New England Patriots – One Down, Two to Go
I have to be honest. I was a little scared about the Patriots’ matchup with Jacksonville yesterday. Maybe it was all of the media experts that said that Jacksonville was going to knock the off. Maybe it was because that claim was somewhat believable. Their claim was that their running game and tough defense would be the combo that would slay the beast that is the New England Patriots. However, Bill Belichick is the ultimate game planner. He took away those strengths. Jacksonville was hardly on the A game in the running department. David Garrard made some spectacular passes, but they don’t have the horses to run with New England’s high-powered offense. That Jacksonville defense didn’t get a chance to put the pressure on New England as the Patriots turned to the running game and short passes. Jacksonville did take Randy Moss out of the game, but that just left the candy store open for the likes of Ben Watson, Donte Stallworth, Wes Welker, and Jabar Gafney. Laurence Maroney and Kevin Faulk were brilliant.
It wasn’t all perfect in Patriots land though. I mentioned the Patriots weren’t able to get Randy Moss going. Their pass defense was weak. If they have to face Peyton Manning and the Colts next week, they will need to show dramatic improvement. Then there is Rodney Harrison. I’m glad he’s on our team, but I’m a little uneasy about the way he plays the game. He’s toes the line of being a dirty player, often alternating between being a hard-nose player and a cheap shot artist.
Overall, I thought the Patriots played a great game. They made the stops when they needed to. They’ll need to play a better game next week against the Colts or the Chargers.