Pats Popular in Peter King’s MMQB
SI.com’s Peter King writes a must-read column every Monday called “Monday Morning Quarterback,” where he recaps the previous day’s NFL action and predicts the Monday night game(s). Today’s Week One version features plenty of talk about the New England Patriots after their impressive 38-24 win over the Cincinnati Bengals. First off, New England jumped up his rankings, landing the #2 spot of his “Fine Fifteen.” WR Brandon Tate earns King’s “Special Teams Player of the Week” honor. King said the following:
Here’s the not-so-secret weapon the Patriots have been thinking all summer long would pay dividends once the real games started. Tom Brady bragged about him to me in May, and Tate blew through the Ram kick-coverage team in preseason Week 3 for a 97-yard touchdown. Against the Bengals Sunday, he grabbed a bouncing kickoff and sprinted/weaved untouched 97 yards for a crippling touchdown.
Bill Belichick earned King’s “Coach of the Week” honors, and King said the following about Belichick’s Week One performance:
He’s taken the slings and arrows throughout the offseason for not doing enough at the receiver position or the running back position; his starting wideouts combined for 13 catches for 123 yards and two touchdowns against Cincinnati, while his backs rushed for a clock-eating 118 yards. The defense was too young or didn’t make enough of an impact.
You had to see this game against the Bengals to realize much of the yardage Cincinnati made was after the game seemed well in hand; 428 yards happen when you fall behind 24-0. Four recent very high draft picks — Patrick Chung, Jerod Mayo, Darius Butler and Brandon Meriweather — combined for 43 tackles. For one Sunday at least, the moves of the best coach in football were home runs.
The last Patriots-related comment that jumped out to me was when King said that, “Devin McCourty certainly wasn’t scared Sunday for the Patriots.” Rookie McCourty made his first regular season start in his first regular season game, and he certainly looked like he belonged. McCourty has the makings of a potential shutdown corner.
After an offseason where the sports media continually bashed the Pats regarding everything from Tom Brady’s contract to Logan Mankins’ holdout to the supposed lack of play makers on defense, it’s good to see the Pats get credit where credit is due. Let’s hope they can bring that level of play to the Meadowlands this Sunday.
Don’t forget to vote for the Pats Player of the Week if you have yet to do so.