What Happened to the Patriots Offense?

Sorry I am so late with this today, dusting off my hangover from all the booze I started chugging around 4:30PM EST yesterday. So, yesterday the biggest thing that killed them was the offense. What the hell happened? How did they not score a TD for the first 57 minutes? Lets dive in here and see what caused this, starting from the most important factor on down. As always, follow me on twitter @CultOfBelichick

-Hernandez Injury. The amount that this affected the Patriots cannot be understated. He is their number 1 option on offense, and the keystone this offense was built around. His athletic ability creates mismatches that no one else on the Patriots can cause. He has the ability to play: Outside WR, Slot WR, in line TE, RB, Wing Back, EVERYTHING. His flexibility is what allows them to manipulate the opposing defense's personnel, and attack accordingly. With him in they have the ability to run or pass without having to substitute at all. They spent the whole offseason building this offense around him, and when he went out, it really took the air out of their sails. They have a backup for him in Visanthe Shiancoe, but he is on short term IR right now and can't come back until Week 10. Part of me wonders how injured he is and if Bill isn't kicking himself for just keeping him on the 53-man for a week or two while still injured, because they are in trouble now. If they had just held out, they could have him playing next week, and not have to change their offense. Now, it looks like they are going to have to completely change the offense and go to a lot more 3 WR looks, which they were not very effective out of on Sunday.

-Brady Skittish. This was definitely a result of his distrust in the offensive line. The offensive line was bad, but there were SOOOOO many plays where they pushed the pocket behind him, he stepped up, and then waited for point two seconds and just bolted, or went down, with no one even around him. He didn't have the trust in the O-Line needed to stand in there and let those receivers do their thing and get open down the field. Brady will usually sit in there forever, but was intent on hauling ass out of the pocket at any opportunity. The offensive line giving up a few sacks is bad, but this distrust that seems to be brewing can be catastrophic. They need to shore things up, and fast. If not, I think we could reach a really bad tipping point some time later in the season if Brady is still worried about getting decleated on every dropback.

-Woodhead blows. Woody's only good play was that late TD, and that got pulled back. He really didn't seem to do much of anything well yesterday. We need Vereen to get his ass on the field and take over some of these 3rd down responsibilities. Woodhead just doesn't have the athleticism that we see from Ridley, and it really hurts me on the inside when I see him running the ball. I want an athlete back there. Maybe he can give us more plays like that called-back-TD-run and if so, then I guess he isn't the worst 3rd down back in the league. But, it just seemed like the only time his name came up yesterday was in a bad light.

-Michael Hoomanawanui did not play up to snuff. With Hernandez going down, it was a chance for the Hoo-man to get some reps and seize his opportunity. Needless to say, he was more of Uh-oh, than Hoo-man (he says those are the two nicknames to call him). He got demolished in the run game, and was non-existent in the pass game. He needs to pick up his play, or is likely to hit the streets once Fells gets healthy enough to make the active roster.