-The Patriots ran all over the Colts on Saturday with Blount rushing for four touchdowns. The defense played a solid game, creating multiple turnovers against a not quite there yet Colts team that put up 45 point against the Chiefs one week before. Up next? Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos, so get ready for all the Brady-Manning hype, there will be plenty of it.
-LaGarrette Blount has emerged as the face of a new Patriots offense heavily featuring the power running game. The Patriots haven’t been known for this type of running game since the days of Corey Dillon, which also happened to be the last time they won a Super Bowl. The narrative has long been that an effective running game keeps Manning off the field and thus gives you a better chance to win. While that certainly can be true, an effective running game can help open things up over the middle, pulling linebackers closer to the line on a play-action pass.
– Saturday also served as a coming out party of sorts for Jamie Collins. Collins played every snap against the Colts and earned praise from coaches and teammates alike. Collins is the player that the Patriots have been missing; a big, athletic linebacker that can cover tight ends and running backs.
– Don Banks notes that of all the Patriots trips to the AFC championship game (this year being the eight trip under Belichick), this year is the most surprising. The amount of sheer talent that the Patriots lost from last years team to this team at this point is simply astounding. Jerod Mayo, Sebastian Vollmer, Brandon Spikes, Vince Wilfork, Aaron Hernandez, Wes Welker, Rob Gronkowksi, all amongst the leaders of their respective positions, and all were players at this point last year (sans Gronk, he had just gotten hurt again). That isn’t to say that this team is still not talented, but that is quite a bit of talent deducted from the roster. At the same time, this type of performance is lost because most fans have become so jaded to the Patriots success. Banks notes that in the 12 healthy years of Belichick and Brady, they have gone to a staggering eight AFC championship games. On average, two out of every three years the Patriots are playing for a Super Bowl birth. Do not take this era for granted, this simply never happens.
Tags: New England Patriots