Tag Archives: Rob Gronkowski

Lucky number 6 or will Luck end the Patriots hot streak? New England Patriots vs Indianapolis Colts

Many people associate the “Lucky number” phrase with the number 7 or the movies Lucky Number Slevin and Ocean’s Seven but did you know that the number 6 is auspicious in matters with love and relationships in Chinese culture? There was also a fragrance for men made by fashion designer Liz Claiborne called Lucky Number Six and the Patriots will be hoping for their sixth consecutive victory when they face off against Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts tonight.

patriots

Out with the old and in with the new is an expression that billions across the globe know very well but in the National Football League that saying doesn’t always ring true. Tom Brady has continued to defy the odds in his career and he has done that more than ever since the defeat to Kansas City back in week 4. He and the Patriots continued their fantastic streak last week when they blew out the Denver Broncos 43-21.

The Broncos are in the eyes of many the best team in the AFC if not in football but with the New England victory last week it caused many to rethink their opinions and once again the win gave Terrific Tom some more pulling power in the Brady-Manning debate as he extended his winning record over his long term record to 11-5. After trailing a close first quarter 7-3 the Patriots battled back to completely smash Denver in the second quarter scoring 24 consecutive points.

From then on out the Patriots were in cruise control with Brady, making his 200th career start with the win giving him his 155th win (the most of any QB ever), completing 33 of his 55 attempted passes with Julian Edelman and Rob Gronkowski hauling in 9 receptions each for a combined 194 yards. Those two were Brady’s main targets as the Patriots offense continues to up the gears week by week; Gronk was the standout player though as he decimated the Broncos defense and made one of the most spectacular catches of the season.

Now the Patriots walk in to Lucas Oil Stadium tonight to take on the epitome of “the new” type of NFL quarterback in the shape of Andrew Luck and his Indianapolis Colts with huge playoff implications. With seedings, home field advantage and a potential bye week at stake on the line it makes tonight’s game an intriguing contest as with New England at 7-2 and the Colts at 6-3 a win for either team would put them in prime position for one of the two byes on offer going in to the postseason.

With both teams coming off a bye week giving them an extra weeks preparation ahead of tonight’s crucial game you can expect it to be a fantastic affair. The Luck led Colts have been high flying this season. After starting the season 0-2 the Colts went on a five game winning streak of their own before losing a crazy game to Pittsburgh 51-34 on the road but bounced back at MetLife Stadium when they convincingly defeated the Giants 40-24.

Since Luck came in to the league the Colts are 17-4 at home including their amazing comeback against the Chiefs in the wildcard round of last seasons playoffs. Tom Brady and co are use to overcoming obstacles and Indianapolis are slight favourites ahead of tonight’s matchup in what many are anticipating to be a close one. In the two previous encounters between Brady and Luck the Patriots have blown out the Colts 43-22 in last years playoff game and 59-24 in Luck’s rookie season back in 2012.

Both of these teams have come a long way since last years playoff game and both are very improved in various departments which is what makes, in my opinion, tonight one of the games of the season especially with all that is at stake. If the Patriots get the victory tonight it’ll give them a huge boost in terms of going on to clinch the 1st seed as well as home field advantage for the postseason which is what they will want to keep away from Denver so that they can guarantee that the road to Super Bowl 49 goes through Gillette Stadium.

The Patriots and Broncos had an arms race this past offseason to improve their rosters in hope of ensuring a trip to Arizona next February but the Colts are the dark horses in the conference especially as Andrew Luck is the best young quarterback we have ever seen just because of the impact he has had on the NFL in his first 2 and a half years and the talent he has displayed. When the Colts last faced New England they had no running game with only Donald Brown, now a Charger, playing and lacked any offensive weapons due to injuries.

Since then Colts legend Reggie Wayne has returned to action, TY Hilton has broken out to improve his game and become an established wideout in the league who provides a down field threat along with tight end Dwayne Allen who provides a nice balance to Luck’s friend from Stanford Coby Fleener. Add that with Hakeem Nicks, who despite not having a good year so far is a good player, along with rookie receiver Donte Moncrief and a one to punch of Bradshaw and Richardson in the backfield and it is clear to see why this Colts offense is on pace to potentially break records in 2014.

