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Monday, 13 October 2014

New England Proves Dominance With Big Win In Buffalo Week Six

Block out all the noise, and stop listening to the naysayers, the New England Patriots are still one of the best teams in football. So many were ready to write-off Tom Brady and the Patriots, but they don't know him or this team. Apparently, 13 years has not been enough of a lesson to set a precedent for what this guy can do.

It takes a team to win games; the Patriots are winners. There is no math to do; just look at history.

In Buffalo, NY on a nice, sunny day, the Buffalo Bills proved they still are not up to the level of the Patriots. While this Bills' team is a much better version than fell into the basement of the AFC East in 2103, holding court against the true powerhouse of the division is still no easy task.

Did I mention it's Tom Brady?

The contest started slowly, with the Patriots looking a little lethargic out of the gate, and the Bills seemingly offering some stiff resistence on defense. New England also came up pretty big on defense, causing a stalemate in the first quarter. Buffalo came out running the ball. while New England started with a heavy passing attack.

And then in the second quarter, the fireworks began. The two teams traded TDs, and then the Patriots scored three times before the Bills could answer. But Brady never looked back, controling the pace of the game with superior fire power, despite not having any run support.

The Bills fared no better on the ground, leaving the contest in the hands of Kyle Orton, who was no match for the Patriots and Brady. For as close as the game was through half-time, the Patriots quickly ran away with it in the second half.

Mr. Brady ended the day with a 73% completion rate and four TDs. The biggest difference in the game, besides penalties, was the turnovers. Along with only completing two TD passes, Orton threw an interception and gave away the ball on a strip sack. C.J. Spiller also lost a fumble that stalled his team on a late drive.

How soon will we start to hear Julian Edelman, Rob Gronkowski, and Brandon LaFell called "The Big Three"? I hope soon, given that I have seen LaFell as a great asset to the team from the beginning, and also a great complement to Edelman. All three went over 90 yards receiving, while Brian Tyms got a small taste of being a Brady target in the end-zone.

I'm also beginning to wonder how much longer Belichick will put up with Aaron Dobson. He seems to be falling further behind, and one might wonder why Kenbrell Thompkins was jettisoned instead of him. He needs to step up his play if he wants to stay in the line-up. One catch a week is not a good sign.

Let's give props to the defense of the Patriots as well; the sacks began to come fast and furious, lead by Rob Ninkovich with three, and Chandler Jones, who simultaneously caused that fumble and recovery, and another one from Deontae Skinner, who has fought his way onto the roster. And let's not forget Devon McCourty coming back from a minor ding to cause the Spiller fumble, and the young but impressive Jamie Collins with the heads-up pick of Orton.

This was a big and impressive win for the Patriots, and extremely important for the division standings. These in-division games are the most crucial, as the Patriots found out the hard way in 2008, losing the tie-breaker to Miami.

The Patriots are headed in exactly the direction they need to go. Buffalo must shake this off if they have any hope of NOT repeating last year. I just don't see Orton as the answer. The Patriots face the Jets on a short week with the Thursday night game of the week. The Jets' woes play right into the hands of a team on the move. The Bills face a team with even more struggles in Minnesota; perhaps that is what they need to pull a quick turn-around.



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