Once again the new balanced attack from the Patriots paid dividends this week against the Broncos, just as it had against the Bills. There’s no question, the Patriots offensive machine is looking as balanced and dangerous as it’s ever been.
And this is without what many are calling our best weapon on offense? And I mean Aaron Hernandez of course, not Julian Edelman. The addition of an explosive element in their backfield, along with the outside-the-numbers threat in Lloyd, has taken this offense to new heights.
But ultimately just having a hard-to-defend offense isn’t enough to get to the Super Bowl alone. What matters more is that it’s a clutch offense, that is consistent and makes it’s biggest plays in the biggest moments of the game.
How clutch is this ‘12 Pats crew? We still got a way to go.
As for the defense it’s looking more and more like the 2010 version but with a better pass rush. They’re getting turnovers in bunches while the defensive line has been consistently stout in the run game, and porous in the pass game. The pressure has been decent, but notably absent for long stretches in Baltimore.
Nothing about this Broncos game makes you really think anything entirely new about this year’s Pats. They are what they are so far. But if opponents don’t turn the ball over, and get a little pressure on Brady, it starts to get a little dicey.
That said, it’s certainly a roller coaster style of football to watch, which can be fun, but often unnerving, especially at the end ,when the games not in hand and the opponent only needs 80 yards for a touchdown, which usually takes about four plays until they’re in our red zone, anyway…
20 quick hit thoughts about the game:
- Dennard showed me enough that I’m curious about his potential at outside corner. He has a unique, almost squatty, body type, but plays with good tenacity and has some quick.
- Dennard deserves credit for the pass break up on Thomas. Chung wasn’t in position to make a play.
- Ras-I looked lost playing the Money spot, previously occupied by Tavon Wilson.
- I continue to be impressed with Wilson. He’s a good tackler, plays aggressive but under control. As Frenz pointed out, he could be the Pats best defensive back.
- Curious to take a closer look at McCourty’s performance. The PI calls were obvious. I think this was probably a down game for him all around.
- Props to Ninkovich, the guy is playing out of his mind. If he can maintain this kind of play, stopping the run and getting after the quarterback, the Pats defense will really be able to feed off of that.
- Seems like Trevor Scott is starting to see a little more time. In for Chandler Jones first this week. I can see why with the way Ninkovich is playing.
- It’s kind of been fun seeing Jermaine Cunningham doing better as an interior rusher. He’s not always perfect, but I think he’s brought some good pressure at times.
- Myron Pryor could add another interesting interior rush dynamic if he’s healthy enough to come off PUP.
- Let’s just get Gregory back and try to continue to work him and Chung back there. I think those two are still our best chance.
- What can you say about Tom Brady that hasn’t already been said? Another lights out performance from him. Nothing forced. Consistent. It’s a joy to watch and I love every minute of it.
- Ridley’s got some power, got some shimmy, he’s elusive but powerful. It’s nice to finally have a young running back we can get really get excited about. Feels like it’s been all vets, undrafteds and busts since Curtis Martin.
- Brandon Lloyd doesn’t have to do a lot to be effective. But the tough catches he’s making have to inspiring more confidence in Brady.
- Love having Deion Branch for third downs. He just knows how to get open and is a great thing to have instead of throwing someone like Matthew Slater out there.
- Vollmer’s been pretty lights out this year, but I have a feeling this ones going to grade out as his lowest of the year.
- Hope everyone out there is enjoying Welker!
- I think I’ll be seeing Hernando suit up in person next weekend in Seattle.
- Shane Vereen is such a tease. We all heard what great wheels and hands he has, is he ever going to flash them in a game? It seems clear the coaching staff is trying to give him the chance to show what he can do. The opportunities are there, but they won’t be forever. Especially with Bolden and Ridley running so well.
- Storyline to start following now: Is Ryan Wendell the long term answer at center?
- Good win. Always feels good to beat Peyton. I want to be able to say we never lost to him again after the 4th and 2 game. So far that’s still intact and who knows how many more times our paths will cross.
Excited to plow through this week and get up to Seattle. The week of the yearly pilgrimage is here.