With that being said they are facing a Patriots defense tonight which under the guidance of defensive mastermind Bill Belichick has the potential to stop any offense in the league and did stop what many feels to be the best last week when they made Peyton Manning’s Broncos look ordinary. Despite having Chandler Jones absent due to injury the brilliance of New England’s secondary has given the front seven opportunities to be creative in getting to the quarterback and stopping the run which has helped the likes of Jamie Collins, Hightower and Rob Ninkovich as we saw last week with the latter’s interception against Peyton.

With Revis and Browner playing man coverage on the outside they can stop near enough any receivers in the league. Revis’ skill set is amazing for a corner and with one of the best safeties in the league in the form of Devin McCourty just behind him it allows for not only Bill Belichick and Matt Patricia to be creative with defensive play-calling but it also benefits the strengths of the two corners as it allows them to be aggressive. This also allows Patrick Chung and, when he gets on the field, Kyle Arrington to be effective in the secondary and break up plays.

When I previewed the Patriots and Broncos game I said it would come down to who wins the battle between the Denver offense vs the Pats D. With the latter winning it ensured that New England held on to their healthy lead which gave their offense the opportunities they needed to score more points to finish their opponent off and I would say that the same applies tonight if not more with the Pats being on the road. The offense will have to deal with crowd noise etc and while we know Tom Brady is one of the best QB’s of all-time in road games you need your defense to come up big and make stops in order to take some of the pressure off of your offense as well as give it opportunities.

If this happens I expect the Patriots to have the tools to defeat the Colts. Indianapolis’ defense played lights out during their 5 game winning streak but were brought back down to earth against the Steelers after their star cornerback Vontae Davis was knocked out the game. Davis is one of the better players in the league at the corner position but depsite is talents this Colts defense usually struggles against tight ends and when you considering that the Patriots have the best tight end in the league in Rob Gronkowski, 8 touchdowns this season, you would say that the Patriots have a critical advantage which could make the difference needed in a game that is anticipated to be so close.

Offensively you can expect the Patriots to spread the ball round like they’ve done in the past 5 games to Brandon LaFell, Danny Amendola, Shane Vereen, Julian Edeleman and even Tim Wright who I think will be used a lot more tonight considering the Colt’s vulnerability to tight ends. In the big moments though it will be Gronk who is thrown to and if the Colts don’t come up with a game plan to try and limit him especially in the red zone then I think the Patriots will pick off any weaknesses this Indie D has and will punish them.

One thing’s for sure and that is that tonight’s matchup is a mouthwatering encounter with both QB’s at the top of their respective games. Tom Brady has rediscovered his hall of fame form following a run of 5 games which has seen him throw 18 touchdowns to just one interception with a completion percentage of over 70% meaning he is now 5th with 22 touchdowns on the year to just 3 interceptions (tied with Aaaron Rodgers for the lowest among starters). The Patriots winning run also means that Brady now has a passer rating of 103.5 which also ranks 5th. His opposite number Luck ranks 2nd in touchdowns with 26 TD’s and leads in terms of passing yardage with 3,085 yards. Despite the fact that Luck thrown more passes than other QB in the league it is a testament to his abilities that he has managed to keep his completion percentage at 63.6%

So with everything being weighed up now we just have to wait a few hours to see who wins when the best of the old guard takes on the best of the new guard in the third dual between Tom Brady’s Patriots and Andrew Luck’s Colts. A Patriots win means they will take control of the AFC following Denver’s defeat to St. Louis earlier on today which is exactly what they need as they have two tough tests against the Lions and Packers coming up. New England would be a game ahead of the Broncos and two games ahead of the Colts with the head to head over both so tonight’s game is huge but will their Luck run out when they go in to the Dome tonight?

Historically the Patriots are 9-2 in their last eleven post-bye games. Bill Belichick with an extra week of preparation is a recipe for disaster for any opposing team as he will have planned everything to the exact final details along with the fact that quarterback Tom Brady’s record when playing inside a dome is 10-2 record, 26 touchdowns, and 9 interceptions I will go with a New England victory.

Prediction: Patriots 35-27 Colts

Bold Prediction: With the Colts down by a point 28-27 Andrew Luck looks to seal off a memorable 4th quarter comeback victory but a tipped play by Jamie Collins give Brandon Browner a ‘lucky’ pick 6 to gain some personal redemption after TY Hilton embarrassed him when the Colts faced the Seahawks. The return goes all the way in to the Colts end zone to put the Pats up by 8 and seal the game for New England as the Colts have just 10 seconds remaining and no timeouts!

