The Gunnery's Student Newspaper

New England Patriots’ Slow Start to the 2018 Season

By Will Prentice ’19

It’s no secret that the New England Patriots have a long-standing tradition of winning game after game in the NFL. However, this season, the Patriots have been playing like never before. They have been losing consecutive games, one after another. This is quite unusual considering they have some of the best players in the league and arguably the best quarterback of all time.

This season, the Patriots have ran the least amount of offensive plays since the 2010 season, which is an indicator of significant problems amongst the offense. Furthermore, for the first time in 16 years, the Patriots have lost back to back games against the Jacksonville Jaguars and Detroit Lions. Sports analysts and reporters have been questioning tension between Tom Brady and Bill Belichick, the head coach, but neither have denied or confirmed the questions.

In a dramatic sideline display against Jaguars on September 16, Tom Brady broke down and yelled at Josh McDaniels, the offensive coordinator, who commented on how he had Brandin Cooks wide open in the endzone. Luckily, Brady was held back when he tried to approach McDaniels and the incident just ended with a lot of yelling and confusion.

In fact, at the beginning of the season, there were rumors surrounding McDaniels’ departure from the Patriots, but when negotiating contracts, McDaniels was afforded the opportunity to sit down with Robert Kraft and Belichick to talk about his role for the Patriots. During that meeting, McDaniels decided that he wanted to stay with the Patriots, and he was given a four million dollar contract for one season. This contract is considered monstrous, given that some NFL head coaches don’t surpass the 4 million dollar threshold.

Despite all the money the Patriots spend, they need to fix and resolve the tensions on the team before they can play as a team. For fantasy football players around the world, the slow start for the Patriots has been a game-changer, and not in a good way. For the majority of fantasy football participants, they don’t hesitate when they see names like Brady and Gronkowski in the draft. However, in the past few games alone, Brady and other top players on the Patriots have been scoring significantly lower than they were scoring in seasons prior. Despite the slow start, experts remain optimistic as the Patriots are back to first in the AFC east, and have won their previous three games.

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