Former Patriots executive Mike Lombardi shared his questions for every NFL team going into the 2020 season -- obvious and not-so-obvious.
For New England, the obvious was of course life without Tom Brady, but the not-so-obvious was pointing out an issue the team had on defense last season, even though the unit was ranked as the best in football.
"The Patriots were excellent in so many categories on defense last season, but not when it came to allowing yards after the catch," Lombardi wrote. "They ranked 26th in this area and need to get better tackling performance from their linebackers and safeties especially later in the season."
The team lost some of its key players at these positions in Kyle Van Noy, Jamie Collins, Elandon Roberts and Duron Harmon this offseason and it will be up to some younger players, including rookies, to replace them.
Josh Uche, Anfernee Jennings, Chase Winovich and Kyle Dugger will all play roles in replacing these players and tackling will be one of the biggest points of emphasis.
Relating to last year, Lombardi is not wrong at all in his assessment, as there were a few instances of some long runs from opposing running backs that were the result of poor tackling.
Playing one of the hardest schedules in the league next year combined with having a second-year quarterback in Jarrett Stidham means the team cannot afford simple mistakes that maybe it could get away with in the past.