By: Russ Goldman
The Patriots soundly defeated the New York Jets 37-16 at MetLife Stadium last Sunday night, and are now getting ready to face the Chiefs on Monday Night Football.
There’s certainly plenty to talk about, so here are some thoughts for this week ranging from my thoughts on the recent victory, along with my thoughts on the upcoming game against the Chiefs.
1. The Patriots are firmly in control of the AFC East. With the Patriots beating the Jets they are now firmly in charge of the division. With all due respect to the Buffalo Bills (5-4) I think the Bills are playing over their head, and will continue to slide in the second half of the season.
The Jets (5-5) with their recent loss to the Broncos are now in serious trouble. The Patriots are essentially 3 games up in the Division as they have beat them twice and win that tie-breaker. I wouldn’t be surprised to see them still make the playoffs, but I think they just kissed the Division goodbye.
2. The offensive line did a nice job in protecting Tom Brady last week. The O-Line has really struggled in the last 4 games prior to the Jets encounter. They really stepped up, and protected Tom Brady fairly well last week
Brady had plenty of time to throw, and was not sacked at all in this game.This was a huge upgrade than what we have seen lately from this unit. Let’s hope they can build on this performance moving forward the rest of the season.
3. Tom Brady had a classic performance. He took over the game in the second half, and really pushed the Patriots ahead to victory. He threw for 329 yards, and 3 touchdowns. When Brady ran the “hurry up” he was simply unstoppable.
4. Did Chad Ochocinco stretch the field? He only caught 2 passes for 65 yards, but that might have opened up the Jets defense slightly. His presence could have forced the Jets to play back, and fear the deep threat somewhat. Maybe I am pushing it a little bit on Chad, but I think he does have value. I say let’s give him to the end of the season and see where he ends up.
5. Rob Gronkowski could becoming the bigger threat at tight end. Against the Jets, he had 8 receptions for 113 yards and two touchdowns. Nothing against Aaron Hernandez but Gronkowski is starting to separate himself as a complete tight end. He is a better blocker, and an impossible match-up for opposing defenses.
Hernandez is extremely valuable and I think still hampered from an injury. Regardless, I see Hernandez as being like Dallas Clark, but Gronkowski being the future Russ Francis.
6. The “Hurry Up” offense pays off against the Jets. I have come to the conclusion that the “hurry up”, when used in certain situations, can be deadly to a defense.
On Sunday, the Patriots utilized it in the 3rd quarter, and the Jets had no answers for it. The defense tired out, and Brady picked them apart as they could not substitute. It doesn’t work every time, but against the Jets, it worked like a charm.
Andre Carter was a dominant force last Sunday night against the Jets. (FILE:Icon/SMI)
7. Mark Anderson and Andre Carter were both dominant against the Jets. Most in the media have focused on Carter as he had 4 sacks and harassed Mark Sanchez, but Anderson was very effective from the other side. He only had 1 sack, but he was constantly putting on pressure.
If these two defensive ends can continue to get after the quarterback like they did against the Jets, they can certainly mask the issues in the secondary. We will have to wait and see if this performance was a breakthrough or just a one game wonder by the two of them.
8. Enough with the back handed compliments on the defense in the media. After an impressive performance by the defense, the more I listened and read had to deal with that this defense is just not good enough to win in the play-offs.
The defense had several “no name” players, but a good amount of that had to do with injuries. When Devin McCourty, Brandon Spikes, and Patrick Chung all return, this defense is going to look and feel different. I think it is too early to count this unit out. Let’s make a judgment on them as we get to the end of the season since, after all, there are still seven more games to go.
9. I am a little scared about the return of Romeo Crennel. The Patriots should win this game easy, but Crennel certainly knows how to handle the offense.
When he was head coach at Cleveland, he did a nice job in containing Brady in that game. With the Chiefs, he has that defense playing well. The return of Crennel is just something to monitor on Monday Night.
10. I am disappointed not to see the return of Matt Cassel. I believed in the ex-Patriots quarterback when he was here. In 2008, I thought he did a tremendous job filling in for Brady. I wish we could have seen what he was capable of in the play-offs.
Cassel is injured and will not be playing in this game. Instead we will see Tyler Palko at quarterback for the Chiefs. Nothing against him, but that is a serious letdown for me.
Those are my 10 thoughts for week 10, but feel free to leave some of your thoughts or concerns on this upcoming game in the comment section below.