Broncos vs Patriots: Manning vs Brady XVI

Tomorrow sees the 16th installment in the legendary rivalry between two of the greatest quarterbacks to play the game and as always there are high stakes when Peyton Manning’s Denver Broncos go head to head against Tom Brady and the New England Patriots.

With the Patriots on a four game winning streak they have been resurgent after a slow start to the 2014 season but now find themselves at 6-2 after a 2-2 start and with a chance to place themselves in the first seed position for the playoffs if they manage to defeat Denver tomorrow. The Broncos are also on a 4 game winning streak so they will walk in to Gillette Stadium full of confidence especially having beaten the Patriots when the two teams last met in last seasons AFC Championship game.

That victory in January avenged the demons of a 34-31 comeback victory by Brady’s Patriots earlier in that season when New England rallied from a 24-0 halftime deficit to knock off the Broncos in their own back yard but with Denver’s 26-16 postseason victory a couple of months after that encounter just mentioned Manning tied his head to head postseason record against Brady to 2-2 all-time.

Unfortunately for Peyton history does suggest that the Patriots could well come out as the victors tomorrow with Brady holding a 10-5 all-time winning record over his old foe. With New England’s huge 51-23 win over Chicago last Sunday this team is slowly moving through the gears week by week and finding ways to win after winning a narrow one against the Jets 27-25 the week before and knocking off the Bills in their own backyard 37-22.

With a bye week next week for the Patriots a win tomorrow against Denver would set them up perfectly for their remaining 7 games and allow them to focus on their tough tasks ahead as they go in search of claiming home field advantage for the playoffs; something that would definitely benefit the Patriots if they have to play the Broncos in the postseason as taking Peyton Manning out of Mile High stadium would work huge favours for New England.

The most intriguing aspect of tomorrow’s matchup is the improved fortunes of both of these teams defenses and that is what makes this game a lot more interesting in comparison to the other meetings we’ve seen between these two teams in recent years. The Patriots may be without their best pass rusher in Chandler Jones but have made two additions at linebacker before the trade deadline this past Tuesday to cover for the season ending injury to Jerod Mayo and also possess the number one pass defense in the league.

Manning vs Brady Round 16

That will be put to the test by what many considering to be the most devastating offense in the NFL and one that has added a versatile running back to its armory in recent weeks to go along with the ridiculously effective passing game that Manning has going on in Denver. Peyton is tied with Andrew Luck for the most touchdowns in the league with 22 but has to just 3 interceptions to the third years 9. Manning’s efficiency will be vital to any success the Broncos want to have tomorrow especially going up against a Bill Belichick defense that thrives on forcing turnovers.

The Patriots are tied for 7th in the league with 10 forced fumbles and have recovered 8 which leaves them tied for 2nd in that category. They are also tied 8th in interceptions with 8 and 9th in sacks with 21 so you can tell that the Pats defense has been playing at a very high level. Star cornerback Darrelle Revis is back to his superstar best challenging receivers at the line of scrimmage and has locked down star studded wideouts such as AJ Green and Brandon Marshall along with rookie sensation Sammy Watkins in the first half of this season.

Add Revis to a secondary that includes the likes of Devin McCourty, Patrick Chung, Kyle Arrington, Logan Ryan along with the return of Brandon Browner who made a massive personal improvement last week against the Bears following his debut against the Jets and it is clear to see this team has talent. That is not even including the players at the front of the D such as Dont’a Hightower, Jamie Collins, Rob Ninkovich and Vince Wilfork who are all key contributors to the success of this unit.

They in particular will need to step up in Chandler Jones’ absence who is arguably the Patriots best all round defensive player. As for the Broncos defense well they aren’t exactly slouches themselves after adding the likes of DeMarcus Ware, TJ Ward and Aqib Talib who left the Patriots for Denver this past offseason. Denver’s defense ranks high in key categories too; 6th in sacks with 23, 13th in interceptions with 7 but they are a lowly 31st in forced fumbles with 3 and just one recovery.

On paper despite Brady’s historical upper hand over Manning as well as the drastic improvements this Patriots offense has made week by week the Broncos offense is still edges that of New England and I feel that the outcome of this game will be decided by who wins out of the Patriots defense and Broncos offense when these two units go up against each other tomorrow.

