In preparation for this weekend’s matchup against the New England Patriots, I was able to speak to Jamie Pacheco the Lead Blogger for the Patriots on MusketFire.com. Here are a few things he had to say about his team
1. Randy Moss was traded a couple of weeks ago, how does that affect the Patriot offense?
The Patriots seem to have adjusted by going back to their ball control, short passing game. The deepest ball thrown last week was maybe 20 yards down the field. That doesn’t mean that they won’t try and take a shot this week, but the deep ball is less of a factor in their game plans. Some of the explosiveness may be gone but they were still able to move the ball against a very good Baltimore defense. It was only one game but so far so good post-Moss. I’m sure we’ve yet to see all of the adjustments the team makes without Moss on the field.
2. What are the weaknesses of the Pats?
The weakness definitely has to be secondary of the defense. They are young and raw and learning on-the-job. They got beaten badly early during last week’s game against the Ravens but were able to tighten up late in the game and stop the Ravens’ final 5 drives. I fully expect Philip Rivers to try and exploit the secondary.
3. The Chargers have had embarrassing problems on special teams this season. Who do the Pats have on special teams that the Chargers should worry about?
Stephen Gostkowski’s booming kickoffs are often downed in the end zone, which neutralizes and return threats. On the other side, Brandon Tate has already returned two kickoffs for touchdowns this season and is an explosive returner. Wes Welker and Julian Edelman (if he plays) are also very capable punt returners. Patrick Chung has blocked a punt and a field goal, so he’s someone to watch out for as well.
4. Any talk about bringing in ex-Charger Shawne Merriman on board?
Some fans have thrown the idea of bringing in Shawne Merriman but I think it’s a long-shot at best that he ends up on the Patriots. His injury and attitude issues, not to mention his declining skills will likely preclude the Pats from signing him. They are trying to establish a strong team atmosphere in the locker room and bringing in Merrimen doesn’t exactly fit that philosophy.
5. Prediction on the game
Despite the records of the two teams, the Chargers are very tough at home and the Pats have only won one significant road game in two years. I think it’s going to be a great game, but I think the Pats pull this one out 30-27.
I would like to thank Jamie for the time that he spent to answer questions and I would also wish the Pats the ABSOLUTE WORST LUCK THIS WEEKEND!!! It’s on and game day is almost here! GO BOLTS!!!