The New England Patriots picked up their first win of the 2014 NFL season this past weekend, outscoring the Minnesota Vikings 30-7 one week after a humbling loss to the Miami Dolphins.
But, whilst there are signs of progress for Bill Belichick, Tom Brady and co, fan's enthusiasm for the season remains tempered by the lack of an efficient passing game as Brady and the relatively new look Patriots receiving corp continue to build a functioning relationship.
The Patriots offense struggled last season as Tom Brady found himself without long time receiving options such as departed Wes Welker and the injured Rob Gronkowski, and it seems those issues continue to hamper the franchise in the early stages of the 2014 season with the likes of Danny Amendola virtually anonymous on Sunday.
Something that former New England star, and one of the key men who allowed Brady to lead the Patriots to three Super Bowls in the 00s, Tony Bruschi has picked up on.
Speaking in his weekly Q&A session with ESPNBoston, the former linebacker was quick to urge patience with regards to the offense, explaining away the Patriots' lack of passing success this season as simply the team continuing to figure out just what works best.
"This team is still trying to figure itself out. It's September, which is almost like an extension of the preseason, when all teams are still trying to find out who they are.
"Right now, this team is Edelman-heavy, I understand. But this is also a team that changes from week to week," Bruschi explained.
"Receivers have to get used to being part of it one week, and maybe not being a big part of it the next week. With that comes some slower development of receivers."
The Patriots comfortably beat the Vikings but their win came on the back of the running game rather than through the air with Steven Ridley rushing for over 100 yards and one TD.
Tom Brady meanwhile threw for just 149 yards in Minnesota with Julius Edelman remaining his favorite target. Only four of Brady's passes meanwhile were for further than 15 yards.
That is the sign of a dysfunctional and timid passing game for sure.
But as Bruschi notes, with New England in control on Sunday the opportunity presented itself for the Patriots to help get their star tight end Rob Gronkowski back up to scratch - with six targets heading his way against the Vikings:
"I just saw it as them trying to get a win and get out of there," the three-time Super Bowl winner explained.
"Let's get Gronkowski some looks and get him some more targets aso they can end up playing him on a regular basis. Establish the running game, and in got-to-have-it situations look to Edelman."
This is a legitimate point no doubt, but it doesn't disguise the fact that the Patriots have been reluctant to go long and vary their receiving options for some time.
Bruschi admitted this one-dimensional outlook from Brady and Belichick is a concern but believes the Patriots strong defense and running game can hold the key:
"This is absolutely a fair concern. But based on what you saw yesterday, if you were to make a conclusion on this team, it would be the defense and trying to establish a physical ground game, with a passing game off play-action.
That sounds very familiar to me as it relates to past successful Patriots teams."
New England Patriots fans will be hoping their hero is right as they head for Week Three.
Do YOU want to write for GiveMeSport? Get started today by signing-up and submitting an article HERE: https://www.givemesport.com/writeforgms