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Patriots Unfiltered Q&A: Preparing for the dangerous Ravens

Fans' questions answered in our weekly mailbag.


In what ways can the New England Patriots have a more effective offensive pass and run game? Maddox Herpin

I think this is going to take time. Right now, the offense is Tom Brady to Julian Edelman with a sprinkle of James White. The running game has taken a step back from last year for several different reasons. The offensive line has under preformed while the tight end position group has not been able to contribute in the blocking game. Now, this could change. Ben Watson is back, and Isaiah Wynn could return in the coming weeks to give the Patriots a new left tackle up front. In terms of the passing game, I think this will improve as Brady and Sanu get more comfortable working with each other. Megan O'Brien

What is your assessment on this Ravens team? Lamar Jackson can run any opposing defense out of gas. To me, the next game looks like a possible loss to an improved Baltimore team. In fact, I see Ravens as the biggest threat to Patriots in AFC. Seth Goldin

Seth, you're right. This Ravens team is dangerous. It's not just Jackson either. The Ravens have Mark Ingram and Mark Andrews. They are also expecting to get back Marquise Brown this week. Ultimately, I think the game will come down to Jackson's performance throwing the ball. It will also be interesting to see how the Patriots defense attacks the Ravens offense, and if they can force the Ravens into making mistakes. While I do agree that the Ravens are a good team, I still think with Patrick Mahomes, the Kansas City Chiefs are the biggest threat to the Patriots in the AFC. I know their defense has struggled, but Mahomes can make things happen when he is healthy. Megan O'Brien

Why didn't the Patriots trade Gordon? I realize that there is a history that diminishes his value, but his salary is small, no future money is owed, and when fully healed, he is an asset that some playoff hopeful team would, for a low draft pick, find attractive. Barring that he regressed with his outside football problems, it seems a shame to just let him go? David Brown

Hi David! I don't think the Patriots wanted to trade Gordon to a playoff contender. By putting him on IR and releasing him, Gordon will have to go through waivers. There is a good chance that a team that is not a playoff contender picks up Gordon before the playoff contenders have a chance. Megan O'Brien

The trade of Bennett raises some questions for me. The first is why did the Patriots receive such a low pick in return? Francis Friel

A seventh round pick for Bennett is about right. While Bennett is certainly talented, he's had issues in Seattle, Philadelphia, and now New England. Megan O'Brien

I heard an interesting theory last night. It's no secret Belichick loves Rutgers. Is there a chance he coaches there when he's done in the NFL? They are currently looking for a high profile coach to recruit talent in the highly competitive Big Ten. He has nothing left to prove in the NFL. Does this sound like a possibility? Brian Peters

Brian, I love all theories that relate to college football, especially Big Ten football. However, I don't think Bill Belichick will ever coach college football. In my opinion, when Belichick is done coaching in the NFL, he will likely be done coaching forever. You are right though, Rutgers is looking for a high profile coach. I think bringing back Greg Schiano would be their best option. College football would be more fun with Belichick in the mix, but I don't think it will ever happen. Megan O'Brien

Is Tom done after this season? Is it true that it is unlikely that he will come back to New England next year? Jose Salazar

Jose, I am not sure many people know the answer to this question except Tom and his family. His contract expires after this season. It will be interesting to see what happens after the season. Megan O'Brien

I would like to know in which game the following players will return: James Develin, N'Keal Harry, Isaiah Wynn. Thank you! Jean Allard

Only two of these players will be able to return from IR. N'Keal Harry is eligible this week. Isaiah Wynn is eligible to practice this week. He is able to return Week 11. Megan O'Brien

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