by Chris Warner, Patriots Daily Staff
The Patriots played a winless team last week and won, 59-0, making this week’s Worry Wart all the more difficult. How to point out the pitfalls of Sunday’s tilt without losing some credibility?
Well, it is a home game for Tampa; New England has yet to win an away game. So, there’s that.
Some other aspects that have us preoccupied…
London Calling: Any reference to The Clash usually makes me happy; however, having one’s team get psyched to travel across the Atlantic to face an overmatched foe one week after a record-setting blowout seems like a lot to ask.
Oh My Achin’ Edelman: Rookie receiver Julian Edelman broke his arm last week, limiting active receivers with an NFL catch to only four. (Hold that thought…)
Joey I’m Not Angry Anymore: This early 90s progressive song goes out to Joey Galloway, who never quite caught on to the offense. (Make that three receivers with an NFL catch.)
Like Lambs To The Stroughter: Tampa rookie receiver Sammie Stroughter, who will forever be in the good graces of PD thanks to his Q&A back in March, has had himself a notable season thus far (13 catches, 151 yards). Who’s going to cover this guy, or receiver Michael Clayton? The Patriots’ backfield has had almost as many changeups as Mike Boddicker. Will their starters – whoever they are – be ready to go?
Is His Running Back? We have long awaited the return of Laurence Maroney, the dynamic version. Though the Titans offered only slightly more resistance than an air hockey table, Maroney picked his spots and ran with a physical attitude he hadn’t shown in years. If progress continues vs. one of the worst run defenses in the league, will we be able to put the Maroney issue to rest like King Charles I? (Although maybe not in such a violent manner).
Low Tight Mark: After the release of Michael Matthews, New England has only two tight ends on their 53-man roster (Benjamin Watson, Chris Baker). This might make it hard to take advantage of Tampa’s defensive woes.
Whatever Ales You: Pubs. Fish and chips. Lorries. Lifts. Cars on the wrong side of the road. Sandwiched (so to speak) between a blowout and a bye week, this trip could prove a huge distraction.
That’s what I’m worried about, anyway.
Email Chris Warner at email@example.com