Monday, November 15, 2010
BACK IN BUSINESS
"The Cleveland game was an aberration." Yes it apparently was. But not to be a total buzzkill, so was this. It's true, the Patriots did go to Pittsburgh and dominate. They played well in all three aspects of the game. And they haven't had a road win this big in a very long time (November 4, 2007 @ Indianapolis, in my opinion).
But let's remember how forlorn we were a week ago. We should try to avoid getting too high after this win. Let's also remember that the Steelers played most of this game without Hines Ward. Taking Hines Ward from Ben Roethlisberger is like taking the bullets out of a gun.
That being said, the biggest difference between this week and last was the play of Tom Brady. He went from barely completing half his passes, to completing about 3/4. He was throwing deep, outside, inside, all over the place. He also ran for a touchdown on a nice goal-line read. When he brings his A Game, the Patriots become a very difficult team to beat. When he doesn't, they're essentially a .500 team.
Gronkowski must have had a good week of practice, as he was Brady's favorite target. And it worked out well. Three TD catches for the tight-end, who caught 5 passes total for 72 yards. 8 different receivers caught passes.
The offensive line has been simply stellar all year long. And the defense finally showed up with a consistent pass rush. But give an assist to Pittsburgh's shaky O-Line for that.
There's still plenty of football left to play, but at least the Pats are back on the right track, have a big road win under their belts, and enter a tough stretch of games on the right foot.
Indianapolis comes to Foxborough on Sunday.