Obviously, it was a good win against an opponent with momentum. While I think that ATL was given far too much hype, they were a decent team. While everyone knows that the offense left a lot of points on the board, they executed better as the game progressed and generally seemed to improve. I thought the defense was it's normal, stingy self. My predictions on the defense earlier in the year are beginning to prove true and that is certainly a good thing. Overall, good win. Here are some of the notes. Offense: - Matt Light doesn't suck. Matt Light doesn't suck. Matt Light doesn't suck. Abraham was completely shut down for the entire game. In fact, did anyone hear is name called once? The entire offensive line as a whole played quite well, both in the running and passing games. Logan Mankins was a freaking beast today. He is taking his game up another level this season in the running game. He is reaching the second level quite well, and finishing his initial block with ease. -I can has fullback? Did the New England Patriots lineup in the I? Yeah, I think they did. They did so effectively at that. Sammy Morris was double deadly as both a blocker and a ball carrier. He did an excellent job of getting his hands on the breastplate on his blocks, and kept his hands outside of the defender's. Fred Taylor was exceptional cutting off of his blocks. I like this set a whole bunch. -Let's leave the zone to the Big 10. No inside zone, no outside zone at TE. Well designed, well executed directional and pull based blocking today. By far the best run schemes we have seen all year. -Our OC recovered from the coma!!! I had to rub my eyes in the first quarter. It seemed like there was a hint of creativity to this team. Screens of all permutations, misdirection plays, play action, routes of every tree. Holy vintage Patriots offense, Batman! They looked creative. -The passing game. Durp durp Joey Galloway durp durp dee durp durp. Randy Moss. Chris Baker. Ben Watson, come on man! He's almost there. Defense -The secondary can flat out ball/Please resign Leigh Bodden. 23 is teh legit. Physical, cuts with any reciever, fluid transitional footwork, can run with anybody. Offseason resign priority #1. Brandon Meriweather is emerging rapidly as an elite safety in the league. He is all over the field and finally seems to have the leg drive to compliment his exceptional pop. Sanders is same old consistent Sanders. McGowan was the under coverage on Gonzales, and he had plenty of help from rolled overs and brackets. He executed his assignment quite well. He was physical, and he knew his coverages at all times. I cannot over emphasize how well McGowan played today from an awareness standpoint. He felt his over coverage and did not allow Gonzales to enter the voids. Outstanding game from him today. Terrence Wheatley is still a mystery to me. It seems like he needs to trust his all world footwork a little better and not allow himself to be driven so hard off of the ball. If he is going to allow a clean release, he needs to utilize his superior agility to stay in the hips of the recievers. He also needs to understand the difference between cover 4 and cover 2 man under. His confidence needs to improve, but the physical traits are all there. -I like our backers as it stands right now. In general, they played well. Guyton is improving week to week in his ability to not only read the play, but to get off of the blocks. Manning the middle is different than playing Will in either scheme. He was used to a more free pursuit and flow to the football, but he is beginning to adjust quite well to engaging and disengaging blockers. He even stoned some momentum quite well. When Mayo comes back, this unit is going to be one of the best in the NFL. -Tully Banta Cain is a good football player. TBC had another standout game today. I know that he wasn't featured prominently in the discussion, but he dominated Baker. I was more so impressed with his new found pass rush moves. He showed a swim, a spin, and a bullrush, all perfect for their respective situations. He is playing like a veteran pass rusher right now. Very impressive. Myron Pryor is going to be a player in this league. A fine one, at that. He kept his pad level low, played with exceptional leverage, and displayed fine awareness on the batted ball. I like 91 a lot. The rest of the line also played quite well. Wilfork before his injury was flat out dominant. People really underestimate how explosive this guy is, and he dominated the line when he was in there. The rest of the line was predictably stout against the run, and suprisingly quick in their pursuit. Synopsis The offense is beginning to show signs of life. I am in love with some of the new sets and most importantly their desire to run the football. They displayed the ability to execute when they wanted to on the ground. I haven't seen d-linemen get stood up and moved by this offensive line in quite some time. Very impressive. 12 is beginning to get back in touch. Some balls sailed on him, but this will improve with reps. Galloway...whatever. Sam Aiken also needs to understand how to run a post. It's going to feel good to get Welker back whenever that happens. The defense is beginning to show signs of dominance. Will it be a lights-out smothering defense? I don't think so. However, to expect this unit to be a consistent 3-17 point defense is perfectly reasonable. The secondary has moved from a weakness to a strength, and is on the cusp of becoming an elite unit in the NFL. It will be very interesting to see how Butler develops as the season progresses. If he blossoms, the DB's will be amongst the best in the league. The defensive line is playing well, but let's hope that 75 can recover quickly as his presence and ability is truly undervalued. TBC has been a revelation on the defensive line. He has become more explosive, more aware, and generally is starting to emerge as a high level player with his hand in the dirt. The linebackers are going to improve week to week, and I am beginning to think that Guyton and Mayo are going to be a better tandem than Johnson and Bruschi. This was a good game to build upon, but they will need a much better offensive effort against Baltimore to come out with the W.