Things sure looked bleak when the Pats were punting on their first possession to open the second half and then the defense proceeded to watch a 5-play 83-yard touchdown that put the Bills up by two touchdowns. But after that it was all Pats as they scored touchdown after touchdown from there and never looked back.
Here are some quick observations and thoughts…
- There’s no question Vince Wilfork is the MVP of this defense, and enough can not be said for his inspiring play. His fumble recovery to prevent a 21-7 halftime lead for the Bills was a season-changing play.
- Brandon Spikes forced two fumbles and had a pass defensed, and though he had some issues in the passing game, made a big impact. If Mayo is the brains on defense, Spikes is starting to show he’s the heart.
- Hats off to the offensive line. What a job well done. We’ve kind of come to expect it but they were opening holes in the running game that haven’t been there all season. I doubt the Pats will be able to gash everyone like that, but at least the threat of it will give teams something new to prepare for.
- I thought they were pulling a sneak attack with Vereen when he was in there immediately and had a pass come his way. Looks like they just wanted to give them something to think about because I didn’t see Vereen the rest of the day.
- And the Pats strike gold with another undrafted running back. Brandon Bolden has had his fans since training camp, Greg Bedard being one, and he showed why today. It’s exciting to think what he and Ridley can do together. They both run hard, but they’re just different enough to compliment each other. But wow we’re both of them getting down hill in a hurry.
- Brandon Lloyd and Brady were off early yesterday but it’s clear that he has brought a major element that was missing last year, giving Brady a consistent outside the numbers threat.
- The times when Fitzpatrick ate our defense up were times when the pressure was lacking. Starting to wish Kyle Love was making a little more noise in the pass rush department.
- Tavon Wilson is having an extremely solid start to the season. He is probably getting overshadowed by Jones and Hightower but he’s been making plays on the ball, and the on the catches he does give up he’s a sure tackler with minimal YAC. It won’t be long before we see him get a chance to start. Especially with Gregory potentially dinged/not playing so well anyway.
- It seems like the center of the field was a big target area, but McCourty and Arrington held down the outside fairly well. Will have to take a closer look at that on the re-watch, especially Chung/Gregory.
- The inconsistency of the defense is a major area I’ll be focusing on this week. It’s maddening because they’re seemingly flashing more and more that they can be a very, very good defense, yet the last two games they’ve gone full retard for large stretches.
- Again the Pats stuck with their simple packages/personnel on defense, and while there was a little moving around, things were generally straighforward with no changes from what we’ve seen in past weeks.
- Tracy White did see some coverage linebacker time, but that was probably more due to them playing it careful with Hightower than it was dissatisfaction with Spikes/Hightower in coverage roles.
- Chandler Jones stepped up and made some big plays and that’s what it’s all about for the Elephant. What a player this guy is going to be. And I didn’t even see it coming. You can have off days if you’re Ninkovich as long as you hold the edge, but Jones needs to be a playmaker and that’s exactly what we’re seeing out of the rookie. If he’s not in the running for DROY by the end of the year I’ll be upset.
- Make no mistake, despite the score, the difference here was clutch play late in the game. That is what they’ve lacked in the games they’ve lost over the last two years. So to dig themselves out of that kind of hole, on the road, after an extended run of poor play and bad breaks, down by two touchdowns, it’s bodes very well for the complexion of this year’s edition of the Pats.