The New England Patriots learned a couple of valuable lessons last week. Some of them were things I've been actively screaming at the screen for the past three weeks already. It's easier to open up your passing game with the balanced offense as opposed to the threat of having a balanced offense. It's all well and good to have Fred Taylor and Laurence Maroney on the field at the same time but if you only hand off occasionally because you feel throwing every down is just a little too predictable then Gostkowski needs to kick in in the fuckin' head. The Patriots keep trying to force the deep ball, forgetting that it's no longer 2007 and they won't be putting up 50 on anyone anymore. Snap out of it, assholes!
When the Patriots finally committed to making the running game a legitimate part of a balanced offensive attack was it possible to make sustained drives that kept Atlanta's defense on the field for long stretches of time and wear them down. Of course the Patriots frustrating Red Zone offense is still in effect. As of right now, the Patriots team MVP is the kicker Stephen Gostkowski...he gets more love than Hugh Hefner at Hooters. Tom Brady isn't part of a well oiled, perfect killing machine as of right now. Since they're a veteran team they're able to weather the storm against other middle tier/mediocre competition as they did on Sunday. Eventually, the Patriots got a lucky break and the defense woke up.
Tom Brady struggled with timing and drops for the majority of the game but he was able to close to gap some in the 4th quarter where he managed to throw a 36 yard TD to backup TE Chris Baker. Let the record show that this TD was not thrown in the Red Zone. He finished 25-42 with 277 yards 1 TD (116 belonged to Randy Moss). Fred Taylor played admirably and amassed 21 rushed for 105 yards and 1 TD. The ground game gained 168 yards and contributed to New England possessing the ball for just under 40 total minutes of a 60 minute contest. The New England Patriots pulled out a 26-10 against impressive hometown product Matt "Matty Ice" Ryan's Atlanta Falcons. They still have work to do, though.
The Patriots will face the 3-0 Baltimore Ravens with a veteran defense that will look to exploit the Patriots injuries and obvious rust. This contest can go either way. The Patriots can get their asses handed to them this afternoon or manage to put it all together and look like a team that may actually make some noise in the AFC. Things will be made more clear by 4:30 PM. Go Patriots. Don't suck!