Monday, October 26, 2009
TAMPA BAY IS FALLING DOWN, FALLING DOWN, FALLING DOWN... TAMPA BAY IS FALLING DOWN, MY FAIR LADY
94-7. That's how much the Patriots have outscored their last two opponents. The 87 point combined margin of victory is just 1 shy of the NFL post-merger record, set by Kansas City. And once again, it could have been a much wider deficit.
Inside the pocket, Tom Brady looked like 2007's Tom Brady. He stepped up at the right time, was patient with the ball, and made excellent decisions with his feet. He threw two interceptions, and both were his fault. His pick in the end zone was particularly painful, and was his first red zone INT since 2005.
The defense was solid once again. Meriweather picked off two passes, and both INTs came as a result of a consistent pass rush. The Pats stopped the run enough in the first few drives, and once the offense was up 21-0, the rushing game was off the table, and it was teeing off time. Chung, Burgess, and Wright each had sacks. Banta-Cain had 2 tackles for a loss. Adalius Thomas didn't play much, but seemed to play decently when he was on the field.
Wes Welker is back. He caught 10 passes for 107 yards and a TD. He also had 53 punt return yards (13.3 average). In the last 3 games, he has 343 receiving yards, 4 TDs, and 28 catches.
The running game was disappointing, especially since Tampa Bay is very vulnerable to a ground game. Maroney looked like his normal frustrating and frustrated self. Green-Ellis had 6 yards on 7 carries.
The Pats need to work on several things for the next 2 weeks. The left side of the O-line was heavily penalized, and frequently beaten by the outside pass rush. The afore mentioned running game could have been a lot more efficient and punishing. When Tampa Bay was able to absorb the pass rush, they exploited monumental inadequacies in the Pats' secondary. Those inadequacies need to be hidden better, and the pass rush needs to be more consistent.
But 35-7 is 35-7. 5-3 is 5-3.
It's bye week time for the Pats. And then starts an unholy stretch of games. From November 8 to December 6, they play 5 games. 3 of those are on the road. It goes Miami, @ Indy, Jets, @ Saints, @ Miami. That's make or break material.
AP Photo/Tom Hevezi
AP Photo/Stephan Savoia
AP Photo/Matt Dunham