So, the Pats lose in Denver in the AFC Championship Game. Am I disappointed? Sure, when you get this close to the Super Bowl and can’t make the next step, it sucks. Am I surprised? No. All year long the injuries to key personnel piled up until the smoke faded and the mirrors cracked. It was a miracle they got as far as they did.
The Patriots could not match up with the Broncos. Once the Broncos stuffed the running game, the Pats were toast. Tom had no one to throw to except Julian Edelman. Amendola is useless, and Matthew Slater and Matthew Mulligan are good players but they can’t stretch the field. The offense became one-dimensional, and Tom overthrew some receivers, so he has a share of the blame pie.
The defense was doing all right until our best cornerback, Aqib Talib, went out with an injury for the second year in a row in the AFC Championship Game. As soon as he goes out, the secondary wilts. Sheesh!
Looking ahead to next season, the Pats need a pass rusher (Chandler Jones is okay, but not top-of-the-line) and a cover corner, especially if they don’t re-sign Talib. With Wilfork, Mayo, and Kelley back on defense, you should be better, but they need to upgrade the wide receiver position. They probably will let Edelman walk unless they come to a deal (better hope so as he’s the only one Tom trusts to throw the ball to) and since you can’t depend on Gronk to be on the field, get a veteran tight end! Maybe Tony Gonzalez if you can coax him out of retirement.
They have to do something. It’s the same ol’, same ol’ for the past several years. They used to be almost a sure thing to get the job done. Now, not so much.
The Patriots did go farther than anyone expected, and they were gritty and resilient. Hopefully the injury bug will stay away next year!