As mentioned earlier Manning has 22 TD’s to just 3 picks and a host of weapons with the dynamic duo of Julius and Demaryius Thomas with the two having hauled in 15 of Peyton’s 22 scores this season. The other 7 are with Emmanuel Sanders who had 3 last week against the Chargers, 4 on the year, along with Jacob Tamme (2) and Wes Welker with just the one this season. Add that with running back Ronnie Hillman, he has broke on the scene in Montee Ball’s absence, who has 347 yards and 2 touchdowns in his past 4 games then you can begin to evaluate just how good this Denver offense is.

But as we know the Patriots offense is not looking too shabby either after fantastic performance after performance in October which ended with Tom Brady being announced AFC offensive Player of the month. Brady had a 129.1 passer rating, with 1,268 yards and 14 touchdowns in those 4 Patriots victories and personally I feel this has propelled him in to the MVP conversation along with Aaron Rodgers, Peyton Manning, Andrew Luck, DeMarco Murray and JJ Watt.

Brady completed 30 of 35 passing attempts for 354 yards and 5 touchdowns last week leaving him with a quarterback rating of 148.4. Rob Gronkowski had 9 catches for 149 receiving yards and 3 TD’s and has definitely got back to his devastating best as Gronk now has 7 touchdowns this season leaving him tied for 4th. Brandon LaFell has also built up fantastic rapport with Brady and has 4 touchdowns on the year with 1 last week hauling in 124 yards in the process.

Ever since that Monday Night meltdown against the Chiefs all Brady and co have done is prove the doubters wrong. Anyone who did doubt Tom Brady’s abilities is quite frankly an idiot but he did what any fantastic player does and that was silence his critics on the field. The change in fortunes has brought a breath of fresh air along with hope in New England. Brady now has 18 touchdowns to just 4 interceptions on the year which ranks him 5th only behind Manning, Luck, Rivers and Rodgers.

Now that the Patriots have solved offensive line issues and the offense is performing at a high level you would have to say they are one of the best teams in the league due to their all round talent on defense, offense and special teams. Despite the loss of Stevan Ridley on the ground Shane Vereen has continued to be a brilliant weapon for Brady in the running and passing game and is the type of versatile player that Brady and Belichick love.

Vereen has one rushing touchdown for 281 yards giving him a 4.8 average and two receiving touchdowns for 208 yards. Jonas Gray was added to the running game fold last week and put in an impressive debut with the big bodied back racking up 98 yards off 20 carries averaging 4.9 yards a carry. If he can continue to impress he will be the Patriots’ equivalent of Denver’s Ronnie Hillman and a well welcomed running game addition to a team that possess one of the most efficient passing games in the NFL.

Gronk (7), LaFell (4), Vereen (2), Amendola (1) and Tyms (1) are the recepients of Brady’s passing scores this year but the guy who has been particularly important to the improvements of the passing game is Gronks new tight end partner Tim Wright. He possesses the other 3 Brady touchdown scores and Wright’s addition to the offense has given Brady a new tight end duo threat to trouble opposing offenses which has given Brady and the Pats offense to get all of these offensive players mentioned involved.

The rewards are key to see and after analysing both Denver and New England’s offenses tomorrows game will be a mouth watering encounter especially as we know the quality of both sides defenses as well. Personally I feel this is the most exciting regular season game since the November 7th encounter in the 2007 season when the 8-0 Patriots faced off against Manning’s 7-0 Colts. Despite the quality of both offenses both defenses can force mistakes in the opposing offenses and that is why I feel that it will be a nail biting game for fans of both teams that will end in a close one. I will go out on a limb and say that the Patriots get a repeat of that close win back in 07 and triumph over the Broncos 24-20 setting up a thrilling race for the first seed position come playoff time!

Perfect Patriots Pounce On Bengals!

 

The Cincinnati Bengals walked in to Gillette Stadium licking their chops at the possibility of defeating the New England Patriots in their own back yard but walked out on Foxborough with the same deflated feeling that the Pats had experienced themselves last week. Defeat to the Chiefs 41-14 had raised many questions over the brightness of the future for the legendary duo of Brady and Belichick but the two executed the game plan brilliantly as they rallied to an early 14-0 first quarter lead against the Bengals.

