Sunday, December 26, 2010
Pats take care of business in Buffalo...clinch division,bye,home field, #1 seed
The Patriots defense caused seven turnovers by the Buffalo Bills on their way to a 34-3 win in Orchard Park,N.Y. The defense caused 4 fumbles and 3 interceptions by the Bills(4-11). The win was another complete team effort. Tom Brady set an NFL record 309 straight pass attempts without an INT which the broadcast team,lead by Solomon Wilcots, kept talking about once the game was out of hand. It was easy to see why these guys get the Buffalo game week after week. They just kept talking about this record,which is impressive but not something they needed to repeat over and over along with the MVP race. Brady or Vick could win the MVP... we get it. Back to the game though, Brady went 15-27 for 140 yards and 3 TDs(2 to rookie TE Rob Gronkowski). Danny Woodhead rushed for 93 yards(including a 29 yard TD run) and Ben-Jarvus Green-Ellis rushed for 104 more to lead the New England rushing attack which totaled over 200 yards for the first time all season. Jerod Mayo lead the defense with a fumble recovery and numerous big hits causing many incompletions throughout the game. The three picks were by Pat Chung, Jarrod Page, and Dane Fletcher. This was all done with numerous regular contributors sitting out due to injury: Aaron Hernandez(hip), Mike Wright(concussion), Myron Pryor(back), Dan Connolly(concussion), Jermaine Cunningham(calf), and Brandon Deadrick(shoulder,flu).
The win was huge for this team as it locks up the division and the number one overall seed in the AFC East which gives the team a first round bye and home field advantage throughout the playoffs. The bye is huge for a team that has numerous injuries giving them two weeks to get healthy as next week's game at home means nothing against Miami. Look for a normal starting lineup next week as Belichick will want the team to stay fresh and sharp for the playoffs especially with a bye week after next week. The team is also undefeated at home this season and this win forces someone to come in and beat this team at home in order to knock the Patriots out of the playoffs. Here are the winners/losers from this week
1. Tom Brady- 15-27, 140 yards and 3 TD's in another solid effort from the unquestionable leader of this team
2. Running game- Woodhead and Green-Ellis lead the rushing attack that does what it needs to do week in and week out for this team
3. Jerod Mayo- leads the defense that continues to get better. Was a difference maker throughout the game making big hit after big hit
4. Pat Chung- this second year safety is quickly becoming the leader of the secondary along with rookie corner Devin McCourty.
1. Wes Welker- Never thought I would see the day with Welker in this category but he earned it today with three drops which cannot be afforded in the playoffs.