Tom Brady – 21 of 27 for 252 yards and 3 TDs. Brady
was efficient when it mattered. The two passes he threw with 0:18 left in
the first half to get into field goal range were typical Brady-esque
greatness. It helps that Brandon Tate and Aaron Hernandez made amazing
BenJarvus Green-Ellis – 16 carries for 98 yards was a solid
outing and he would have had 100 without a late -2 yard run. Perhaps his
best play was a decision to run inside on an off-tackle play late in the fourth
quarter when he could have gained another 5-10 or more yards by running towards
the sideline. The Pats needed to run clock, and Green-Ellis cut the play
back inside to make sure the clock continued to run.
Danny Woodhead – his first game as a Patriot and he turns in
a solid, Kevin Faulk-like outing by running three times for 42 yards on draw or
delay plays. Nifty moves near the goal enabled Woodhead to turn defenders around
Aaron Hernandez -- He led all
receivers with 6 receptions for 65 yards.
Dan Connolly and the O-Line:
Tom Brady had plenty of time
to go through his reads today, and the Patriots rushed for over 200 yards. The
offensive line obviously did their job, and Connolly stood out with quality
pulls and blocking downfield.
Aaron Hernandez and Rob Gronkowski:
What more can you
say? These two rookies add an extra dimension to the Patriots offense that
teams are still struggling to figure out. 3rd down and red-zone
conversions are coming much easier this year for New England.
After we chastised Brady for locking in on
Randy Moss last week against the Jets, he certainly redeemed himself by
spreading the ball around to seven different receivers on his way to 252 yards
and 3 TD's.
Danny Woodhead, Jermaine Cunningham
Patriots Secondary – without the constant
scoring by the Patriots offense, the defensive secondary would have saddled New
England with another loss to a division opponent. The Bills entered the
game averaging just 89 yards passing per game. Ryan Fitzpatrick managed 20/28
passing for 247 yards and 2 TDs, though he did give up two INTs.
Patriots Kickoff Coverage – The Patriots fared well in the
first two contests, but allowing C.J. Spiller to return a kick 95 yards for a
score late in the game to give the Bills hope was inexcusable. Three
Patriots had Spiller contained, but poor tackling allowed him to escape.
Defensive tackling – At first glance, there were at least 4
plays where poor tackling led to big plays for the Bills. The Brandon Meriweather move inside to allow CJ Spiller to take an outside, uncontested path
the end zone was especially troubling. Meriweather should have known better. A
Ryan Fitzpatrick scramble for first down when he was in the grasp in the
backfield proves it’s not just the secondary having trouble wresting opponents
to the ground.
Even though Patrick Chung and
Brandon Meriweather came up with two huge interceptions to seal the game for New
England, the secondary looked ugly. The Bills converted on 50% of their
3rd downs, including multiple third and longs. Tackling and communication
will again be the hot topics in defensive meetings this week.
CJ Spiller got loose on a kickoff return,
while Zoltan Mesko had two sub-40 yard punts. Stephen Gostkowski did
connect on a field goal, but Jake Ingram was still a bit off on his long
snaps. Mesko has done a fine job of holding, but if Ingram doesn't clean
things up, there will be a costly error.
Tate had a decent day returning kickoffs,
while also making an important catch near the end of the 1st half. That
said, you just can't put the ball on the ground in the NFL.
Have some Game Balls and Goats of your own?