Howe: Slow starts an 'intensity' issue

Howe: Slow starts an 'intensity' issue
December 13, 2013, 1:00 am
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Despite falling behind by double digits in their last three games, the New England Patriots were able to respond with strong second halves to pick up wins in each of those games.

The slow starts are becoming a growing concern and might be harder to fix now with Rob Gronkowski out for the rest of the season.

Michael Holley, Mike Felger and Jeff Howe on Sports Tonight talked about the Patriots inability for the past few weeks to get off to quick starts.

“It’s an intensity issue,” Howe said. “[Tom] Brady talks about execution and to a large extent it is. It’s an offense that made mistakes. The problem is five out of the last six games they’ve staked their opponents to double digit leads and they haven’t scored a single point while that has been happening. It’s been an abysmal effort out of the gate.”

Even a bigger problem than the slow starts, has been the recent play of the Patriots’ defense.

“It’s the defense because of the injuries,” said Howe of his biggest concern. “The injuries aren’t going to get better. These are things that kind of take time to right themselves. [Aqib] Talib, [Kyle] Arrington, [Alfonzo] Dennard, [Brandon] Spikes, so on and so forth.”