Patriots

Bedard’s Breakdown: Patriots haven’t come close to realizing their best on either side of the ball

(Adam Richins for BSJ)

Editor's note: Sorry for the delay but with some Red Sox duties, things were pushed back a little. But I think this is worth the wait. — GB

With a two-game winning streak -- thanks to two largely impressive victories after a 1-2 start -- all seems right in Patriots World. Right?

Certainly, there has been a lot to like in New England's recent play, especially with Julian Edelman back on the field to give Tom Brady the security blanket he's been lacking. And the defense has cut way back on the uncharacteristic mistakes like missed tackles and blown assignments to settle down on that side of the ball.

But in reviewing the Patriots' performance in their 38-24 victory over the Colts, the feeling coming out of the contest is New England hasn't come close to playing its best football. We'll get into the areas that have been the biggest issues — from Tom Brady seeing the field to Sony Michel leaving plays on the field and the trickle-down effect when the Patriots use Patrick Chung as a Swiss Army Knife. But all it depends on how you look at it.

On one hand, you could be disappointed. It's now Week 6 and the Patriots are still dealing with these issues. They're normally past them by this point, and rolling. That could certainly happen this week, which would be very timely with the 5-0 Chiefs coming to town.

On the other side, you could be encouraged New England has much room for growth at this stage in the season. If they get clicking in all the problem areas, then they'll be very tough to handle.

But the essential question is easy: Are the issues are fixable? If they are, then the sky's the limit. If they're not — at least this season — it will lead to an early ouster from the playoffs. Based on the Patriots' sterling track record, they'll get fixed ... or at least, they'll become manageable. But some are easier than others. Let's go through them: