This past Sunday was full of anticipation and excitement as the New England Patriots kicked off the season against the Tennessee Titans at
LP field in Nashville, TN.
There were a lot of questions about this young team and how they would
bounce back from losing to the New York Giants in the Superbowl 21-17
the past February.
As most know by now, the Patriots went onto the field with a purpose on
Sunday and manhandled a lack luster Tennessee Titans team. As the game
progressed, we watched something that we had not seen at all last year
in a balanced attack sprinkling running, screens and passing routes
into the game plan.
Tom Brady threw for 236 yards and hit pay dirt twice with throws to
both of his young tight ends in Aaron Hernandez and Rob Gronkowski also
hitting 6 different receivers in the winning effort.
The biggest difference with this game was the existence of a running
game for the Patriots, something that had been missing the past couple
of years. Stevan Ridley ran the ball very well amassing 125 yards on 21
carries even punching it into the end zone one time.
This was no fluke for the upstart young running back. The offensive
line, that had many questions throughout preseason and going into the
season, came together and had a good showing on Sunday.
As Tom Brady stated when asked about the offensive line the only hit
that got to him was the one that broke his nose. He said they really
held it together with Nate Solder, Dan Connolly, Donald Thomas and
“I am extremely comfortable and confident in those guys and they work
their butt off. I just have to stand there and make those throws
because that’s what this team really counts on me for.”
The last time that these teams connected was a 59-0 rout back in 2009
so, one might have thought that the Titans would have come out fighting
but the New England Patriots were just too much for them on Sunday.
This Tennessee Titan team is not a very good one going through
transition bringing in their young quarterback in Jake Locker. They
also have a running back in Chris Johnson on the decline of his career
and to top it off, WR Kenny Britt was suspended on Sunday.
Last year, although the Titans came in at 9-7 and just missed the cut
from the playoffs, they did nothing to address the interior line
questions that they had in the offseason and they also did nothing to
help solidify a pass rush.
This is why we should not write the Patriots ticket to New Orleans
quite yet folks.
With the Patriots, there were questions this year with the secondary
and the “bend but don’t break” mentality from last year. With the
addition of Tavon Wilson and the healthy returns of Ras-I Dowling and
Patrick Chung you would have thought that they made the necessary
I did not see a major improvement on Sunday from the secondary with
Locker throwing for 229 yards also missing some wide open throws to his
receivers. They are going to be hard pressed to have the same result
when they go against the more elite quarterbacks in the league.
The stout defense line and the addition of Chandler Jones and Donte
Hightower held the afore mentioned Johnson to 4 yards rushing which was
a sure sign of things to come.
Don’t get me wrong, there was a lot to be excited about with the
Patriots on Sunday. Just being a realist here and trying to temper that
excitement and remember that they were playing the Tennessee Titans.
Take the words of TE Aaron Hernandez after the game, “I thought we
started better than the past two years that I’ve been here. Good start,
a lot to learn from and we have to get better every week. I felt like
we did a great job, and like I said we have to keep improving — run
game, pass game and get more dangerous every week.”
Well said Mr. Hernandez.
Talk About It
In the Forums
For more Patriots news follow us via Twitter: @PatriotsInsider
Shane Leketa is a long time Patriots fan who bleeds
and blue. Leketa runs the site MyPatsSpace on MySpace. Follow him on