“D” Is For “Disastrous”…
…or “disgraceful”? Or “disgusting”? I don’t know, maybe all of them. Atrocious is another one, but that obviously doesn’t start with “D”. And I am not talking about the Blowhard’s NFL picks last week. Those weren’t so great either. But we are talking about the Patriots’ defense here. If you can even call it that.
Three weeks in and the Pats are at the bottom of a lot of defensive rankings. I mean, the bottom. Last. I know…it’s only three games. And Dont’a Hightower hasn’t played a ton. And Eric Rowe missed the last game. And a lot of new players are being integrated in, like Stephon Gilmore, Deatrich Wise Jr., Lawrence Guy, Cassius Marsh, Adam Butler, David Harr…well, nevermind on him since he doesn’t actually play. And the Patriots figure it out every year. And on and on and on…
Sure, those are all valid points. But a lot of these guys were here last year. The safeties particularly have not played well. That shouldn’t happen with guys like Devin McCourty, Patrick Chung and even Duron Harmon. Guys like Kyle Van Noy and Elandon Roberts were here last year. Harris can’t play over those two guys? He has to be done if that’s the case. And if he is done, why is he on the roster? Van Noy just got himself a nice extension and I don’t think I’m the only one that has wondered why. Moving on to Alan Branch…he got extended in the offseason too. Is this where he reverts back to the problem that he has been in past organizations? Got a ring, got a new contract and then…stop caring?
Personally, I’ve never been a huge fan of Matt Patricia. I HATE the way the defensive backs never seem to turn their heads around to look for the ball when it’s thrown downfield. I don’t love it that they seem to give a ton of space to receivers off the line. Among other things. Yes, Patricia is obviously an extension of Bill Belichick, but still, he is the main man on defense. And his troops have been abysmal thus far.
That being said, they usually figure it out over the course of the season. I will of course allow for that. But I don’t believe they have ever started in this deep a hole. Not to mention guys like Jonathan Jones and Jordan Richards are playing entirely too much right out of the gate. Probably Roberts, Van Noy, Marsh and Adam Butler too. I think I saw that Van Noy has played EVERY defensive snap this year. Really?! And if they are truly trying to phase Malcolm Butler out this year, seeing that he won’t be here next year, then that doesn’t help.
So am I panicking? A little. I mean, how can you not? Giving up a boatload of yards to Drew Brees isn’t something to be ashamed of. But doing the same to mediocre quarterbacks like Alex Smith and rookie QB’s like Deshaun Watson is something that just shouldn’t happen. Cam Newton this week too. Well, he has played poorly this year thus far, so maybe it’s not as daunting a challenge as it seems on paper. But it’s still not encouraging.
I think they will figure some of it out as the year goes along, like they always do. As they always say about the team, “September is an extension of the preseason”. But I’m not getting giddy about the defense’s long-term prospects. I don’t think we are looking at a Top Ten defense at all, as currently constructed.
You know what will happen next though, right? Pats will give up only like 10 points on Sunday and their defense will all of a sudden click and start to take off for the year. Seems about right…
Chicago at Green Bay (-7.5)
Chicago is coming off a somewhat shocking win against Pittsburgh. Even though they were home. And even though that jackass on the Bears tried to showboat his way to the end zone after the blocked field goal before the half…only to never make it. Hate the Steelers myself personally. But loved the play. Sometimes players are just boneheads. And that’s being kind.
Green Bay is coming off a surprisingly tough win at home against the Bengals. It’s a Thursday night game, sometimes a crapshoot with the short week and all. Not to mention a divisional battle. Last week’s Thursday night divisional matchup between the 49ers and Rams was an exciting game…and close.
All adds up to a close game…a probably Green Bay win, but a Chicago cover, no?
Well…no. Thursday night games are usually putrid. Last week may have been the one exception. Divisional games can be hard to predict. But I’m feeling a Packer rout.
Green Bay 38, Chicago 24.
Week (against the spread): 6-10
Week (straight up): 9-7
Season (against the spread): 22-25
Season (straight up): 31-16
Posted on September 28, 2017, in Uncategorized and tagged Alan Branch, Cam Newton, Chicago Bears, defense, Deshaun Watson, Devin McCourty, Dont'a Hightower, end zone, gambling, Green Bay Packers, Malcolm Butler, Matt Patricia, New England Patriots, NFL, NFL picks, Stephon Gilmore, Thursday Night Football. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.