So long Antonio Brown, hello to another win

©Alex MacDougall

By Alex MacDougall
BU News Service

After three weeks, the brief, strange saga of Antonio Brown has come to end. The Patriots announced Friday that Brown, facing an investigation into sexual assault charges by the NFL and resulting outcry from local media, has been officially cut from the team.

The Patriots are not a team that lets flak from the media influence them, if head coach Bill Belichick’s caustic attitude towards the press is anything to go by. But any sort of off-the-field drama, especially one of the magnitude of Brown’s, has zero tolerance in his organization. Though Brown may not end up facing charges due to the statute of limitations, he’s dealing with other effects of the allegations. He’s now without a team, facing a pending investigation and has managed to let millions of dollars slip from his grasp.

The Patriots, meanwhile, are likely to be unencumbered by the loss of Brown. A more pressing concern is the loss of left tackle Isaiah Wynn, who was placed on injured reserve after an injury last week in Miami. While linemen don’t have the star status that other offensive players do, it means that Tom Brady’s blind side may be vulnerable to rushing defenders. Suffice to say, it’s generally not good to have your 42-year old quarterback get hit from behind.  

But none of those concerns were apparent this week as the Patriots put on another impressive victory against the New York Jets, 30-14. Despite the absence of running back James White, who missed the game to see the birth of his child, fellow backs Sony Michel and Rex Burkhead picked up the slack, scoring a touchdown each. The defense continued to perform like a well-oiled machine, constantly harassing Jets QB Luke Falk, registering five sacks and an interception. While the Patriots streak of preventing any touchdowns was broken, the Jets’ two scores came from special teams and an interception returned for a touchdown, meaning the Patriots’ defense remains an unsolvable puzzle for opposing offenses.

After three games, the Patriots have looked less like a football team and more like a group of Greek Gods descended from Mt. Olympus, with a 3-0 record and outscoring opponents by a combined score 106-17. While it would be easy to prematurely crown this team Super Bowl champions, there still remains plenty of football to play in this season. The Patriots’ three wins have come from teams that have yet to win a game this season. Wide Receiver Julian Edelman suffered a chest injury in today’s game, and kicker Stephen Gostkowski has suddenly become unreliable in making field goals and extra points, something which could become an issue if the Patriots find themselves in a close game with another playoff contender. But for now, it’s safe to assume the Patriots are well on their way for another deep postseason run.

Next week, the Patriots will travel to Buffalo to play the suddenly upstart Bills, who may be the first real challenge the Patriots will have this season. With both teams 3-0, the winner will take sole position of 1st place in the AFC East. It might prove to be a more interesting affair than what the Pats have experienced so far.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.