SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – The 1-0 New England Patriots face the 1-0 New York Jets Thursday night. The Patriots had to come from behind to edge Buffalo 23-21 Sunday. “It’s easy (to say) the Patriots will still be good because they got Bill Belichick coaching and Tom Brady quarterbacking,” John Madden told the KCBS Radio morning crew.
“That’s probably enough to win 70 percent of your games, just those two factors. But they also had a lot of good players around them,” said Madden. “Now they’ve lost those guys for one reason or another. (Brady) is playing with a half a deck. They’re still good. Tom Brady is still good. Bill Belichick is still a good coach. But, you know, they’re not your father’s Patriots.”
One of the top players they lost is Aaron Hernandez, the former tight end now facing murder charges in Massachusetts. “I don’t know when something like that goes away,” Madden said. “I don’t know what the shelf life of that is (and how long) it affects the team… But just knowing them, I don’t think they would use that as an excuse.”
Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez won’t play against the Patriots Thursday night and may have season-ending surgery after injuring his shoulder in the third pre-season game. Madden said he still doesn’t understand why Sanchez was sent back out to play after being taken out of the game earlier. “There’s no reason for it. When you take a player out in a pre-season game and he’s finished, you know, his mind set changes. And the adrenaline that you need to play the game — you know whatever that stuff is that pumps through you to fire you up to get ready to do things that you wouldn’t normally do — when they say you’re done, that leaves too… He’s really not ready to play.”