Above is a live shot of me reading the updated Patriots injury list. The paparazzi are everywhere, man.
Wanna know something funny? I placed a wager before the season that the Pats would win more than 10.5 games this season. I bet it before the 2014 season, and that worked out quite well, so I had to try it again. It’s nice to know that they have to win 1 of the final 6 for that bet to work out. Gonna go out on a limb and say I’ll make money on that one.
Having said that, these wins are starting to come at too steep a cost. While the defense is getting healthy with the expected return of Jamie Collins next week, the offense is a mess. Luckily Brady and Gronk have all their limbs in tact, and they’re the two most irreplaceable members of the offense by far, but literally every other starter from before the 2015 season has dealt with an injury. Dion Lewis, Bryan Stork, Shaq Mason, Tre Mason, Nate Solder, Sebastian Vollmer, Danny Amendola, Brandon LaFell, Julian Edelman, Aaron Dobson… and those are only the guys I can remember off the top of my head.
Amendola and Dobson’s injuries occurred tonight, and they could both play a big role in the Denver game next week. When the Broncos have a great pass rush and 2 amazing cornerbacks, you’re gonna need all the depth at the playmaking positions you can get.
If I had to guess, Dobson’s injury is gonna keep him out for some time, while Amendola’s won’t. Dobson looked to sustain a serious foot injury, which he’s already battled before in his career and won’t be thrilled to undergo again. Amendola looked to grab the back or side of his left knee, and my gut says that he pulled the part of the hamstring that runs through the back outside part of the knee. That could be a few weeks on the sideline, but Amendola also might very well play with it next week.
As far as the actual game goes, Brady struggled without Edelman, Amendola, and a reliable offensive line. Sebastian Vollmer needs to knock off the rust in time to deal with either DeMarcus Ware or Von Miller next week, because he was horrible tonight. Marcus Cannon wasn’t much better. The Pats defense played well, but part of that came from going against Tyrod Taylor and a Rex Ryan offense.
It’s time for some arrogant Pats fans (you know who you are) to stop pretending that this team doesn’t have flaws and can do anything. Of course it’s a flawed team, just like any team in sports. The 2015 Pats, especially without Dion Lewis and Nate Solder for the season, can’t find different ways to move the ball when the other team’s front 7 and secondary are clicking at the right time as well as the 2014 Pats could. Some of that is the absence of a pass catching running back like Vereen or Lewis, and some of that is the offensive line being weaker.
Why do I point out the flaws? To prove that health is the most important thing for the Pats. Yeah, being undefeated or shoving it in the faces of the NFL every single week is fun, but health in the playoffs is more important. A big reason why the Pats won last year is that Jerod Mayo was the only significant injury for the season, and the Pats have already topped that with Lewis and Solder out. They might also not get Edelman back and will likely lose someone else for the year. Health is the most important thing right now, so make sure you take some of that time tomorrow that you were going to spend on Twitter bashing Patriots haters and instead spend some of that time checking for updates of the Edelman, Amendola, and Collins.