Never before has Bill Belichick and the Patriots faced so much scrutiny over their play. The team's 41-14 loss to Kansas City on Monday night was one of the worst of the Belichick era and as a result, the Patriots have had to face some tough questions this week. Chris Gasper of the Boston Globe says Belichick and Brady better find some answers because the tough questions won't go away until the team gets back to its winning ways.
"The Patriots are getting to see how the rest of the NFL lives. A once Teflon team now finds itself stuck answering some uncomfortable questions in the wake of a faith-shaking 41-14 dismantling by the Kansas City Chiefs on Monday night," wrote Gasper.
Arguably the biggest question facing Brady is how did he fall so far so quickly? Comcast SportsNet's Tom Curran tries to answer that question and compares Brady's stats from last year to this year. He believes that the biggest issue is that Brady looks skittish and says that he's unwilling to come off his first read because he's afraid of getting hit while going through his progressions.
"If the protection comes back, Brady has a shot at ascending again. Because the guy who lit it up in the second half of 2013 didn't just disappear," says Curran.
Assuming the offensive line can improve, Jeff Howe believes the Patriots offense can pick it up if they make a few moves. In the Boston Herald this morning, Howe explains what the team's offense needs to do to get back on track. He believes that the running game and screen passes need to become a point of emphasis in the offense.
"Tom Brady is still great at his job, even as a bearded old man, and he was perhaps the NFL's second most valuable player in 2013," says Howe. "The offense can still be masterful because of him, but the Patriots levied Brady with the impossible task of being perfect, and he'll need help to get this operation back in soaring order."
One believer is ESPN's Skip Bayless. In his column on ESPN.com, Bayless says he's confident the Patriots will turn the season around and will be a Super Bowl contender like they always are in January. He encourages the "haters" to continue to doubt Tom Brady and the Patriots, because ultimately he believes Belichick will have the last laugh.
"The New England Patriots will rise like the phoenix from the ashes of Monday night's 41-14 loss in Kansas City and land at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona, playing in Super Bowl XLIX. This will begin this Sunday night in Foxborough, Massachusetts, when New England beats unbeaten Cincinnati 24-21. Go ahead, laugh. While you can," encourages Bayless. "Belichick nearly always laughs last, behind closed doors."
One of the biggest keys to the Patriots success is the defense. Bill Belichick's defense played very poorly against the Chiefs, but both Doug Kyed and Michael Whitmer say that the defense will get back on track. In the Boston Globe, Whitmer quoted Vince Wilfork who said he's confident the defense will get better as long as they start playing together. In a similar article on NESN.com, Kyed focuses in on Darrelle Revis and his upcoming matchup against A.J. Green. Revis says that the defense has been very upbeat this week and is still confident despite their performance in Kansas City.
"One of those corrections could include allowing Revis to shadow the opposing team's No. 1 wide receiver in press-man coverage," explains Kyed. "Shutting down A.J. Green, who has 12 receptions for 233 yards and a touchdown in three games this season, would certainly help the Patriots rebound against a tough 3-0 Bengals team."