The Patriots received their second loss of the season this past Sunday, losing to the Houston Texans 28-22. The Patriots fell to 10-2, while the Texans improved to 8-4 and look primed for a playoff spot.
10-2? How will this team go on! It may seem ignorant, but that is the notion floating around the media and Patriots nation at the moment. Fear not, however, because the Patriots will prevail. Here is why this Patriots loss was a blessing in disguise.
Tom Brady Can’t Do it All
It is no secret that Tom Brady has not looked the same this year. Holding the ball too long, throwing towards coverage, etc. Although some mistakes are Brady’s fault, the majority of the blame can not reside with him. His receiving core has been a rotating luggage line all season long, with new ones coming in and old ones leaving within a matter of weeks. There are zero options for him down the field, with nearly every single wide receiver on the Patriots primarily being a slot receiver. That was evident against the Texans.
Guys like Julien Edelman and Mohamed Sanu will look to recover from this forgetful performance. There is no doubt in my mind that they will, but this loss is a reminder that Tom Brady needs both his receiving core and running backs to help him out.
Stephon Gilmore Proves Himself Once Again
Stephon Gilmore was one of the lone bright spots in this game, holding elite WR Deandre Hopkins to just 64 yards on five receptions. Gilmore has now played in 12 games and allowed 0 touchdowns to his name. It is now very clear to the fans and the media that Gilmore should be in the discussion for defensive player of the year. This loss may have shown some weaknesses the Patriots carry, but it also exemplified our strengths as well. Stephon Gilmore statistically shuts down whatever receiver he is put on and that is oh so important for a deep playoff run.
James White Still Has it in Him
James White caught eight balls for 98 yards and two touchdowns against the Texans. That was good enough for the lead in receptions, beating out Edelman by two catches. This type of game reminds many of us of his super bowl MVP performance just three years ago and it’s a great sight to see. James White has also been a fantastic piece to the Patriots puzzle these past seasons and it’s safe to say he hasn’t lost a step. He has proven once again that he is one of the most reliable offensive weapons on this team and will without a doubt play a key role in the Patriots playoff run.
The Patriots falling to 10-2 push them back to the #2 seed in the AFC. It is not how Patriots fans planned for Sunday night to go, but it may bring more good than bad. The Patriots are notorious for bouncing back greatly after losses and there isn’t a bigger opponent to bounce back against than the Kansas City Chiefs. Should Patriots fans be worried? Of course not. We go through the same cycle every year and what’s the outcome more often than not? A super bowl title.
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[Featured image via USA TODAY photo]