Sunday, September 9, 2007

Pats able to keep up with hype!

The feeling I had about the Patriots before today's game was not a good one. I had questions. How well could the defense function without Richard Seymour and Rodney Harrison? Is Asante Samuel in regular season condition after his hold out throughout most of training camp. Would Tom Brady's new fatherly duties throw him off his game? What can we expect from a Randy Moss injured for the entire preseason? Would the preseason problems with the offensive line protecting Brady come back to haunt them in the opener?

I had questions and this game had answers.

The defense held the Jets offense to a meager 14 points despite creating no turnovers whatsoever and were swarming around Chad Pennington all game. Tom Brady's performance was untouchable as he tore up the Jets secondary to the tune of 22/28, 297 yards, 2 TD's and no interceptions. Randy Moss really got the chance to showcase what he could do on the field as he posted 183 yards on 9 receptions and a Touchdown. The amount of time Tom Brady was allowed to sit in the pocket was incredible. He could've set up a lawn chair and had a read of the Sunday Paper with the time the Jets D-Line gave him.

The only question that remains is the rushing game. Despite an impressive opening drive for Laurence Maroney, he quickly became ineffective shortly after and Brady went to the air to move the football. Even with this setback, Maroney and Morris gave some encouraging signs and were able to grind out tough yards when they needed them in short yardage situations.

The Jets were hands down flattened by a better prepared and more talented team, however, I don't think the Jets are done. Chad Pennington showed some true grit trying to walk off a potentially serious injury and hobbling back onto the field to help the Jets score one of their only two touchdowns before sitting once the game became a lost cause. I get the feeling the Patriots are going to be making many of the teams on their schedule look like non-playoff teams this year. If the Jets can sort out some of the issues they're working through they could be a real threat later in the season.

Elsewhere in the League
Plenty of surprises in the opening week. Pittsburgh made a strong statement in it's first time in a long time without Bill Cowher by pounding the lowly Browns. If the Browns don't right the ship Romeo Crennel will probably be looking for a new job at the end of this season. The Packers put up an impressive win over the much heralded Eagles. More time is needed to tell if Favre really does have another year in him or if Donovan McNabb doesn't. There was some speculation about how the Vick-less Falcons would do this year. Some felt that Vick was the most overhyped and overrated Quarterback in the NFL and that the dropoff from losing Vick would be minor. The beating they took at the hands of the Vikings would seem to suggest otherwise. San Diego won a defensive battle against the Bears holding them to 3 points all game in a 14-3 win. It will be interesting to see how the Chargers handle the revamped Patriots offense.

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