Over the past three games, the Patriots have not amassed more than 20 points in any of them. Ex-Patriots, and current NBC football analyst, Rodney Harrison has a few reasons for why this is, and why Tom Brady hasn't looked as sharp this season, and he explained them to Tom E. Curran on 'Quick Slants':
1. The offensive line isn't doing its job: "You have to start with the offensive line. Teams that are good rushing teams that are rushing different stunts, different types of blitzes, they're putting pressure on Tom Brady. The blueprint for beating the Patriots . . . Tight man-to-man coverage, pressure up the middle, and force Brady to his left. Teams are starting to do that and the offensive line is not protecting him."
2. Brady's comfort level isn't right: "Tom, he's staring at his receivers. He doesn't feel comfortable. People are playing tight man-to-man coverage. He's got a 'robber' playing in the middle of the field so when Wes Welker or guys are coming across the middle they have someone there."
3. Brady is trying to do too much to make up for other team voids: "They're pressing. Tom Brady is pressing because he knows that this defense isn't really very good. They're going to give up a lot of points, they're going to give up a lot of yards, and he's putting a lot of pressure on himself to go out there and make plays. So he just needs to relax, they need to run the football, but they have to, more important than anything, they have to protect Tom.
FOXBORO - Scratch the estimable Sammy Watkins from the Bills roster for Sunday.
Buffalo shared via Twitter that their long, tall wideout is out for Sunday with a foot injury. Also down are wideout Greg Salas and left tackle Cyrus Kouandijo.
The Bills' starting left tackle Cordy Glenn has been dealing with an ankle injury that caused him to miss last week's game.
Robert Woods will be the Bills best outside threat with Watkins taking Sunday off. The Bills' talented corner Ronald Darby is also trying to get back this week from a hamstring injury that caused him to miss last week's game with Arizona.
FOXBORO - There were no tells about the Patriots quarterback situation for Sunday during the portion of Friday practice the media was allowed to watch.
Jimmy Garoppolo, who on Wednesday was seen throwing short and medium-range passes without a lot of zip, hasn't thrown a ball with media in attendance since. Friday morning, after stretching and jogging, Garoppolo began a session feigning taking a snap from a center and going into a drop. But he did so without a football in his hands.
Rookie Jacoby Brissett did flip a few passes during the jogging and stretching portion and, while he was wearing gloves, he is showing no signs of favoring his right thumb.
So the question isn't whether the Patriots have any quarterbacks for Sunday against the Bills, it's whether or not they'll have Garoppolo. Certainly, it's a question that's been on the mind of Bills head coach Rex Ryan who keeps speaking the truth in jest by referencing the uncertainty around the Patriots situation.
After being on the field in limited capacity all week, it's a certainty that Garoppolo dresses for the Bills game. Whether he plays and how effective he might be remains anything but certain.