When the New England Patriots lost to the Miami Dolphins to wrap up week 14 in the NFL, it caught nearly everyone by surprise. The Patriots, one of the league’s hottest teams was surging, while the Dolphins were struggling to get by with one of the league’s worst offenses.
Regardless, the Patriots were unable to stop the Jay Cutler-led Miami offense, while Tom Brady and Co. played sloppy, mistake-filled football all evening for New England. Due to this poor performance, many seemed eager to declare the Patriots as an overrated team on the cusp of falling apart. While it’s true New England has questions to answer and obvious flaws in the roster, it’s important we don’t overreact. This team is still an elite unit, and one loss, no matter how ugly, won’t change that.
Before being torched by Cutler on Monday night, the Patriots defense was in the midst of an elite eight-week stretch of football. Sure, Cutler diced the unit up en route to his best game in years, but the fact is, defensive coordinator Matt Patricia is excellent at adjusting when things go poorly, and with an important matchup against the Pittsburgh Steelers up next, expect Patricia to make the changes necessary to get his defense back on track.
Speaking of that Steelers matchup, it would be crazy to think New England is going to play as poorly as they did in week 14. This team rarely has back-to-back clunkers, and in the most important game of the season, expect Tom Brady and Co. to get back on track and give Pittsburgh’s defense all they can handle. If the defense can get back to their winning streak-type production and Brady goes back to being Brady, the Steelers could be in trouble.
All in all, while the loss exposed some flaws for the Patriots, it’s important not to overreact. This is still a team that was one of the hottest in the league before their Monday night let-down, and with the No. 1 seed in the AFC on the line this coming week, expect them to right the ship in what will be quite a matchup.