The New England Patriots are currently 7-2 and have made improvements, but their red zone issues both offensively and defensively may serve as their kryptonite in the long run.
The New England Patriots have appeared to return to form in recent weeks, defeating Kansas City, Chicago and Green Bay in that time span. But even in victory, they haven’t escaped their most notable weakness on both sides of the ball, red zone efficiency.
The Patriots defensively have allowed opponents to score touchdowns on 86 percent of their red zone trips in the last three weeks. Offensively, they have scored touchdowns in just over half of their trips in that same time span, which places them on the bottom half of the league’s rankings for red zone scoring efficiency.
This Sunday, the Patriots will face the Tennessee Titans and open as a touchdown favorite. But that won’t make a difference if their red zone woes continue.
Wide receiver Julian Edelman, who returned in week 5 from a four-game suspension brought another dimension to the offense, told Sporting News the team must take what they learned in the classroom and apply it on the field.
"“It starts with practice. We’ve got to go out, and we have to have a good week of practice. Take everything from the classroom and bring it to the grass,” Julian Edelman said. “Execute in practice (and it) allows you to sleep the night before the game.”"
It’s unusual for a Patriots team to have an obvious flaw, but it’s not unusual for the Patriots to make sweeping corrections before it’s too late. If the Patriots want to contend for their sixth Super Bowl title with no issues, red zone issues on both sides of the ball must be corrected. But if we know head coach Bill Belichick well enough, then we can have a trust that it is a matter that’s already been addressed.