The New England Patriots beat the Dallas Cowboys 20 Р16 on Sunday, and even though the game was not pretty, the team got the job done. Here are some thoughts on the victory. -


Brady and Belichick have the Patriots at 5-1 going into the bye. (FILE:Icon/SMI)

- Tom Brady was hit a lot during the game and as a result, the offense was not its usual juggernaut self. The Pats continued to stay balanced and used several targets throughout the afternoon. Brady and the offense put together a masterful drive in the fourth quarter to take the lead. On that drive, he was 7-8, 78 yards and a touchdown (to Aaron Hernandez).

Final stats in this one found Tom Brady finishing 27-of-41 for 289 yards, 2 touchdowns, and two interceptions (QB Rating of 82.3).

- Aaron Hernandez had a costly fumble in third quarter, but then caught the go ahead touchdown to seal the victory late in the forth. Hernandez has had some ball security issues, but I am sure Patriots Nation can forgive him for now.

- The defense played well today, holding a potent Dallas’ offense to only 16 points in the contest. The Cowboys burned New England a few times, but at the end of the day, the unit got the job done. I was pleased with the energy and team camaraderie¬†throughout the game, but the team needs to improve their tackling moving forward.

- Brady and Belichick are now tied with Miami’s Dan Marino and Don Shula for most wins by a QB/coach pairing in NFL history. The 116 game record stood for 27 years.

- Chad Ochocinco might be on his way out of town during the team’s bye week. He was nearly invisible on Sunday and I am of the belief the coaching staff is frustrated with the situation. I have been defending him throughout the first six weeks, but I am starting to think the end is near.

- Third down defense was very good for the Pats defense Sunday, holding Dallas to only 4-12 throughout the game.

- The running game was still solid but not as impressive as last week, with Ben Jarvis Green-Ellis finishing with 14-carries for 58 yards (4.1 avg).  Stevan Ridley finished with 3 carries for 19-yards, while Brady actually was right behind him with 4 carries for 17 yards.  Danny Woodhead struggled in his first game back carrying the ball, rushing 4 times for just 7 yards.

Overall, New England did enough to win the game and beat a quality opponent. The Cowboys could be the most talented team the Patriots play all season, although Dallas hurt themselves several times. The Pats have a lot of work to do still, but in the first six games they have shown promise.

I will be posting further analysis and game grades tomorrow. The Patriots go into their bye week with a 5-1 record, and with two weeks until their next game, their is plenty of time to digest and analyze.

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