Brady was back to his magical best completing 23 of 35 passing attempts for 2 touchdowns to Tim Wright who had a breakout night and Rob Gronkowski who looks to be back to his best which is fantastic news for the Patriots. I called for Timothy Wright’s breakout game to be last week but it came last night and whilst many have questioned the Logan Mankins trade which exposed New England’s offensive line problems after his performance last night everyone will be praising the genius of Belichick as Wright, the man who moved the other way as part of that trade with Tampa Bay, had an Aaron Hernandez type performance and had 5 receptions for 85 yards and one score.

This helped Rob Gronkowski get free and avoid double coverage throughout the game with the big man catching 6 passes from Brady including the catch which saw Brady eclipse 50,000 passing yards during his NFL career becoming only the 6th quarterback to do so; Gronk finished the night with 100 yards, one score and averaged 16.7 yards per catch. The fantastic performances by the two tight ends along with an inspired performance by the offensive line which helped Brady get his flow back in the passing game as well as also helping the team establish the running game, something New England fans have been crying out for.

The 6th QB to reach the landmark for passing yards

 

Josh McDaniels made the right play calls and used the one-two punch of Ridley and Vereen to devastating effect with the two combining on the ground for 203 rushing yards; Ridley had over 100 and got one touchdown. The effectiveness in the run game really did give the Patriots the balance they needed to win the game and is something they have been renowned for having over the years. The passing game had 8 different receivers haul in a catch from Brady with the efficient display on offense seeing them post 36 points with Stephen Gotskowski kicking all 5 of his field goals successfully.

The other touchdown was a fumble return by Kyle Arrington who had a brilliant night on the defense. The defense did what I and many people expected after last weeks humiliation if not better by bouncing back in style with Darrelle Revis having his best game in a Patriot uniform to date limiting AJ Green in the passing game. Coach Belichick gave him the freedom to match up with the receiver one on one with Revis winning the battle throughout the game; Revis also had a forced fumble on a night which saw the Patriots force 3 turnovers with Jamie Collins causing the other. The Patriots also managed to get a pass rush going which unsettled Andy Dalton at times who despite actually having a good night personally, 15/24 for two touchdowns, suffered as the rest of the team around him depleted.

The 43-17 victory is just the bounce back performance that the New England Patriots needed to silence the doubters and get their season back up and running. They now sit joint first in the AFC East with a 3-2 record ahead of two divisional games coming up against the Bills next Sunday and the New York Jets the following week on Thursday Night Football. Before the Chiefs game I sang the Patriots praises regarding their ability of performing under the lights of prime time television and while last week didn’t go too well for them they sure as hell did last night! Brady now owns a 13-8 record on Sunday Night Fooball and the Patriots are an NFL best 38-9 in the month of October since 2003 including a home record of 23-1 in that time which is very impressive.

Brady was all fired up after guiding New England to victory

Brady himself knows there’s a long way to go on the season but to beat a team that many had down as the most complete in the conference has to boost morale; this victory was New England’s 32nd straight regular season victory at home against AFC opposition. That record will definitely be put to the test in week 9 when they host Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos which comes after the two divisional matchups mentioned earlier on and just after a home encounter against the Chicago Bears. That means that 3 of the Patriots next 4 games are at Gillette Stadium which could give this team even more confidence before they head in to their bye week come week 10.

So Brady and co are back with a vengeance with the quarterback’s career record after a loss now standing at 35 wins with just 8 losses (won last 9). As well as this since 2009 in 33 games Brady is 29-4 throwing 65 touchdowns to just 13 interceptions with a QB rating of 112. Anyone who questioned the Patriots will now surely feel foolish and the team will now have their road trip to Buffalo in sight as they look to take control of the division which this win many analysts and experts will expect them to do. This may have been just one game but it showed the heart as well as the spirit that this New England team has and that is something you cannot teach and will definitely come in hand throughout the long regular season and more importantly come playoff time.

Prime Time Patriots

Monday Night Football!

The New England Patriots travel to Arrowhead Stadium tonight for the season lone appearance on Monday Night Football. This is one of 4 straight games against AFC opposition with the Patriots welcoming the Bengals to Gillette Stadium for Sunday Night Football before facing divisional rivals Buffalo and the New York Jets.

After starting the season with a lacklustre performance against Miami the Patriots have bounced back to win their last two games with a convincing 30-7 victory versus the Vikings and a hard fought victory against Oakland last week 16-9. While the 2014 edition of the New England offense is going through some teething problems the defense has looked steady often producing good play and signs of potential to be one of the best in the league.

