Well, uh, that wasn’t fun. The Patriots actually lost to the Buffalo Bills and Rex Ryan. Not only did they lose, but they got shutout . . . at home. The first time since 1993, the New England Patriots were shut out in Foxboro.
Jacoby Brissett was back in at quarterback this week despite having an injured thumb. His mediocre performance was overshadowed against Houston, but was on prominent display Sunday afternoon. In all, Brissett was 17/27 with 205 yards, no touchdowns, and no interceptions. However, he did cough up two fumbles, one being recovered by the Bills inside their own 10 yard line. A hampered Brissett just couldn’t get it going today, but just be thankful that we have Tom Brady coming back next week. Those poor, poor Cleveland Browns.
Finally, a team was able to slow down Legarrette Blount. The NFL’s leading rusher coming into week 4 was held to only 54 yards on 13 carries(still a respectable 4.2 YPC). The impressive start to the season should only pick up steam with Brady returning, since teams will have to focus a lot more towards the greatest quarterback of all time and the Patriots passing attack. Oddly enough, that didn’t seem to help the Blount Horse coming out of the backfield last season.
However, the real return that has helped the Patriots the most this season is that of Dante Scarnecchia, the offensive line coach. Somehow, Scarnecchia has been able to find a unit that actually works. Nate Solder, Shaq Mason, David Andrews, Joe Thuney, and MARCUS CANNON are actually doing pretty good. The quick-hitting Patriots offense relies heavily on their O-line to protect the passer and open up holes for the big backs. We saw plenty of times down the stretch last season that with the line being in shambles, the Pats basically choked last season away. It should’ve been another Super Bowl, but they choked.
So week 5 coming up, Brady is back, we’re 3-1, atop the AFC East and should be able to go 9-3 at the very worst for the remainder of the season. See you in the AFC Championship.
by Mark Panzini