New England Patriots Gameday: 3rd Quarter vs. Arizona Cardinals
By Michael Hamm
When the Patriots take the 2nd Half kick off, the crowd at Gillette needed to see them do some positive things. They may have found something in that Cardinals’ defense on the last series of the first half, and that may be with Wes Welker…he appears to be the go-to guy since Aaron Hernandez went down on the first series of the game.
Just as the Patriots had no answer for Hernandez going down, the Cardinals have no answer for Welker at this point, whose status with the Patriots have been very much a point of discussion all week since his 3 catch performance vs. Tennessee last week.
One thing that’s plaguing my brains is why Brady keeps throwing quicks to Lloyd when he’s in smother coverage at the line of scrimmage. he’s gained 3 yards per touch on those and the Cardinals defenders are getting closer each attempt.
Gostkowski’s 3rd Field Goal of the game seems very anti-climactic, but gives the Patriots a 9-6 lead.
Another negative sticking out for new England is the yardage they are giving up on kick returns, letting the returning get outside the numbers consistently.
New England’s defense picking up where they left off, dominating the run and and blanketing Fitzgerald in the pass. Hightower in on many plays today – and other than when he was on coverage on Heap in the 1st half, none of the Cardinals recievers have gotten past the secondary.
The Cardinals defense is matching new England’s, blow for blow….even more so. A good defensive stand by them allowed for the Cardinals’ special teams to block a punt in the Patriots end zone…it dribbled out to the 2 yard line, but now the pressure is on the New England Defense…
1st & Goal from the 2…nothing up the middle for Wells.
2nd & Goal from the 2…Fitzgerald one on one with McCourty on a fade, well covered and incomplete.
3rd & Goal from the 2…a short screen in the slot to Andre Roberts and the Cardinals take advantage of the flat play of the Patriots offense for a 13-9 lead midway through the 3rd Quarter…is this what’s needed for a wake up call for New England’s offense?
Not so much. Another decent,methodical drive that ends with a punt. Middle of the third looks like the dog time of the game…and it seems so because now the entire Patriots team appears to be losing composure and falling apart…penalties and missed tackles on defense, and as the quarter comes to a close, the Cardinals are knocking on the door once again, looking to increase their 4 point lead…