Monday, January 03, 2011
PATS WIN PRE-POST-SEASON GAME
This game felt like the preseason. Even the weather was warm, at least for January. There was nothing at stake, a few players didn't even dress (Welker, Branch, Hernandez), and the starters weren't expected to play the full 60 minutes.
I approved of Bill Belichick's usage of Tom Brady and other key players in this game. The more worrisome Pats fans out there were concerned that there'd be a repeat of last year's Welker injury. But with a first round bye secured, it's kind of silly to sit players for 3 weeks.
I'm sure the practices weren't as rigorous this past week. And when Brady was in the game, the play-calling was run heavy, and there were few long passes. He got hit a few times. But survived.
Danny Woodhead may have suffered a concussion. He may not have. As of now, the Pats are only saying he has a "head injury."
BJG Ellis surpassed the 1,000 yard mark. I'm convinced that Belichick went for it on 4th & 16, just so Ellis could reach 1,000, then be pulled from the game. Ellis is the Pats' first 1,000 yard rusher since Corey Dillon in '04. His contributions this season have been invaluable.
There were many positives to take from this game, but much like after a big preseason win, it's important to keep things in perspective. Julian Edelman's afternoon, for instance, was world class. Will he do that against an elite team, that's playing an important game? It's difficult to gauge performances in a game like this.
The Patriots have 2 weeks off, and will host a Divisional Round game on Sunday the 16th, at 4:30 PM. They'll play either the Jets, Ravens, or Chiefs. Here are the scenarios:
The Patriots will play the Jets if the Jets beat the Colts on Saturday. No matter what happens in the other AFC playoff game. If the Jets win, they come up to Foxborough as the 6th seed. Simple as that.
If the Jets lose, then the Patriots will play the winner of the Ravens/Chiefs game, which will be played Sunday afternoon.