Anyone else feel a bit of the usual sting was taken out of that loss with the trade for Josh Gordon? I like to think of it as Belichick’s way of giving the fans a little something to cheer us up. Even if Gordon doesn’t live up to his potential here - and I believe he will, I appreciate the effort. My guess is that Tom Brady also approves, and now that I think about it, Chris Hogan and Phillip Dorsett might be feeling a little freer than they did last week too.
Seems to be more roster moving and shaking than usual, but it’s all good. Patriots are 1-1 and in the same position as last year, heading into Week 3 at Detroit. To add a little 2009-like twist to Sunday’s matchup, the Patriots will be facing its former defensive coordinator Matt Patricia, who knows the team better than any other head coach. The flip side is that the Patriots know how Patricia thinks - and New England doesn’t often lose two games in a row - so my money is on the Patriots to take this one by two scores. Patricia’s Lions need a win, but they’ll have to wait another week.
Around the AFC East:
New England (1-1) at Detroit (0-2)
Miami (2-0) vs. Oakland (0-2)
NY Jets (1-1) at Cleveland (0-1-1)
Buffalo (0-2) at Minnesota (1-0-1)
Cincinnati (2-0) at Carolina (1-1)
Jacksonville (2-0) vs. Tennessee (1-1)
Kansas City (2-0) vs. San Francisco (1-1)
Denver (2-0) at Baltimore (1-1)
Indianapolis (1-1) at Philadelphia (1-1)
Pittsburgh (0-1-1) at Tampa Bay (2-0)
Houston (0-2) vs. NY Giants (0-2)
3rd - Peter Hailey (NBC Sports Washington): Why they’re here: Going into Jacksonville and leaving with a W has all of the sudden become a very difficult task in today’s league, so the Pats don’t fall too much after their first loss.
Now the attention turns to the Josh Gordon experiment. Can he give Tom Brady the exceptional outside threat this offense badly needs?
4th - Experts (ESPN): The Patriots are 1-1 for the third time in the past five seasons. Each of the previous two times they started 1-1 (2014 and 2017), they reached the Super Bowl. And while the Patriots are thin at wide receiver, Tom Brady is 12-for-14 while targeting Phillip Dorsett, more completions than Brady had to Dorsett all of last year (11-for-16 in 2017).
4th - Matthew Foreman (GridironExperts): Within 24 hours of a humbling loss in Jacksonville, the Patriots added mega-talent Josh Gordon to their receiving corps for next to nothing. Belichick and Co. will make adjustments and bounce back, like they always do. On to Detroit.
5th - Christopher Price (BostonSportsJournal): Great question in our weekly Patriots’ Q&A — is there a single guy on the New England defense who would start ahead of someone on the Jacksonville D? Other than (maybe) Devin McCourty, I can’t think of one.
5th - Vinnie Iyer (Sporting News): The Patriots drifted by the Texans in Week 1 before getting throttled by the Jaguars in Week 2, their typical, early-season loss that resets their focus. They have a lot more defensive work to do.
5th - Frank Schwab (Yahoo! Sports): Will the Josh Gordon trade work out? Probably not. Gordon is unreliable, and he faces a steep challenge mastering a Patriots offense that has chewed up other receivers. But the Patriots gave up practically nothing to find out. I mentioned Dallas before, but there are a bunch of teams that should have taken that low-cost gamble.
5th - Joe Giglio (NJ.com): Josh Gordon is more likely to be cut by the end of the season than turn into Randy Moss 2.0 for the Patriots.
5th - Staff (Bleacher Report): Here’s a sentence you don’t see all that often.
The New England Patriots just got their butts kicked.
Now, an 11-point loss might not appear to qualify as a keister-kicking, but the game wasn’t a close as the final score indicates. The Jaguars raced out to an early lead before the Patriots knew what hit them. And New England never got within 11 in the second half.
The Patriots were outgained by a jaw-dropping margin of 481-302, as Blake Bortles had his way with the New England secondary. And it’s that defense that’s of particular concern...
5th - Staff (AP Pro32).
6th - Elliot Harrison (NFL.com): Maybe there is something about the Patriots playing in Florida. Even in the Belichick-Brady era, New England has fallen to the Dolphins plenty in Miami. And the Pats were no match for the Jags in Jacksonville this past weekend. In fact, they were outmatched, particularly when it came to the receiving corps vs. that Jags secondary. While this was certainly not a devastating loss, there was no doubt about which squad was the better one out on that field. Considering Jacksonville was playing without its top offensive player (Leonard Fournette), that speaks loudly. The Patriots will get their own special player back soon when Julian Edelman returns from suspension, but I’m not sure that will be the difference if these two meet in the AFC Championship Game again ... in Duval County. Although I did hear some guy who’s mildly athletic might be joining the fellas soon.
6th - Justin Leger (TheLedgeSports): Surely, the Patriots will work their way back up the board sooner rather than later. They have a thing for losses early in the season. No need to panic, they’ll be just fine.
6th - Rebecca Toback (SB Nation): The Patriots and Eagles fell in this week’s rankings, though not too far. The Eagles can look forward to Carson Wentz’s return on Sunday, which should offer a big boost to the team. And, the Patriots can look forward to ... Josh Gordon? Bill Belichick will surely get his team back into the win column when facing off against the Lions and former Patriots defensive coordinator Matt Patricia on Sunday Night Football. At least, you’d have to think that’s the case after seeing Detroit go 0-2 to start the season with an ugly loss to the Jets and a close defeat at the hands of the 49ers.
7th - Mark Maske (Washington Post): The trade for Josh Gordon continues the Patriots’ desperate search for help at WR. The loss in Jacksonville was fairly predictable. Get ready for the end-is-near talk about the New England dynasty. Meanwhile, just know the likelihood remains that Coach Bill Belichick and QB Tom Brady will have the Patriots right back among the league’s final teams left standing at season’s end, no matter how things look in September.
7th - Pete Prisco (CBS Sports): Their defense made Blake Bortles look like Tom Brady. They have issues on that side of the ball.
8th - Nate Davis (USA Today): Be interesting to see how much patience, effort they’re willing to invest in Josh Gordon. Sunday’s loss illustrated New England needs help.
AVERAGE RANK: 5.4 (-3.3)
SB NATION SAMPLING:
6th - Kevin Nogle (Phinsider).
8th - Brandon Lee Gowton (BleedingGreenNation): Hm, where have I seen this before: Tom Brady got strip-sacked late in the game to cost the Pats a win. Loser.
8th - Pete Baron (MileHighReport): The Patriots just traded for Josh Gordon. This should help make them more explosive if he remembers how to play, is in shape, and keeps his nose clean (I swear no pun intended). The Patriots are still a scary team, but have we finally begun to see the demise? I’m not sticking a fork in them. They’re never out of a game as they just proved, and they are always impeccably coached. This team still has talent and will compete in games, and a lot of the time, that’s enough to win a ton of games. I’m not freaking out about a 1-1 record, and neither should anyone else. Now if they keep slipping, well, lets see it first before we go predicting those kind of things.
9th - David Fucillo (NinersNation). /Up from 11th last week.