Pats Vs. Falcons First Half Thoughts
As the New England Patriots head into halftime of their match up with the Atlanta Falcons trailing 21-3, here are some first half thoughts.
Turnovers Are A Killer- So far, turnovers have been a killer for the Patriots. Twice, New England had the ball deep in Atlanta territory and ended up turning the ball over. The first, a fumble by usually sure-handed LeGarrette Blount, came when the game was still scoreless. Though the Pats had looked to be locked in and on the verge of taking a second quarter lead, the fumble instead led to the first scoring drive of the game for the Falcons. The second turnover came with the Pats down 14-0 and directly resulted in points for Atlanta, as Robert Alford jumped in front of a third down pass from Tom Brady to pick off the ball and promptly took it to the house for an 82-yards pick-6. New England enters the half in an 0-2 hole, in terms of turnovers, and if they can't create some on defense in the second half they might not be able to recover.
Too Much Pressure- With all the talk leading into the game about how the weak spot in the match up was the Atlanta defense, most members of the media have been shut up by the Falcons' front line so far. While the Pats have moved the ball well on a couple of drives and have shot themselves in the foot with the turnovers, the Atlanta defense has gotten a wealth of pressure on Brady. Too much pressure, in fact. Through two quarters, Brady has been sacked twice, hit four times and hurry countless others. Those hits and pressures have caused some rushed passes and incompletions, along with the interception. Brady will need better blocking up front in the second half, as the Pats will need to throw the ball a lot to get back into this game.
Things are looking bleak, but you just never know in the game of football. It will have to take a very special second half from the Patriots, if they want to win this game, but they do have the personnel to make this one interesting.