I try to make sense of a wacky Week 6 that we just witnessed.
If this is the end of the Bill Belichick era in New England, which I think there is a strong likelihood it is, what a sad way for it to end. I assume most of the NFL world is probably enjoying the misery that the Patriots are going through due pain and torment they have caused for two decades, but I just don’t like seeing legends go out in sad fashion.
In Week 6, the Patriots took on the Las Vegas Raiders and lost 21-17. The positives are that they got into the end zone for the first time in 12 quarters and didn’t lose by 30 points. That’s where the bar is for this year’s Patriots team. Even though they didn’t get humiliated in this particular game like they did in the previous two weeks against the New Orleans Saints and Dallas Cowboys, they still had their moments. Mac Jones threw another interception that leaves you dumbfounded, DeVante Parker dropped a deep ball from Jones on the final drive that could’ve kick started a game-winning drive and the game ended on a safety after Maxx Crosby sacked Jones in the end zone after some pretty pathetic blocking.
While there might be questions as to whether this is it for Belichick in New England, what we know is that this team stinks. This thing needs a total rebuild and it starts with the quarterback. I’m not putting all the blame on Jones, but he has neither the playing ability nor the temperament to be a franchise quarterback. After his rookie year, I believed Jones had shown that if you put some talent around him, he could make smart decisions, distribute the ball like he did at Alabama and be a good leader. I thought he had the potential to be a Kirk Cousins type quarterback. Instead what we have seen the past two seasons from Jones is that even though he has very limited skill position players, he just makes terrible decisions.
Off the field, there have been reports that he acts like a spoiled brat. We’ve also seen him become arguably the NFL’s most dirty player in his short time in the league. With a current 1-5 record, and the Buffalo Bills and Miami Dolphins coming up, trying to get the number one pick of the draft is all the Patriots should be focusing on.
As for Belichick, I still think he is a great coach, but it is clear that Belichick, the general manager, has let Belichick, the head coach, down. Whether he wants to stay for a rebuild or if the Patriots owner Robert Kraft wants him to stick around remains to be seen. If Belichick does leave New England, does he want to coach somewhere else to try to pass Don Shula’s all-time wins record for a coach? Belichick is currently on 330 wins and Shula’s record is 347.
The Bills Are Overrated
The Buffalo Bills in theory are supposed to be this great team and a top tier Super Bowl contender. They remind me of the Dallas Cowboys. When they are rolling, they look like they are potentially the best team in football. However they are far too inconsistent to be put in the same class as the Kansas City Chiefs or the Cincinnati Bengals if Joe Burrow is healthy. On Sunday Night Football they took on the New York Giants and just got by with a 14-9 win. Going into the game, the Giants were the biggest underdogs of any game this season. They’ve been terrible this season, and have some injuries on the offensive line and at quarterback. The Bills were coming off of a pretty subpar performance in London against the Jacksonville Jaguars and people just made excuses and brushed it off.
Everyone, including myself, expected a bounce back game for the Bills, but we didn’t get that. Instead we got a horrible performance by Josh Allen and their offense. The Bills were scoreless after three quarters, and for the second consecutive game, had only seven points with five minutes left. In the end, they were able to scrape by a Giants team that failed to get any points at the end of each half after having the ball at the one-yard line.
My point isn’t that the Bills aren’t a good team. It’s whether they belong in that elite group that everyone is quick to put them in. My answer to that is no. They have talented defense that at times looks like one league’s best, but at times look lost. They have a quarterback that is great, but tries to be a superhero far too often. They have a great wide receiver in Stefon Diggs, but I don’t believe the rest of Allen’s supporting cast is great. My overall point is that they have the firepower to compete with the league’s best teams, but don’t show the consistency of a great team.
Take The Lions Seriously
Last season the Detroit Lions were everyone’s darling. They were fun, exciting and unpredictable. This season they came into the season as favorites in the NFC North and they are certainly living up to it thus far. The Lions improved their record to 5-1 Sunday with a 20-6 win against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Going into the year, I felt their defense would improve on what they did last year because they couldn’t be any worse. Not only have they improved, but they are now one of the league’s best. They made the talented Bucs offense coming off of a bye week look pedestrian. They held Rachaad White to only 26 yards rushing and Chris Godwin and Mike Evans both had relatively quiet games.
Their offense has picked up where they left off last season, and is playing really well. Jared Goff is playing at a really high level right now. He’s completing 69.5% of his passes, has thrown for 1,618 yards and 11 touchdowns and has a quarterback rating of 105.1. Along with a quarterback playing at a high level, they have tremendous weapons for Goff. Everybody already knows about how good Amon-Ra St. Brown is, they have two good running backs, rookie tight end Sam LaPorta has looked impressive to start the year, and if they can get Jameson Williams going too, look out. Along with their talent, the thing that makes them dangerous is their toughness. They are the embodiment of their head coach Dan Campbell.
Header Photo: It’s about time the Lions started to win again. Again? For the first time. It’s about time the Lions started to win for the first time. The question is: What is their ceiling? (Carlos Osorio/The Associated Press)
Write to Mohamed Warsame at email@example.com