Why the New England Patriots shouldn’t be worried about slow start

HOUSTON, TX - AUGUST 19: Stephon Gilmore
HOUSTON, TX - AUGUST 19: Stephon Gilmore /

The New England Patriots defense is a serious problem, but I’d rather us have figured that out now then in December.

The New England Patriots defense gave up just 118 points in the last eight weeks of the 2016 regular season.

Only four games in to the 2017 regular season, the Patriots defense has already given up 128 points. They are on pace to give up 512 points on defense this season. Which would be just 21 points short of the most points ever given up in a single season.

With that being said, the Patriots won’t give up 512 points on the season. Talent wise the Patriots defense lost a lot of key pieces while only acquiring a few other talented players (CB Stephon Gilmore & DE Kony Ealy). New England lost Jamie Collins (MLB) and Chandler Jones (DE) to trade, and Rob Ninkovich (DE/LB) to retirement.

That is what Bill Belichick does and has always done, he doesn’t give many defensive players large contracts. He brings in young guys from the draft or free agency, turns them into well rounded defenses players, then when they want money and trades them and repeats.

Unfortunately, Belichick may have made a mistake letting Jamie Collins and Chandler Jones go. The Patriots defense has suffered in their absence, and has yet to produce a young nobody who turns into a star, yet.

Related Story: Dont’a Hightower: New England Patriots defense will ‘absolutely’ improve

The Patriots secondary led by star safety Devin McCourty has struggled, but what secondary is successful without an at least mediocre pass rush.

More from Chowder and Champions

New England has never had a dominant defense, but this year’s squad is struggling heavily. Allowing a staggering 32 points a game, the Patriots defense needs help everywhere. It starts with the front seven, who’ve only recorded 8 sacks in 4 games.

Here’s what Patriots head coach Bill Belichick had to say about the defensive struggles.

"“Collectively, coaching and playing, we just have to work harder to get things right,” Belichick said. “That’s everybody. There’s no magic wand here, so we just have to work hard and get it right.”"

The Patriots secondary is also struggling, Devin McCourty has played poorly this season. With a bevy of other young players in the secondary, the Patriots need the veteran to step up. Especially with the defenses previous leader Rob Ninkovich retired.

It is hard to get a read on the play of CB Malcolm Butler and CB Stephen Gilmore. Gilmore has seemed confused at times which is to be expected as he’s new to this defense. They’ve looked good, but they can only chase wide receivers around the field for so long.

Next: New England Patriots: TE Rob Gronkowski OUT v. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The key to getting the Patriots defense back on track starts with getting pressure on the QB.