An Eye Towards The Future

As the season has moved along different things have raised questions as to what positions the Patriots need to address in the off season. WR, NT, S, the best possible player? The Patriots certainly have some questions to answer as far as what direction they need to take for adding support to a team that needs more impact players.

At one point and time I was asking the question who are the young players you can build around. Who are the guys who can take ownership of the team for the next few seasons. I came up with Jack Jones and Rhemondre Stevenson. Good players who seem to be headed in a very good direction. Mike Onwenu has been a steal. Marcus Jones shows potential.

After last night, I have to add Mac Jones to that equation as well. BUT, here's the problem. That's about it for the young players. The Patriots don't have a lot of standout young players who seem like they will be long term Patriots at this point. That isn't to say there won't be a guy who blooms a bit later. It just means that at this point, they don't seem to have a lot to build with. If you have any you feel that I have missed, please remind me.

The Patriots are match up team. Coach Belichick likes to mix and match his personnel to the things an offense does well. For stretches against the Vikings the play of Jon Jones stood out for the wrong reasons to me. Jon was competitive last night. But the Patriots need a number 1 corner. Much like they need a number 1 receiver.

Jones' lack of size showed up last night. Justin Jefferson is a tremendous receiver. You can't take anything away from him as a player. But the Patriots may need to look into finding a corner who has number 1 potential. A guy with speed and the size to match up with the opposing team's best wide out.

There were times Jon looked to make a tackle and he was stiff armed on two occasions. In both of those attempts, Jones wound up grabbing the face masks of the receivers. He was competitive in coverage. But it wasn't enough.

It isn't just the corner position that stands out to me in that regard. Even though Hunter Henry has been more visible in the passing game in the last few weeks. The Patriots lack a number 1 receiver who can help the rest of the offense. It would be great if they can find 2 receivers, but having a top tier player who defenses must account for would help out in dire situations where the offense absolutely needs a play.

As things have been going for the last 2 and a half seasons, if the Patriots play a really good team. They have committed costly errors at the wrong time. They haven't lost all of these games. But the troubling trend is that they are giving opposing teams too many opportunities to win games. And not cashing in on their own opportunities to win games.

The Patriots haven't been able to limit or completely eliminate the mistakes that can cost a team games. And this discipline is the thing that is hurting them the most in games. New England could have an all star team they put on the field every week. But as long as they continue to commit the errors they have, they would make the game much tougher on themselves.

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