A football team has to be a well-oiled machine in order to be successful.
The offense, defense and special teams have to work in tandem to keep the body moving, and each individual unit has to support its various other parts or else everything falls apart.
That isn’t happening for the Patriots’ defense right now. Just as the storyline has been the past three seasons, this secondary is a Greek tragedy on steroids. Devin McCourty, Kyle Arrington and the entire merry band of misfits is comically bad. A few strong plays not withstanding, there is nothing to feel good about from this crew. And the most mystifying part is that Bill Belichick, the defensive guru himself, has allowed these same players to start year after year despite their making very few strides in any positive direction. It’s dumbfounding.
So what can be done about it? Well, there’s always the week eight trade deadline. The Pats could conceivably trade for a better defensive back or two, but at this point in the season, it would have to be a veteran guy who could pick up the schemes quickly and such assets aren’t just freely given away or paid for by a team like the Pats. It’s safe to assume there won’t be much action on the trade front from Foxborough.
That means McCourty, Arrington, Alfonzo Dennard, Patrick Chung, Steve Gregory (if he ever gets healthy) and the rest will just have to do. With the way Arrington played Sunday against the Seahawks, it seems likely Dennard will step in as the starter for Arrington, but he’s not much of an improvement. And with the New York Jets coming to town, it puts the onus on the secondary to not make him look like Joe Namath in Super Bowl 3.
How do they do that? Make plays on the ball, know their assignments and not kill themselves with penalties.
It all seems pretty simple. But they make it look hard. And the Patriots offense can’t be expected anymore to score enough points to put games away. They have enough of their own problems.
These units have to work together. Or the Pats season is done.