After losing the first 12 minutes by a healthy margin, NE dominated the next 30 so much that nearly the entire 4th quarter was garbage time. Remarkable. Anyway, here is my weekly semi-lucid ramblings. I apologize in advance for any time wasted reading this that you will never get back. * Chris Collinsworth of "Football Night in America" touched on how brilliant Tommy has been so far, and both Tiki and Mr. Detroit deflected a good amount of it by saying some variation of, "well, look at the weapons!". We all know that Brady has certainly had plenty of accolaids tossed his way, but I got the feeling that they were going out of their way to discredit him somehow. Because of this I enlisted the Oswlek Research Staff to dig into some numbers for me. What I did, was to go back to 2003, when Peyton Manning became Peyton Manning (it is my contention that Manning was severely overrated prior to 2003, but since then he has been historically good) and look for games where he was over 70% completion %. I chose Manning because he is the concensus best QB right now and because he has plenty of weapons at his disposal. Here is what I found: Since 2003, Manning has gone over 70% comp a whopping 27 times, with a handful of high 60's that I didn't add in - not as many as you would think, though, for how often he goes over 70. In those games this is his average line: Comp / Att / Yards / Comp % / YPA / TD / Int 23.6 / 30.9 / 297.8 / 76.4% / 9.6 / 2.9 / .6 Here is Brady's average line over the first three games: Comp / Att / Yards / Comp % / YPA / TD / Int 23.3 / 29.3 / 295.7 / 79.5% / 10.1 / 3.3 / .3 Remarkably similar isn't it? And Manning had the benefit of playing with all his wideouts for several years going into that season. This is not a slight at Manning. He has been incredible for some time now and with a small sample size for Brady, we could be looking at his best three performances of the season. That said, the time to drop the "Brady is a QB, not a pure passer" or "Brady can't throw the ball deep" garbage is rapidly approaching. A couple more games like these and hopefully people will realize that Brady was always this good, he just didn't have Randy Moss. * I thought Maroney was excellent in this game. He was more decisive and the one time I saw him stutter-step, it was the right move as the line shoved Buffalo back four yards and Laurence just stolled onward for 6 yards. Could someone who knows football better than I give their opinion of whether this was improved play, worse defense or possibly Maroney runs better against a 4-3? * I was discussing it on another thread late last week, but NE's 3 wide/one back offense is downright unstoppable. Shockingly enough, BB and JM seemed to agree with my assessment because they ran that set for at least 80% of the plays that I saw (had to take the kids outside for most of the 4th quarter). Seriously, the only way to break it is to get excellent pressure with minimum rushers. If you double the outside guys, you have LBs on Welker and Watson. If you choose to single Stallworth/Gafney to use a safety on Welker, you have that weakness and Watson is still covered by a LB. If you go DB heavy, NE runs at 5-6 yards a pop. As long as NE's OL keeps playing as well as they have, I can't see a single defense holding them under 24 points. Frankly, I have a hard time seeing less than 30. In good weather, of course. * You all know how I feel about Welker, but I do have a serious concern. In Miami, Wes habitually slowed down in December. He is not a big guy and since he stays in the middle mostly, he is prone to taking some shots. I really hope that NE is cognizant of keeping him fresh as we go forward. * That said, how do you keep him off the field? I was very surprised that he stayed in bounds on the long punt. I could have sworn I saw him step out around NE's 40. * Another OOB play - how did the official not see Edward step on the line for the safety? It seemed damn clear to me. In addition to that, was I the only one who saw a Buffalo pass was called complete even though it hit the ground about a yard ahead of the receiver and then bounced into his arms? * I figured out the next Patriot scandal. Miniature, industrial-strength vacuums on the fingertips of Randy Moss. * Last week Bill Simmons had this to say: I never mentioned this because I didn't have a great example to dispute it, but I never agreed with the sentiment. In the NFL, it is more "honorable" to just call an obvious run play in that situation; teams do it all the time. Bringing in the FG unit is "running up the score" and a QB kneel is a slap in the face. Running the ball is the "classy" thing to do. Fast forward to Buffalo and you see the same thing, but with a longer distance to go. The Sports Guy was offbase on this one. * Despite the end result looking like a moth meeting a car on the highway, I thought that Buffal acquitted themselves farily well in that game. They won the LOS for nearly the entire first quarter and I love that Lynch kid. He is the real deal. I wouldn't be surprised to see him become the best back in the AFCE as early as next season. I also was impressed with their rookie QB, Edwards. Frankly, the Bills would be better off, IMHO to scrap the Losman era immediately and move on. Despite it being his first ever game as a pro, Edwards kept his head up and did a nice job of moving through his reads. Granted, NE helped on that first drive by looking like the Jets out there, but he still had to make a couple plays where his first couple of options were covered. I never felt that they would win, and it certainly didn't help where guys started dropping like flies from their already depleted roster, but if SD or Cincy would play with the heart that Buffalo did, I would be worried. * I have no opinion on the Wilfork hit as I didn't even see it live and the replays were a little too quick for me to get much out of it. The only thing I could tell was that Vince does stick his elbow out, but there is no way to tell whether he has malicious intent of if he is just breaking his fall. * While my wife and I were watching the Chi/Dallas game, she surprised me by remarking at just how discombobulated both teams looked compared to NE. Of course I noticed it myself, but it was the phrasing that struck me. She said something like, "when I watch these teams play, it looks like every play is its own little event. What I watch NE, it looks like every play is part of a larger whole". On to Cincy. It is hard not seeing NE winning this game, but I expect to see a better Cincy team than the one that took the field these past couple weeks. Monday night at their place with their backs already up against the wall will certainly charge them up. As pitiful as their defense can be, I wouldn't be surprised if this was the week someone holds them under 38 points. Even if they do, it is their offense that runs the show and I do have some concerns. Every week so far, NE has allowed at least one long, methodical TD drive. For as few points and yards they have allowed, the D has a ways to go to get where I think they can be. I won't be surprised at all if Cincy slaps at least 20 on the board next week. I won't be all that surprised if they get shut out, either. How's that for fence straddling? As always, I welcome your thoughts.