waivers ahead (Josh Adams in a few weeks?).
People love rookies, and highly picked ones…so they will love Kerryon this week after this moment. I’d be a seller on overvaluation if possible. Riddick takes targets and Blount takes goal-line further adding the FF-troubles here.
-- Tom Brady (14-26 for 133 yards, 1 TD/1 INT) is not dead yet, but the dying process has begun. It had to at some point. Part of the blame is the weak weapons he has.
Brady hasn’t thrown for 300+ yards in a regular season game in his past nine contests. He has back-to-back games now under 150 yards passing. Teams are overselling their coverage on Gronk, daring the Pats to beat them with Dorsett-Michel-Burkhead…and they can’t. Chris Hogan is never open these days’ either, he’s not a #1. The ‘all-22’ view shows how sad the Pats passing game is now…compared to what it usually is.
Julian Edelman to save the day in one more week.
Josh Gordon potentially to save the day as well.
Lost Jimmy Garoppolo in fantasy? Maybe Tom Brady is a ‘buy low’ right now off his awful last two games.
-- Speaking of Josh Gordon…I think it shows the desperation Bill Belichick feels with this team. He’s taking a risk on a guy likely to have problems all because he’s running out of weapons/options. This offense is stuck in the mud. All Bill’s weapon choices to fix it are blowing up in his face.
Sony Michel is not ready to be a lead RB.
Rex Burkhead is a complimentary player not a lead guy.
Phillip Dorsett (0-0-0/2) realized he’s Phillip Dorsett after a solid Week 1. Multiple drops in this one.
Why Cordarrelle Patterson (1-12-0/1) isn’t being thrust into more snaps/touches is another sign of the issue…the Pats just aren’t showing the ‘it’ right now in player evaluations at the skill positions and its starting to catch up to them.
If Gordon and Edelman hit, then Chris Hogan is more useful working in the shadows and Gronk is freed up. All the whining about the Pats goes away swtarting Week 5, perhaps.
-- I’d buy Gronk (4-51-0/5) low from anyone panicking. We’ve lost a few TE options in the league in general due to injury Week 1 (Delanie and Olsen) and now Evan Engram down and George Kittle taking a hit on no Jimmy G.
When Edelman returns and if Gordon becomes even useful – Gronk benefits from less double coverage.
-- So, you saw the Lions run all over the Pats last night…right? One of the reasons why? Rookie LB Ja’Whaun Bentley (5 tackles, 1 PD) is not ready for the starting role he was thrust in. You know who was making plays and sending ballcarriers backwards? Elandon Roberts (7 tackles, 2 TFLs). I have no idea why he is not starting over Bentley. Haven’t a clue. Watch this game for the Pats ILB perspective and you’ll be miffed as well.
-- Lions DE/OLB, acquired from the 49ers, Eli Harold (3 tackles, 2 sacks) has 3.0 sacks in his last two games. One of the better pass rushers from his draft class and he’s starting to flash some of those skills in Detroit.
Snap Counts of Interest:
48 = Hogan
45 = Dorsett
19 = Patterson
25 = White
23 = Michel
07 = Burkhead
58 = Bentley
37 = Elandon Roberts
40 = Willson
37 = Toilolo
06 = Valles
00 = M Roberts
33 = Kerryon
26 = Blount
21 = Riddick