As you may or may not know, my posts generally come in response to agonizing stupidity that is rampant in our society. Following along these lines, as a Patriots fan I think it is important to put out some thoughts on the Patriots that aren’t heavily based in opinion, idiocy and sports talk radio.
For most of this season I’ve consistently heard two things: “Our defense isn’t that good. Wait till we play a good team with a pass rush blah blah blah” and “Our offense is so bad. We’re so fucked. Poor Tom Brady blah blah blah.”
So first of all, our defense is fantastic. The addition of Tommy Kelly might be our best offseason acquisition. Our interior pass rush has been fantastic. I’m willing to bet Big Vince is considerably more rested having another 300+ lineman taking some abuse from double teams. Combine this with underrated edge rushers Ninkovich and Chandler “The Spider Monkey” Jones and we have a great D-line. Kelly and Nink had half a sack against the Bucs along with Mayo and Chandler each having one.
With a strong line up front its creating some mismatches and miscues that are allowing our linebackers to stuff the run. Brandon Spikes dominates the rush. In one play in particular, he timed the snap count nearly perfectly, got in the backfield and blew up the play. Doug Martin is a pretty good running back, same goes for CJ Spiller/Fred Jackson. The Pats have held these great rushing teams to around 100 yds each.
Second aspect of our defense I want to address is our secondary. Is this secondary as good as during the “Golden Years”? Absolutely not. Is it good enough to make a decent run in the post season? Absolutely. Aqib Talib does not get enough credit. The Patriots finally have a lockdown corner, which they haven’t had since…Asante? He consistently goes toe-toe in man coverage with the #1 wide receiver of whatever team were facing and does a pretty good job. The Buccaneers have a good wide receiver duo in Mike Williams and Vincent Jackson. Even before they got injured the secondary did a pretty good job keeping them contained.
Our offense is not as bad as people are making it out to be. Fans are jumping ship like they’re on a Carnival Cruise. Just trying to get the fuck out before they’re sitting in a literal poop deck. Yes the rookies are not too great. In 10 days of practice however, we saw a much stronger offense. With Shane Vereen out, Brandon Bolden did a nice job filling his position as a quick and receiving back. Stevan Ridley it appears has worked on his fumblitis but only time will tell. He is exceptionally explosive out of the backfield. He gets going quick as soon as he gets the ball and it allows him to power forward even if people get in his way.
A lot of blame does not get put on Tom Brady but he missed a decent number of throws and open receivers yesterday. I think it might be because of trust/chemistry issues but Tom doesn’t generally miss open receivers and missed a few. One play in particular, a play action, caused the safety to bite leaving Kenbrell Thompkins and…Dobson maybe, wide open and Brady threw to the other side of the field for an incompletion.
All in all, the Pats look really good. Given that the Dolphins just beat the Falcons, next weeks game is going to answer a lot of questions about this team.