Trying To Pass Their Way To Victory

When the New England Patriots lost to the New York Jets on Sunday, the Patriots turned in another one-dimensional performance on offense. What exactly were they trying to prove?

Heading into the 2009 season, the conventional wisdom in New England was that with Tom Brady back under center the Patriots offense would return to its spot as one of the elite aerial attacks in the game.

That hasn't played out through two weeks of regular-season action. The Patriots eked out the victory in the Monday night opener with a pair of late touchdowns to come back from an 11-point fourth-quarter deficit for the 25-24 win.

In essence, Brady and Co. wiped out 55 minutes of bad football with five impressive minutes for the victory. That performance was seen more as a one-game thing, a rusty start for a group looking to get its mojo back.

That theory held for less than a week, though. It lasted right up until the offense ran headfirst into Rex Ryan's new-look, all-talk defense in the Big Apple.

New England wasn't so lucky in a Week 2 trip to New York to take on the Jets. Utilizing a no-huddle, supposedly up-tempo attack, the visitors were held to just three field goals in the 16-9 loss. Brady completed less than 50 percent of his passes and Randy Moss caught just four balls for 24 yards. Wes Welker sat out the game with a knee injury.

To be frank, with or without Welker in uniform, the 2009 New England offense has looked nothing like the record-breaking 2007 Patriots unit that put on an aerial show under Brady's MVP leadership in 2007.

"I think the frustration sets in when we know that we stick our own selves in the foot," Moss said after the loss to the Jets. "The offense has a job to do and that's go out there and score points. With the firepower that we have and (how hard) we prepare every week, it is a little bit frustrating. I'm not going to lie."

Through two games, and fortunate to escape with a 1-1 record that's good enough for second place in the AFC East, New England has scored just 34 points. That was a good half of football for the 2007 squad, a team that had Brady, Moss and Welker together for the first time and scored at least 34 points in its first eight weeks taking the field together.

Make no mistake, the offense isn't good enough in New England right now, and the man leading the charge knows it.

"To not get the ball in the end zone, that's unacceptable," Brady said after the loss to the Jets. "We're not really firing on all cylinders right now."

New England will be looking for an offensive tune-up against the upstart Falcons this Sunday afternoon in Foxborough.

TRENDING: 100 -- That's how many passes Tom Brady has attempted in two games, a 1-1 start to the season. While it's a ridiculous projection at this point, Brady is on pace to attempt 800 passes, more than 200 more than in his record-setting MVP 2007 season.

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