So...after the Patriots suffered a heartbreaking loss in Denver three weeks ago and came home to a snowy Gillette Stadium in Foxoboro, MA rocking their old pre-1993 Boston Patriots AFL gear. Just what the doctor ordered as they forced a turnover first play of the contest against the hapless Tennessee Titans. When they failed to get in the end zone and missed for a field goal Boston sports fans bitched and moaned because the Patriots have been terrible in the Red Zone this season. Then Pats got the ball back and Maroney broke a 45 yard run for a TD. Then Gostkowski hit a FG to end the 1st quarter 10-0. The defense looked like they'd finally woke up. Then all hell broke loose.
In 10 game minutes, Tom Brady threw 5 TD passes. That was an NFL record. He finished the game 29-34 for 380 yards and 6 TD's on the night. The hometown fans rejoiced and threw snow all around. New England Patriots fans flooded Facebook & Twitter making jokes (myself included). We began to wonder if they were going to perform Shipoopi right there on the field. Could Tom Brady be back? After all, he did finish the game with an 152.8 quarterback rating. They had the ball for 39 minutes and outgained the Titans 619-186. Kerry Collins went 2-12 for -7 passing yards & Vince Young never completed a pass. Remember the Titans? Me neither!
The Patriots complete and total domination of the Rancho Carne Toros...I mean Tennessee Titans had people wondering if this was a one game fluke or not. After all, it was a home game in the snow after a close loss at altitude on the road. The Patriots also suffered some key losses in that game, including Matt Light, Fred Taylor, Sammy Morris & Julian Edelman who wouldn't be making the trip to the UK to play in Wembley Arena. How would the Patriots respond after losing so many key players and going overseas to play a huge game against another lackluster opponent? By kicking their natural asses!
The Patriots had two interceptions last week but this week the scoring was kicked off by a Brandon Meriweather pick 6, the Patriots first defensive TD since the 18-1 season. The defense managed to stop the rather pathetic Bucs offensive attack and Tom Brady managed to toss another two touchdowns to push the lead to 21-0. The Patriots had scored 80 straight points on their opponents before Josh Johnson responded with a 33 yard TD pass before the half ended. They would be the only points the Bucs scored in the contest. Brady threw another TD along with 2 INT's and Laurence Maroney tacked on a TD run to finish the 35-7 thrashing for their first road win. The New England Patriots had returned to Old England in winning fashion.
Tom Brady went 23-32 for 308 yards with 3 TD 2 INT. Randy Moss and Ty Warren both got injured in tonight's game, the severity of each injury remains to be seen. While the Patriots dominated their last two opponents 94-7 and now sit atop the AFC East they still have to keep it going against quality opponents and get healthy to have a legitimate shot at making any noise in the postseason. The Patriots have a bye week to heal up before they face 3 straight heated rivals in the AFC, the Miami Dolphins, Indianapolis Colts & the New York Jets. If they can run the gauntlet and beat these three teams it'll be tough to keep them out of the playoffs without a complete breakdown. I can't wait to see how it all pans out.