Patriots Come Alive, Dominate Saints For Week 2 Win
The New England Patriots seem to have gotten themselves back on track, after their Week 1 loss, as they beat the New Orleans Saints 36-20 Sunday afternoon.
Better With Age- Patriots quarterback Tom Brady is often referred to as the G.O.A.T. While I like that moniker for him, it seem he could also go by the "Wine" of the league as well. Why the "Wine"? Well, simply because like a fine wine, he has gotten better with age. Brady picked apart the underwhelming Saints defense to the tune of a whopping 447 yards on 30 completions. He also threw for three scores on the day, while posting a 139.6 quarterback rating and completing passes to nine different receivers. Aside from his play on the field, Brady was also arguably the best ref on the field as well. Two times, Brady was able to correctly identify blown calls by the officiating crew and get the refs to huddle, which led to the calls being changed in favor of New England.
Injuries, Injuries & More Injuries- Something we touched upon in our pregame blog was the fact that the injury bug had been feasting on the Pats locker room. Unfortunately for New England, the bug was hungry this afternoon and kept eating away at the Pats' already thin roster. In total, four players, Rob Gronkowksi, Rex Burkhead, Phillip Dorsett and Eric Rowe all left the game with injuries. Guys like Gronk and Burkhead had played large and successful roles in the offense, prior to getting hurt and both guys will be big loses for the team moving forward, if they can't get back on the field quickly. Gronk had caught six passes for 116 yards and a score, prior to his departure in the third, while Burkhead had three catches for 41 yards and a score before leaving in the first half. Along with the four guys that actually left the game, wide receiver Chris Hogan was on and off the field multiple times due to an apparent leg injury. He was noticeably hobbled for most of the game and likely only stayed in the game because of the team's lack of depth at the receiver spot. They entered the game with only three healthy receivers.
Wise Steps Up- Coming into the season, the Pats defensive edge depth was a point of weakness noted by many. While the depth is a bit thin, Sunday's game showed that the Pats might have a nice compliment to third year end Trey Flowers, atop the depth chart. Rookie, fourth round pick Deatrich Wise Jr. put on a display of pure skill all day long, as he picked on the offensive line of New Orleans. On the day, Wise showed a strong ability to get after Saints quarterback Drew Brees, sacking him once and tallying five total quarterback hits. He also added two tackles for loss on the day.
Jones Shows Up In Pass Defense- Second year defensive back Jonathan Jones is another defensive player worthy of praise, after this game. Though he had limited snaps played on defense, Jones had to passes defensed including a pass break up on what would have been a Saints touchdown in the second quarter. The special teams ace could see an expanded role defensively, if Rowe's injury is significant and, based on his play today, that might not be a bad thing.
All in all, the team, as a whole, bounced back nicely from there shocking Week 1 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs. Both the offense and defense showed a higher level of competence, despite working with injuries on both sides. Obviously the Saints are not as talented as the Chiefs, but that fact that the Pats were able to do whatever they wanted on offense most of the day and were capable of making stops when they needed them were both really positive signs for the defending champs. After being punched in the mouth last week, New England came out with full force all game long and showed what true champions are made of.