The playoffs don’t start for the Patriots for another week gives me time to have relax before the insanity that is the NFL playoffs sweeps over me. But in addition it supply the Patriots time to deal with some questions which were plaguing them in the long run of the season. Here would be the five biggest questions facing the Patriots moving into the postseason.
When the Patriots earned LeGarrette Blount after his not-so-clean divorce from the Steelers, most of Foxborough anticipated he would end up being the workhorse for the Patriots’ offense. But that hasn’t really happened yet, and the Patriots still seem unsure concerning which running back they want to give attention to, be it Jonas Gray, Blount or Shane Vereen. Deciding on a back and keeping them may help entering the postseason.
Gronkowski has finally made it to the postseason 100 percent and prepared to destroy the world. But will he be able to remain healthy? It’s always hard to predict injuries, but you are able to bet that when the Patriots ever find themselves in a blowout win, Gronk will undoubtedly be sitting on the bench; he’s just too valuable to this offense to risk an injury.
As the midseason acquisition of Akeem Ayers and the return of pass rushing specialist/bestest player ever Chandler Jones has bolstered the Patriots’ pass rush, they still struggle with consistently getting pressure, especially on third downs. When facing quarterbacks like Peyton Manning or Andrew Luck, or looking really far ahead at possibly Aaron Rodgers, the defense will have to be able to get following the quarterback.
This problem has been well documented by me and every Patriots writer this season. The Patriots have a nasty habit to getting off to a slow start, falling behind and then having to come calmly to life in the second half to win. In the standard season against subpar opponents you can get away with that, although not in the playoffs against the very best of the best.
What happened!? Following the Chiefs game the Patriots shuffled up their offensive line and everything was looking hunky dory, but then suddenly all the line regressed hardcore and Brady is caught for his life. If the Patriots have any shot at making it to the Super Bowl (which they have much better than any), the offensive line needs to go back to their midseason form.