The start of the NFL regular season saw the New England Patriots as the top contenders for the Super Bowl. Bagging the highly coveted trophy after an astounding match against the Seattle Seahawks in the past year, the Tom Brady squad has been poised to repeat the feat this season. Along with the Carolina Panthers of Cam Newton, the New England Patriots were undefeated in the early parts of the NFL season. However, their streak came to an end following a match against the Denver Broncos.
While losing a handful of games is typical in the NFL, sports analysts believe that the New England Patriots might be heading to a steady downfall until the playoffs. Brady had been reported to have incurred an ankle injury - one that could substantially hinder his performance in the field. Meanwhile, Rob Gronkowski had been sidelined for a couple of games in the past months. Other injuries also plague the Super Bowl champs, which now pose worry to their fans.
"Teams are no longer afraid to play the Patriots," shared Rodney Harrison in NBC's Football Night in America via NESN. "I'm very worried about the Patriots," Harrison said. "They need (wide receiver) Julian Edelman back. I've said this before, I think he's more important than (tight end) Rob Gronkowski to that offense."
In a separate NESN report, Harrison pointed out that the New England Patriots are going to the playoffs unprepared. The sports analyst shared that the other NFL teams are no longer formidable since they "just don't have the weapons" to retain their top spot. Since their first loss at the hands of Peyton Manning's Denver Broncos, the New England Patriots fell victim to their own faulty gameplays. The Jimmy Garropolo squad also lost in their games against the Miami Dolphins and New York Jets. Even DeMarco Murray's struggling Philadelphia Eagles beat Brady's group.
"You're not afraid of (wide receiver) Brandon LaFell. You're not afraid of those other guys, because they're not (wide receiver Julian Edelman). Edelman, to me, is one of the top two or three slot receivers in this league," said Harrison of the New England Patriots' lineup.
He added, "When you line up against this offense, you see all these different combinations on the offensive line, you're not afraid. You see Tom back there struggling. At times, he looks like an average quarterback. You saw how they played against the Jets, you saw how they played against the Eagles, you saw how they played against the Dolphins. You can't go in with the same mindset that this is the same Patriots team."