Patriots vs. Cowboys First Half Thoughts
The New England Patriots enter half time of their game against the Dallas Cowboys with a 13-3 lead. Here are some thoughts on the first half of play.
Shaking Off The Rust- The Patriots' offensive line looked rusty for most of the first half, not giving quarterback Tom Brady a lot of time to pass against the ferocious Dallas front line. Tackle Nate Solder struggled to keep defensive end Greg Hardy out of the backfield and Brady's face. Solder's cohorts also seemed unable to neutralize the other Dallas pass rushers, as the Cowboys sacked Brady five times in the first two quarters of play.
Pats D Stifles Cowboys- While the offense has struggled i the early going, the New England defense came out of the gate firing on all cylinders. The front seven has dominated the line of scrimmage, shutting down the predictable early run game of Dallas and accounting for two sacks and two tackles for loss. Overall, the defense has forced a three-and-out on six of seven series for the Dallas offense.
Field Position Dominance- The Patriots have controlled the field position so far in the game, starting around their own 45-yard line on most of their first half possessions. On the opposite end of the spectrum, Dallas has started inside their own 20-yard line multiple times so far and has not started past their own 20 yet.
Hightower Injured- Starting linebacker Dont'a Hightower left the game in first quarter after an apparent rib injury. The team has listed Hightower's return as questionable, which means look to see a heavy dose of former starter Jerod Mayo. Hightower had been causing havoc through the first few defensive series, raking up four tackles and including a sack just less than a quarter through the game.
Gostkowski Continues Streaks- New England kicker Stephen Gostkowski is still perfect on the season as he made both first half field goal attempts including a 57-yard boot that looked like it might have had a chance from 70. He also added another extra points, continuing his NFL streak for most consecutive extra points made.
As the second half begins, look for the Patriot offense to come out attacking to start the third quarter, as they look to widen the gap.