All #Patriots fans are hoping for a speedy recovery for Jerod Mayo
There were a lot of great plays to pick from this week, a nice problem I’m not used to having this season, so I just went ahead and picked five because I make the rules here on the Prop.
Players stepped up despite major injuries and made plays at the critical moments to get the Pats the victory. Despite the final score this was a closely-fought football game with the game on the line well into the fourth quarter. The Pats showed a ton of grit and their trademark cold-bloodedness that we’ve come to expect.
Here are the five plays that stood out the most to me…
After going back-and-forth for much of the first half, each scoring touchdowns, this play really got the Pats kick started for the rest of the game. Chandler Jones continued his great season and showed remarkable athleticism to corral the ball. The Pats would get six points just before the half and set them up for the opening drive of the third quarter.
What a play this long touchdown pass was to Brian Tyms for a bunch of reasons. First, it came on the opening drive of the third quarter, a spot the Pats often struggle on the road, and for all the talk that Tom Brady had no more deep accuracy, this one play showed there just might be some hope. This play should serve as a message to any teams who want to load the box and short zones.
The Bills had just put together a touchdown-scoring drive and closed to within six points but the Pats came right back out firing with this play immediately moving them across midfield. Not only is this just one of many examples that I could’ve chosen to illustrate that Gronk is back, but it also shows the kind of steely resolve the Pats had as the Bills continued to stick around.
With a nine-point lead this was the play that effectively put the game away, and the fact that it came on third-and-12 and Brady found Brandon LaFell is just the icing on the cake. This game also proves that the Patriots are a lot more than just the Edelman and Gronk show. The offense didn’t show this kind of development last year until much later. LaFell is developing into the big receiving threat the Pats have lacked for what seems like an eternity.
Still the Bills kept fighting but this was the final dagger, converting a third-and-long and not giving them the ball back with plenty of time and just an eight-point lead. Brady stands strong in a tight pocket and delivers a strike to Gronk.
If the Pats can maintain this kind of execution, they will be very hard to stop.
Previous Three GIFs:
After letting this win over the Bills marinate for the last 20 hours or so I went back to take a look at the condensed game film as I usually do on Mondays. A lot to be excited about, unfortunately it’s hard to be too happy when it looks like Jerod Mayo and Stevan Ridley are likely done for the season.
There’s no way to find a silver lining in either of these injuries. The Pats never replaced LeGarrette Blount, Brandon Spikes or Dane Fletcher this offseason and now those decisions are going to seriously test the Pats’ depth once again.
For Ridley, the obvious personnel adjustment is using Brandon Bolden as the early-down back, but he certainly doesn’t have the ability to break tackles or power through in short yardage situations. He’ll get what is there and likely not a yard more. Maybe Jonas Grey from the practice squad is the answer, or free agent Benjarvus Green-Ellis (I’d be all for giving him a look). But if we’re riding with Bolden as the guy, I’m a little worried.
Brandon LaFell, Brian Tyms, Tim Wright: 6 receptions for 141 yards and 4 TDs
Belichick understands microphones as much as he does criticism of his football team #Patriots
Brandon LaFell 18 yd TD pass from Tom Brady