Monday, October 27, 2008
NECESSARY WIN PUTS PATS BACK IN FIRST
The Red Sox were eliminated by the Tampa Bay Rays. Tom Brady's knee has been hacked more than a Crystal Lake camp counselor. And even though a 23-16 victory over the 2008 Rams won't be making NFL Films' Greatest Games, it was enough to propel the Patriots into a first place tie with the Bills.
Matt Cassel had one of his best games, even though his stat line doesn't show it. The 2 picks weren't his fault, and his performance in the 4th quarter of a late game was nice to see. He's struggled to stay consistent in vital situations like that, but he kept his cool, led the team downfield, and threw a perfect pass to Faulk to give the Pats the lead. On the game winning drive he was 4/4 for 49 yards and, of course, a touchdown.
Kvin Faulk had another big offensive day, and with Maroney on IR, Jordan out, and Morris out; the Patriots really needed his effort. He had 60 yards on the ground and 47 receiving yards. He's been the Patriots' MVP thus far.
It was the St. Louis Rams, so we shouldn't go nuts. Then again, they kicked the crap out of Dallas and their backup QB. In the end, what matters is wins and losses, regardless of who they're against. There's no BCS in the NFL, strength of schedule is next to irrelevant.
And the Pats are 5-2 with a backup quarterback. That's tied for the 2nd best record in the AFC, and 5th best in the NFL. And they haven't lost a close game.
An important stretch of games begins next Sunday night in Indianapolis. The schedule goes Colts, Bills, Jets, Dolphins. The Patriots can do a lot for themselves in the AFC East with some wins, or shoot themselves in the foot.
And if you didn't see any of the cheerleaders in their Halloween outfits, you missed out on a show and a half.
AP Photo/Elise Amendola
AP Photo/Steven Senne