They rank 1st in the NFL with the fewest yard against them over the first 3 weeks of the season giving up just 818 yards and 3rd in points against with just 49 given up leaving them just behind Arizona on 45 and Cincinnati with 33. Success at forcing turnovers has also been impressive in the opening weeks of the 2014 campaign for New England, something Bill Belichick’s defense have always been known for, with the team having racked up 6 interceptions already on the year which is tied for 2nd in the league. As well as these stats they have forced 3 fumbles so far recovering 2 and have sacked opposing quarterbacks 7 times.
The Chiefs didn’t start 2014 too well themselves going down heavily against the Titans 26-10 before almost taking the Broncos to overtime in week 2 when they narrowly lost 24-17. Last week was much better for Andy Reid’s team as they dismantled the Dolphins 34-15 to chalk up their first win of the year. Kansas City will be the hardest opposition that the Patriots have faced so far this year especially as Arrowhead stadium can often conjure up quite an atmosphere. Tonight they’re attempting to regain the crown they once had as “The loudest stadium in the world” so Tom Brady and co could be in for a tough task.

While tonight’s matchup could be rather tough for New England especially as they’ve had early season offensive woes so far this year it has to be said that typically on Monday Night Football Tom Brady excels in front of the prime time cameras; his MNF record is 13-5. Brady has thrown three or more touchdowns in a Monday Night game nine times, including four four-touchdown performances. He has also thrown four touchdowns in three of his last four Monday Night games. It’s also worth noting that Brady is tied with Steve Young for third place with 42 touchdown passes on Monday Night Football, behind Brett Favre (69) and Dan Marino (74). Steve Young threw 42 touchdown passes in 25 Monday night games, while Brady has 42 touchdowns in just 18 games!

 

Last week was Brady’s 150th career regular-season victory as a starting quarterback.

With Rob Gronkowski’s snap count growing as the season has begun it’s only a matter of time before the Brady-Gronk partnership lights up and tonight could be that night. There have been struggles on the offensive line but every team has its own individual chinks in their armour to deal with especially during the early stages of the season. Julian Edelman, Shane Vereen along with Stevan Ridley offer the Patriots versatility in the offense and either of the two could have a big game tonight as New England will look to take advantage of a Kansas City secondary that has looked sloppy at times during the early stages of the 2014 season.

Spare a thought for Danny Amendola as he is struggling performance wise while Aaron Dobson is still recovering from injury, as for Brandon LaFell well he saw some more targets from Brady last week and either him or Kenbrell Thompkins will be looking to build up some rapport with Brady tonight also watch out for Timothy Wright who seems to be growing in to the system week by week following his trade to the Patriots from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers earlier on in the season.

As mentioned before New England’s defense has been playing well so far this season and will have to be at their best tonight when they go up against the likes of Alex Smith, Dwayne Bowe and Jamaal Charles. The likes of Chandler Jones, Dont’a Hightower and Jamie Collins continue to made big stride week by week and these 3 young defensive players are becoming big time assets to the Patriots along with the likes of Jerod Mayo and Vince Wilfork. The secondary has been progressing well as Darelle Revis settles in along with Devin McCourty who always seems to perform at a high level and I personally can’t wait to see Brandon Browner make his debut for the Patriots which should be next week versus the Bengals now that he has served his four game suspension.

 

Chandler Jones is coming for you Chiefs!

 

With Tom Brady’s record on Monday Night Football and Bill Belichick revitalising his team following their week one defeat I expect the Patriots to put in their best performance of the season as despite the Chiefs ranking 7th in yards against their defense and 6th in points given up so far this season they giving up an average of 354 yards a game. Ahead of that mouthwatering encounter against the Bengals next Sunday New England will be hoping to return back to Boston with a 3-1 record and give Bill Belichick his 16th victory as the head coach of the Patriots on Monday Night Football games.

Patriots Defeat Raiders, Feels More Like a Loss

It took an interception by Vince Wilfork with under 2 minutes to go, to keep the double digit underdogs, Oakland Raiders, from tying, and forcing overtime against the New England Patriots. It was a 13-6 WIN, but it felt more like a loss for the now 2-1 Patriots. It’s a weird feeling for fans of a winning side, to feel like they lost. Maybe it’s only something Patriots fans feel because they’ve been so spoiled over the past 15 years, either way, it was not a good win for the Patriots.

