Week one saw Tom Brady hit the field with a lot of intensity and emotion, especially given what he had to deal with this offseason and there was certainly some question about how it would affect him.
Fortunately for Brady, the veteran quarterback had a terrific showing against the Steelers to open the season, finishing with four touchdowns and at one point hit 19 straight passes, which set a franchise record. His performance was key in New England’s victory and helped overcome a night where the Patriots dealt with growing pains on the defensive side of the football, which saw them struggle to contain the Steelers running game. Pittsburgh racked up over 100-yards rushing, which heading into Buffalo will certainly be a concern as the Patriots get set to battle a Bills team that ran well against Indianapolis and put up 147 total yards on the ground including two touchdowns. That’s something they’ll have to try and improve on this weekend.
However, how things go obviously will start with Brady. Bill Belichick talked about the importance of players not letting their emotions get the best of them but also pointed out that higher emotion and energy also sometimes leads to better execution, which was fortunately the case for his quarterback last Thursday.
“Emotion is definitely a part of football – a good part of it – so I don’t think as a team you ever want to lose that,” said Belichick Tuesday. “Usually high emotion and high energy leads to better execution, so I think that’s a good thing, but at the same time there is a line you can cross where you end up, as you said, getting a penalty or overreacting to something and being vulnerable to something else – a reverse or a pass or whatever it is that then sets you back. It’s a fine line there.”
“It’s a balance. But in the end you’ve got to be able to do your job, you’ve got to be able to do it well in order to win in this league. There are so many good teams and players and coaches. That’s really the key is being able to go out there and execute it under pressure on a consistent basis.
Buffalo is a tough environment to play in and they’re coming off of a big upset win over the Colts which has them riding high as the Patriots get set for a visit. The crowd was really into it last Sunday and Bill Belichick emphasized on Tuesday that one big key will be trying to keep the Bills in check and take the crowd out of the game by hopefully moving the football and putting up points.
“I mean, we always expect crowd noise on the road. It’s something we’re ready for every week if we play away games,” said Belichick. “I’m sure it will be loud there. It’s loud everywhere. It’s a lot louder when you’re not doing well. If you’re moving the ball and getting first downs and gaining yards that tends to quiet it, and when you’re ahead that quiets it, too. It will be as loud as we allow it to be.”
BILLS GILMORE READY TO BATTLE GRONKOWSKI:
Coming off their win against Indianapolis the Bills secondary is feeling pretty good about themselves, with Stephon Gilmore as a player who is already talking tough heading into this weekend’s showdown out in Buffalo.
After seeing Rob Gronkowski open the season with five catches for 94 yards and three touchdowns, he’s planning on making sure that doesn’t happen when the Patriots come to town this weekend. To take it a step further, he’s hoping he’s the one covering New England’s star tight-end.
“I hope I get ‘Gronk,’ to be honest with you,” Gilmore said via the Buffalo News. “We’ll see what the coaching staff says.”
Gilmore said the reason he wants Gronkowski is, “Because I know the ball’s going to him.”
That’s a tall challenge, and Gronkowski already flourished one week removed from Pittsburgh claiming they planned on jamming him and slowing him down. We’ll see if that holds true this week against the Bills.
ROETHLISBERGER INSINUATES CHEATING BY PATRIOTS:
The rhetoric continues down in Pittsburgh following their week one loss to New England, this time with quarterback Ben Roethlisberger making comments during his appearance on 93.7 The Fan in Pittsburgh.
The veteran QB questions whether his team was just outplayed or outcoached, or if there were other factors involved.
“Whether we were outcoached or outplayed or they had some kind of a leg up, I always felt that they knew some of our offensive plays,” Roethlisberger said via Pro Football Talk. “For whatever reason. Maybe it was better scouting or whatever. But I had always felt that. But I’m not one to sit and say, ‘Hey,’ you know, to pout about it or talk about it. I just felt that they were – they beat us on that day and maybe I was a rookie and didn’t know any better but I always felt that the knew some of the plays we were calling.”
TOMLIN ENDS HEADSET TALK:
Steelers coach Mike Tomlin obviously had plenty to say about the team’s headset issues following their loss in New England, but it sounds like he’s finally done talking about it.
According to Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Tomlin said “I was” satisfied with the league’s explanation for what happened.
Said Tomlin, “that’s it for us.”
As for the Patriots defensive shift at the goal line, he also said that what the Patriots did wasn’t illegal, the Steelers just didn’t respond well when they jumped off on the play.
DION LEWIS DOESN’T TAKE THE BAIT:
After Bills coach Rex Ryan said Monday that he “can’t even tell you that kid’s name” when referring to Dion Lewis, Lewis didn’t mind that Ryan didn’t know who he was and didn’t get pulled into saying anything inflammatory as he spoke to the media.
To no one’s surprise he’s settled in well with how they do things here.
“He’s a great coach,” said Lewis via the Boston Herald. “They have a great defense, a great team. I’ve just got to go out there, get ready for this team and try to help my team win.”
KRAFT LEADS FIGHT AGAINST DOMESTIC VIOLENCE:
Patriots owner Robert Kraft tends to spearhead a lot of important projects and one of his newest will be trying to prevent domestic violence.
According to the Boston Herald, Kraft will be joining Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey and pouring hundreds of thousands of dollars into what they billed as a groundbreaking program to educate high school students about domestic violence.
The announcement came Tuesday at Healey’s Beacon Hill office, and aimed at providing in-depth training to students, teachers and coaches at at least 30 schools, with a total of 90 reportedly participating. The program focuses on increasing violence prevention and awareness and The Patriots Foundation will reportedly put up $500,000, while Healey’s office will reportedly contribute $150,000 toward the training initiative.
The Kraft family is said to be planning to spend $1.5 million, which will come in the form of grants to local domestic violence advocates. The Mentors in Violence Prevention Program, which is run at Northeastern University, will conduct the trainings.
Posted Under: Patriots Commentary