Monday, September 10, 2007
M-O-S-S MOSS MOSS MOSS!
I think the only Patriot that didn't have a good day was Matt Cassel, who fumbled a perfect snap during a field goal attempt. Cassel didn't even get to do the kneel down to end the game.
We just rolled all over New York. Maroney had a solid day, Brady was great, Moss was monstrous, the defense was impressive against the run and rushing the QB, and Ellis Hobbs tied an NFL record for longest play ever.
We started off with a surprisingly run heavy drive that was textbook. We had pretty bad field position, which I was worried about, because for the past 4 or 5 years, we've been a team that wins by winning the field position battle, and gradually wearing down an opponent. Not anymore, it looks like. We started at the 9 and went 91 yards on 11 plays for the touchdown.
We sputtered a bit for the rest of the 1st quarter. We also used up all our timeouts. We played some sloppy football at times, which cost us a few opportunities. We could have put this game away earlier than we did.
Cassel had a fumbled snap, we used up our timeouts thanks to the Jets' no huddle offense, Welker dropped a ball that would have been a drive continuing first down, and so on.
The Jets tied it up after the fumbled snap, but we did something that we seemed to always do a few seasons ago: score right before the 2nd quarter ends. Moss accounted for 55 yards out of the 73 total yards on the TD drive.
We exploded in the 3rd quarter. Hobbs returned the kickoff for a 108 yard touchdown. Then Pennington got hurt (which seemed to please some Jets fans. you stay classy, New York). Then we had a 4 play, 85 yard drive, with Moss catching a 19 yard pass to begin it, and a 51 yard pass to end it. Moss outran three Jets to catch the 51 yard bomb and score the touchdown. The way New York was playing, the game was over at 28-7.
The Jets responded with a touchdown drive that made the game 28-14, but their drive took nearly 5 minutes. We got the ball back and proceeded to drain the life out of the clock.
"Clock Killin" Sammy Morris just doesn't have the same ring as "Clock Killin" Corey Dillon, but Morris did to New York what Dillon had been doing for us. The Pats drove for 10:28, draining over one sixth of the game's length off the clock, kicking a field goal, and leaving 6:44 for New York to score three times.
Heath Evans got the game sealing TD behind Seau's blocking. Seau basically threw himself into the Jet linebackers. He missed everyone, but prevented Vilma from jumping at Heath, who was leaping behind Seau, over the goal line.
The story of the game was the Patriots offensive line. Brady had all day to pass, and the zone blocking seemed to work well for Maroney and Morriss. We ran for 137 yards, and Brady was only hurried once.
Part of Brady having so much time was due to our receivers. In order for the Jets to blitz, they would have to cover Moss, Stallworth, Welker, and so on, man-to-man. Covering Randy Moss man-to-man just doesn't work. So the Jets didn't blitz us very often. And when they did, we made them pay.
Brady looked good, but he also had about 20 seconds to find open receivers, and when he didn't find anyone open, he'd toss the ball in Moss's general direction, and Randy would jump 7 or 8 feet, and come down with the ball.
I was really impressed with our defensive play. We held New York to 60 yards on the ground. We stuffed a lot of plays early on and broke up a lot of those long scoring drives Pennington and the Jets like to put together. We also did a great job of pressuring Pennington. We sacked him 5 times, and kept him busy in the pocket all day.
We made some mistakes, and very easily we could have won this game 41-7, or even 48-0. We're going to have to work those kinks out when we play teams like San Diego and Indianapolis. However, we're 1-0, and we're already a game up on everyone in the AFC East, because they all lost yesterday.
And by the way, Belichick and Mangini had a short handshake after the game. And who friggin cares?
No photographers were harmed by Coach Belichick.