So the New England Patriots have pounded another team into submission, and, although they may have given up 14 points, the defense wasn’t on the field for either touchdown. According to fantasy football leagues everywhere (I mean, where else would you get the most accurate stats?), the Patriots defense gave up only two points on two extra points. If you believe that stat, then they’ve given up five points in three games. So, why would we talk about anything other than the offense today?
Well, I’m going to talk a little defense, but I also want to talk some offense. In fact, I’m going to talk about two specific players, one on offense, the other on defense.
First up is Josh Gordon. Amid all the controversy and round-the-clock coverage of Antonio Brown, Gordon could’ve gotten lost in the shuffle. Well, after Sunday, that won’t be happening anymore. He made two of the best catches you’ll see all season, the first of which might be one of the most impressive I’ve ever seen live. Im obviously talking about the sideline bomb from Tom Brady that he ripped down from a defender, with one hand, and then still managed to get both feet in.
I’ve been to a lot of games, many with Randy Moss and Rob Gronkowski, but that reception was a combination of everything that makes a big play. Brady was called for intentional grounding the play before, so the Patriots were facing third and long, it was right on the sideline, and the defender played it about as good as he possibly could have. It just didn’t matter, because Gordon is simply that good.
Then, just for fun, he added a catch in the middle of the field where the ball was tipped around, and he someone found it and grabbed it on his way to the ground. There have been questions about his health, both physically and mentally, and those aren’t going away. He took an absolute beating in this game, but he has continued to fight through everything that life, and NFL defenses, have thrown at him this season. He finally looks healthy and happy, and that’s a great thing for him individually. It’s also a great thing for the Patriots, because he has been unstoppable on the field.
The second guy we need to talk about is Jamie Collins. He’s back for his second stint with the Patriots, and is currently enjoying a Patrick Chung-like revitalization. Collins has been a monster on the field the first few games, and has consistently looked like one of the team’s best linebackers. I really feel, though, that the breakthrough didn’t come as a result of the Patriots figuring out what he was best at and limiting him to that, as they did with Chung, but a shift in mindset in Collins.
He’s older, and wiser, and isn’t taking the risks that he did during his first stint. By simply doing his job, he’s able to use his athleticism to be a force for this defense. The linebacking corps is insanely deep, and Collins might be playing the best out of all of them right now.
Thanks to Gordon, Collins, and many more, this team is 3-0, and looking incredibly strong. There’s obviously a long way to go, but if these two playmakers keep playing the way they have been, they are going to be two of the best skill players in the NFL this season. I’ll let you use your imagination to decide what that could mean for the Patriots.
Pat is a host of The Patriot Nation Podcast
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