Patriots Offense Too Much for Cats to Handle

Brandin Cooks

Swinging Johnson

Tuesday, September 26, 2017 2:49 PM GMT

Tuesday, Sep. 26, 2017 2:49 PM GMT

Tom Brady and the New England Patriots provided another heart-stopping victory last week while the Carolina Panthers were upset by the Saints at home. Let’s analyze this Sunday’s showdown in Foxboro and determine which side is the right side in our NFL picks.

Pats Offense Sizzles – Defense Fizzles

The New England Patriots came into this season with many believing that a 16-0 record entering the postseason was not much of a stretch. Those lofty predictions came to crashing halt in the first game of the 2017 season when New England was stunned by the visiting Kansas City Chiefs. So much for an undefeated regular season but what the pundits didn’t have wrong were towering expectations for a high-octane offense that included such flashy additions as speed merchant Brandin Cooks, a retooled backfield with Mike Gillislee, Rex Burkhead and a healthy Dion Lewis coupled with tight end Dwayne Allen.

Unfortunately, slot receiver extraordinaire Julian Edelman was sidelined before he even started, sustaining a season-ending knee injury in the preseason but they did pick up another twin burner on the wing after swinging a trade with the Colts for Phillip Dorsett. All this has amounted to another explosive edition of the Tom Brady led Patriots offense and it has not disappointed, averaging 33 points per game, second in the league to only the LA Rams.

The flipside of this coin is a dreadful New England defense that has allowed a league-worst 31.6 points per game. It’s a stark departure from the unit that led the league in points allowed at the end of last season, surrendering just 15.6 PPG. The linebacking corps was suspect from the get-go and the injury to Don’t’a Hightower only exacerbated matters. The Patriots’ cornerback tandem of Stephon Gilmore and Malcolm Butler was supposed to be among the best in the league but Butler has unexpectedly struggled, so much so that Eric Rowe started in his place against the Texans last week. This unit has no place to go but up and should see their numbers improve after this meeting against the offensively challenged Carolina Panthers.

 

Sunday’s Result

Last week I wrote an NFL picks column on the matchup between the New Orleans Saints and the Carolina Panthers. The NFL odds makers installed the Panthers as six-point home favorites which seemed a reach to me considering that Carolina averaged just 16 points per game against the likes of San Francisco and Buffalo. I advised a play on New Orleans and the Saints not only covered the number but trounced their hosts 34-13. I see this game as more of the same.

The New England offense is more potent than New Orleans and their defense will ultimately round into form which could happen as early as this week against a lackluster Carolina offense. The Patriots are currently eight-point favorites as of this Tuesday morning writing but I can envision a double-digit victory at the Razor in Foxboro. Lay the lumber and back the Pats.

Free NFL Pick: Patriots -8Best Line Offered: at Bookmaker

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