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New England Patriots Links 8/29/11 - Belichick: Patriots Have A Lot of Work To Do

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<em>Kyle Arrington sacking Matthew Stafford was one of the few good plays we saw from the Patriots in Detroit</em>.
Kyle Arrington sacking Matthew Stafford was one of the few good plays we saw from the Patriots in Detroit.

Zuri Berry gives us 5 takeaways from the Patriots-Lions. Patriots need to learn how well the team’s offense can function when Tom Brady is stressed.

This year, the [offensive line] returns largely intact minus the retired Stephen Neal and with the addition of rookie Nate Solder. They’re obviously still revered among NFL corners. However, last night – as starters played starters through the first half – the Lions seemed to shred any sense of their aura of respectability. Mano y mano, the Patriots lost battles they normally won. Seven hurries, two sacks and five knockdowns on Brady later, that facade of invincibility was shaken. Can we assume that this is the Patriots’ worst hour? No. It’s still just a preseason game. Keep that in mind as corrections are made for the upcoming week and the season going forward. But do keep this performance in mind as it could be a harbinger for what kind of effort there is to be expected from the better defensive lines of the league. The Lions are good, and so are the Jets, Eagles, Steelers and Giants. Lastly, while porous in terms of this group's outing, the hurries and hits provided Brady with some real practice, something he's been looking for.

Ian Rapoport identifies five areas that are a growing concern.

The lack of receivers help — The starters played a little more than two quarters, and by the time quarterback Tom Brady [stats] took a seat, he only had completed three passes to wide receivers. All of the completions were into the hands of Wes Welker, including a 44-yard touchdown. Chad Ochocinco had two targets and no catches, while Taylor Price couldn’t come up with a tough catch downfield. Deion Branch was nowhere to be found.

TEAM TALK

LOCAL LINKS

  • Shalise Manza Young looks at Friday's game as 'a tuneup that went awry', and notes there's enough time to fix things before Miami.
  • Ian Rapoport calls the lopsided loss a cause for increased teaching and evaluation, not panic.
  • Greg A. Bedard breaks down where the Patriots broke down Saturday.
  • Tedy Bruschi offers his observations from Saturday's loss and says New England must prove it can win when Tom Brady is held in check.
  • Mike Reiss observes that Tom Brady and the offense need to show they can handle defensive pressure.
  • Christopher Price tells us what went right and what went wrong in the Patriots 34-10 loss.
  • Mike Reiss offers some weekend quick-hit thoughts from the Patriots and around the NFL.
  • Christopher Price lists ten things we learned Saturday night: Preseason football can be a funny thing.
  • Mike Reiss offers his 3 up and 3 down for the Patriots.
  • Mike Petraglia highlights Tom Brady's response to the preseason loss to the Lions.
  • Mike Reiss highlights the 1st-unit offensive snaps through the second drive of the third quarter, and what it means.
  • Mike Reiss looks at the defensive snaps played by top Patriots defenders in Saturday's loss to the Lions, with a deeper look at what it might mean.
  • Mike Reiss notes the unusual safety rotation, reflecting the coaches' search for the right combination.
  • Mike Reiss looks at the players who appeared on multiple first-string special teams units Saturday night.
  • Karen Guregian updates her projected 53-man roster. The first deadline is tomorrow, cutting the squad from 90-80.
  • Christopher Price forecasts the final 53.
  • Monique Walker Patriots Notebook: The team returns to Gillette today but will not practice; Tom Brady believes there's only one way to fix a bad performance - overcome it, and figure out a way to turn it around; By 4pm tomorrow, the roster will be cut down to 80 players; Patriots play their final preseason game Thursday night at home against the Giants.
  • Ian Rapoport Patriots Notebook: Brandon Tate returned to the field, but he's no lock for the roster; Matthew Stafford hadn't been hit in the preseason until Jerod Mayo got to him; Belichick said he was out-coached, and Andre Carter added, "The out-tempoed us"; Rob Gronkowski used it as motivation to get out there and play faster and better.
  • Ian Rapoport notes there's no update on Wes Welker, other than his "I'm okay" response to Karen Guregian.

NATIONAL NEWS

  • Mike Florio (ProFootball Talk) Punch at Mankins could result in another hit to Suh's wallet.
  • Dan Wetzel (Yahoo! Sports) Turns out Patriots may need Haynesworth.
  • AP Report (SI) Pats return to correct problems after Lions rout.
  • Peter King (SI) MMQB: With preseason almost over, some teams could use more time.