New England Patriots loss to Denver a dismal sign of things to come

FOXBOROUGH, MASSACHUSETTS - OCTOBER 18: Cam Newton #1 of the New England Patriots is tackled by Malik Reed #59 of the Denver Broncos during the second half at Gillette Stadium on October 18, 2020 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
FOXBOROUGH, MASSACHUSETTS - OCTOBER 18: Cam Newton #1 of the New England Patriots is tackled by Malik Reed #59 of the Denver Broncos during the second half at Gillette Stadium on October 18, 2020 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images) /

New England Patriots loss to a poor Denver Broncos team is indicative of the lack of talent and depth on offense and an overrated defense.

The New England Patriots are what we hoped they weren’t, as they got beaten by the then 1-3 Denver Broncos at home today.

Injuries and illness have ripped the Patriots offense to shreds over the past few weeks. And it wasn’t very good to start with. And it showed. They lost 18-12.

Meanwhile, Denver racked up six field goals in running over the Patriots overrated defense to take a 12-3 lead at halftime to set the tone. It showed that the defense even against a poor offense is just not good enough to carry this team to anything this season.

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In addition, even with a returning Cam Newton at the helm, a.k.a. an honest-to-goodness excellent quarterback, the offense could do little. And three turnovers didn’t help. An injury to center David Andrews and the covid absences of Shaq Mason and Sony Michel have further weakened an already pedestrian offense.

This offense had little to offer, even at home, with whatever home-field advantage exists, if any, these days. This game further demonstrates that even the great Newton can’t get this weaponless offense to click, just like Tom Brady couldn’t last season.

As the saying goes, “oh how the mighty have fallen”. And they aren’t finished falling yet. And to think, prior to signing Newton, the Patriots evidently actually felt they could compete for something. Maybe it was for third place just ahead of the pathetic Jets.

This is the personnel operation that eschewed even drafting any quarterback after Brady took a powder. Instead, they evidently were serious about going into the season with journeyman Brian Hoyer and completely untried and untested second-year man Jarrett Stidham.

Bill Belichick is reputed to be a joker, this was certainly a joke if he thought Hoyer and Stidham were going to do anything at all with the crew around them when even Brady couldn’t and now Newton can’t.

In desperate need for offensive playmakers

In addition, the club made no serious attempt to improve their wide receiver room at all through free agency though it was abysmal absent the inimitable Julian Edelman. In addition, they drafted no wide receivers, none at all to help shore up the position.

At tight end, they made no attempt to sign a bonafide free agent but they did make an attempt to do something in the draft, that to-date has been a dismal failure.

Neither of the two tight ends for whom they traded up in the third round, Devin Asiasi or Dalton Keene, has even caught a pass. Not one. Not a very good return for two high draft picks to say the least. And that’s no joke. You can’t make this stuff up.

Once again today, after amazingly getting a touchdown, thanks primarily to runs by Cam Newton, they failed to convert from close for a two-point conversion. Offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels made another poor play call on short yardage, just as he did to blow the game against Seattle earlier in the season.

This kept the Patriots two scores behind the Broncos. A late drive after an interception by Jonathan Jones fizzled out as expected.

An overrated defense

On defense, it wasn’t much better. This team has a weak pass rush. They can’t stop the run, as usual. (They could sure use Danny Shelton now.) And, they can’t get off the field on third down as has been their MO in recent years.

The defensive backfield was good as expected bolstered by the return of Stephon Gilmore. Yet, even after a potentially game-changing interception by J.C. Jackson in the fourth quarter, the offense couldn’t get much done and had to settle for a field goal. It’s crystal clear, the defensive backfield can’t do it all themselves.

Game over. And maybe season over. This is a grossly flawed team and absent major trades before the trade deadline, they won’t win anything.

They need to trade for a wide receiver as a previous article explained. To trade for a tight end who can actually catch a pass. And to trade for a big running back, whose importance to the team has been highlighted. A big back who can get a yard or two without risking Newton’s health is absolutely essential.

They might as well trade their draft picks for real players. They throw many of them away on wasted picks anyway.

If New England Patriots fans think they’ll compete for anything substantial this season like the playoffs, it’s not happening. Unless … that’s unless they get going now and make the necessary trades to dramatically improve their offense and probably the pass rush too. If they don’t, they’re toast.

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Here’s a suggestion for the Patriots, send your first-round pick next year (and whatever other picks they want, including maybe the next year’s first too) for disgruntled wide receiver Michael Thomas from New Orleans, if he’s adjudged to be healthy enough.

Thomas would be a huge talent infusion for this lackluster offense. And the teams have a history of trading with each other.

Adding Thomas would be a massively good start. But if a few such trades aren’t made, competing for anything in 2020 is a mirage. This team as currently constituted just isn’t good enough.