WOW I AM LOVING THIS! That’s all I can say about last night’s performance for the New England Patriots easily defeating the Denver Broncos 41-7. On a very special 600th edition of Monday Night Football, we witnessed a truly wonderful, inspiring performance from Matt Cassel, Randy Moss, Wes Welker and the entire Patriots team. For myself it’s a performance I thought we wouldn’t see this year and makes me feel a heck of a lot better going into this week’s match-up with the St. Louis Rams in Foxboro. If only for this week I feel so much better writing this game’s recap as opposed to last week’s massacre we were involved in.
From the game’s opening moments the Patriots seized control and set the tempo of this game. With the first offensive snap of the contest the Patriots Tedy Bruschi and Richard Seymour pressured Denver’s quarterback Jay Cutler forcing an errant throw and also injuring Cutler’s throwing hand in the process. That play set the tone for Denver offensively as they had to abandon the pass happy style of offense they are accustomed to these days. Forcing more pressure on their running game featuring Michael Pittman and Andre Hall who failed to deliver. Pittman had 88 on 20 carries but became ineffective once Denver fell behind early in the contest. As far as Hall is concerned I’m thinking he’d rather forget his night as he rushed for minus seven yards and fumbled on both his attempts, turning the ball over to New England and setting up early points in New England’s favor.
The display the Patriots defense and also their offense put on last night was truly impressive and ultimately became the keys for their win over Denver. For most of the season our team has shown little or no signs of life on either side of the ball. But that changed last night, will it continue to change or was this a one week wonder only time and their play on the field will tell. They had pressure on Cutler last night and after injuring his hand it took Denver out of their normal routine, forcing them to run the ball more and making it impossible for Brandon Marshall to get involved in the game early on. Cutler finished the night going 17 of 26 for only 168 yards, one touchdown and two very big interceptions. The interceptions came at important moments in the game as Brandon Meriweather and James Sanders stopped potential scoring opportunities for Cutler and the Broncos.
The Broncos had a few moments of brightness as early on they were able to move the ball using Pittman and the ground game. The Patriots were able to contain and not allow Pittman the chance to explode and rip off a big run. The fact that Hall fumbled the ball on his only two rushes helped the Patriots to settle down and set the pace of the game from a defensive stand point. Throw in three sacks for the Pats by the likes of Seymour, Adalius Thomas and Mike Wright who also forced a fumble by Denver in the game. The defense showed everyone what we have become accustomed to in New England, plainly a well balanced team running on all cylinders. And last night was the first game we actually had them all clicking and moving in the positive direction. Special teams were also a big contributor as it set up great field advantage for Cassel to start with most of the night.
On the offensive side Cassel and third year offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels finally found some magic that worked well for them last night. They opened up the passing attack by first setting the running game up. Sammy Morris set the tone for the running game early and very easily against the 30th ranked rushing defense in the league. Morris was able to hit the holes and gaps the offensive line created. Morris left the game at the half with a knee injury but only after rushing 16 times for 138 yards and his fourth rushing touchdown of the year. With Morris out for the second half the ball was placed in the hands of Kevin Faulk and rookie BenJarvus Green-Ellis.
Green-Ellis made the most of his opportunity rushing 13 times for 65 yards and scoring his first National Football League touchdown. Late in the fourth quarter with the Patriots well in command of the contest, Green-Ellis capped off a great running series by Faulk and himself with a one yard hand off from Cassel to Green-Ellis to score. The play was so easy that fullback Heath Evans is seen looking around for any Broncos defender to lay a hit on. The problem was just like most of the night, there wasn’t a defender for Evans or any Patriot to lay a hit on.
Cassel had a great night in the passing game, going 18 for 24 good enough for 185 yards and three very big touchdowns. Also more importantly he didn’t throw any interceptions the entire game, his passes looked crisp and sharp and on target to their intended recievers all night. Moss finally had a normal game that all Patriots fans have grown accustomed too seeing. He hauled in five receptions for 69 yards and two very big scores. Not to be out done was Welker who not only helped tremendously in the return game but contributed with six catches for 63 yards and another touchdown reception on the season.
So in recap to end this since I feel like I could keep on writing this article forever. Hey that’s what happens when your team comes out and has a great game and gets that all important victory. You feel like your on top of the world and nothing can knock you off. But for myself I know the game is over the feelings shall pass in a few days or so. The Patriots now must turn their attention to the St. Louis Rams who arrive for a showdown this weekend. After a big win over Denver we need to bottle up the momentum and confidence we had on Monday night and get ready for the Rams that are rolling after back to back victories over the Washington Redskins and the Dallas Cowboys. So for now I’m signing off and going to relish in the victory and for this week the thought that all is normal in New England. Way to go Patriots and thank you for your performance and your huge win!
Tags: Adalius Thomas Andre Hall BenJarvus Green-Ellis Brandon Marshall Brandon Meriweather Dallas Cowboys Denver Broncos Heath Evans James Sanders Jay Cutler Josh McDaniels Kevin Faulk Matt Cassel Michael Pittman Mike Wright New England Patriots Randy Moss Richard Seymour Sammy Morris St. Louis Rams Tedy Bruschi Washington Redskins Wes Welker