By Eric Schmidt

The New England Patriots were finally exposed last Sunday. The wide receiving corps has been an issue all season long and that was exposed against the Cincinnati Bengals. Tom Brady saw his streak of consecutive games with a touchdown come to an end and he managed to throw for less than 200 yards. Will the New England Patriots trade for a wide receiver prior to the end of the trade deadline?

Yes, Rob Gronkowski will be returning to the lineup eventually, hopefully this week against the New Orleans Saints, but how much of an impact is he going to have right out of the gate? And how does he make the other receiver suddenly better?

Danny Amendola returned to the lineup, but he only had four receptions on nine targets. Julian Edleman only caught two passes after being targeted seven times. Aaron Dobson had one reception for 53 yards but finished with 49 yards receiving.

Tom Brady told WEEI on Monday that he watched the Dallas Cowboys/Denver Broncos game on the flight home. He had to be envious of Manning and Romo and the weapons they have.

If the Patriots hope to hang with Denver in the playoffs, they need help. They need help now.

Will the New York Giants be sellers at the trade deadline? How ironic would it be for the Patriots to possibly turn to the New York Giants, the team that beat them in their last two Super Bowl appearances, for help? Hakeem Nicks anyone? Is Josh Gordon really on the trade block by the Cleveland Browns?

As they continue to fall out of the playoff picture, would the Atlanta Falcons be willing to part with Roddy White? Yes, he’s been banged up, but when healthy, he’s a machine. White will turn 32 in November and is under contract only through 2014.

Of course, the Patriots might avoid trading for a receiver and try to coax Brandon Lloyd out of his movie making career instead.

Either way, this team needs another receiver. The young receivers might continue to improve as the season moves along, but this team doesn’t have the firepower to hand with Denver currently.

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