Moving on after a loss can be challenging.
You start reassessing people and things in your life, questioning how relevant they are and whether you might be able to do better.
After the Patriots’ loss to the Cardinals on Sunday, changes had to be made. Gone are wide receiver Greg Salas (a healthy scratch versus the Cards), linebacker Mike Rivera and fullback Lex Hilliard.
Their replacements? Tight end Kellen Winsolw (in for the injured Aaron Hernandez), LB Niko Koutouvides (a special teams ace recovered from injury) and (drum roll please) wide receiver Deion Branch.
That’s right, Tito has returned and Patriots Nation rejoices. As much as off-season acquisitions like Brandon Lloyd made splashy headlines, Branch and Tom Brady have a chemistry unlike the quarterback has with any other receiver (sorry, Wes). His presence alone should help this struggling offense get back on track. But it’s bigger than that. Branch has been instrumental in helping younger offensive weapons grow up on this team. Need proof? In the Pats win over the Titans in week one, Hernandez scored his first touchdown of the season and, instead of making it rain, he took a bow, a nod to the dearly departed Branch.
But now that he’s back, Branch can hopefully help right the ship as the Pats prepare to enter the Ravens’ Den on Sunday Night Football.
If you recall, when Branch first returned to the team two seasons ago, his first game back was against Baltimore. And he scored a touchdown. That game, of course, was played in Boston, not Maryland, but perhaps he can make magic happen again. The Pats are going to need all the help they can get to stay on the plus side of .500. They’ve had a rough go of it against Baltimore the past couple seasons, either losing horribly or barely scraping out wins, but they will be extra motivated to do well after Sunday’s embarrassing loss.
The time has come to turn the page. Hopefully, with these personnel adjustments, the Pats can find a way to get a win in the toughest of road environments. Under a national spotlight.
Should be simple enough, right?