Brady Raiders

After last week’s win in Minnesota, Tom Brady spoke out about how the Offense needed to step up, and play better together. That didn’t happen this week. In fact it seemed to be worse than it what it was last week. The offense that has been displayed through the first three weeks of the season does not look at all like a Super Bowl caliber offense.

Brady was 24 for 37 with 234 yards, and one touchdown, which was thrown to Rob Gronkowski with 4:14 left in the first half to give the Patriots a 7-3 lead. That was the only Touchdown scored all day by either side.

Although only one Touchdown was scored, the Patriots and Raiders but had good chances to find the endzone, but neither could get the job done. The best chance for the Patriots to score 7 was at the start of the 4th quarter, and the ball on the Raiders 2 yard line. Brady threw a great pass up the middle to Gronkowski, but he was unable to hang on to it. So Brady tried again, this time to Danny Amendola. Despite a dive by Amendola, he was unable to make the catch, and the Patriots had to settle for the field goal, which put them on top, 13-9.

The missed touchdown by Amendola was the only pass targeted to him all game. The common theme for Brady thus far has been avoiding Amendola like the PLAUGE!!! The only receiver Brady has trusted this year has Julian Edelman, and occasionally Gronk. Edelman once again was the top receiver in the game with 10 receptions and 84 yards. There is clearly some sort of disconnect between Brady and his receivers, and maybe JUST MAYBE Brady is responsible for a lot of the Patriots struggles. (I know, blasphemy just by suggesting Brady might be responsible.) Read more

Patriots Destroy Vikings, Brady Still Not Satisfied

After a lackluster start for the Patriots defense, that allowed Matt Cassel and the Minnesota Vikings to march right down the field and into the End Zone on the opening drive, the Patriots defense stepped up, and didn’t allow the Vikings to score another point, as the Patriots defeated the Vikings on Sunday, 30-7.

brady vikings

The opening drive for the Vikings offense was very reminiscent of the Dolphins first drive of the game last week against the Patriots defense, and like the Dolphins they had an early 7-0 lead. After a 3 and out from the Patriots offense, Devin McCourty picked off Matt Cassel at the New England 39 yard line, and returned it 60 yards, to the Vikings 1 yard line. Stevan Ridley powered it into the End Zone to tie the game, and from there on, it was all Patriots.

With less than 30 seconds left in the 1st half, and with the Vikings trailing by just 10, and trying to lower the gap to just a touchdown by going for a field goal, Chandler Jones stepped up, blocked the kick and returned the ball himself 58 yards to score a touchdown. Instead of the game being separated by 7, the Patriots took a 17 point lead into the locker room. The blocked field goal was the Patriots first blocked field goal since 2010.

In the second half, the Patriots defense didn’t fold like they did last week, and shut out the Vikings. The defense had four interceptions against Matt Cassel including one by the new and hyped Patriot, Darelle Revis. The defense was also able to bring the pressure, and sacked Cassel 6 times. Even when they couldn’t sack him, they made him throw quickly.

The Patriots offense didn’t do much in the 2nd half, and only put up 2 field goals. The lack of offense and offensive touchdowns led Tom Brady to speak out after the game, and let his dissatisfaction known.

“I’m glad we won, I just wish we’d go out there and play like we’re capable of” said Tom Brady during his post game press conference. “A lot of guys contributed. A lot of great plays were made. Hopefully offensively we can do a better job next week.”

Although his comments are similar to what Bill Belichick expresses after any win (we still need to work on things and get better), Brady had a right to complain about his offense, at least about his receivers. Brady only completed 15 passes, and 6 were to Julian Edelman, and 4 were to Rob Gronkowski. Edelman looked like he did last year in this game, and was Brady’s go-to guy when finding a receiver. He also performed well on Special Teams, by averaging over 15 yards on punt returns.

Despite finding Edelman often, Brady and the rest of his receivers didn’t seem to be on the same page for most of the game. For Tom Brady to be Tom Brady, he needs receivers to be in sync with him.

The running game wasn’t an issue for the Pats offense. They rushed for a total of 150 yards, and Ridley himself rushed for 101 yards, with ZERO interceptions.

The win was Brady’s 149th career win which puts him in 3rd all time on the win list for Quarterbacks, and it was Bill Belichick’s 200th win.

Next up for the Pats is the Raiders at Gillette next Sunday

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