That felt good.
After the New England Patriots got absolutely obliterated by the Chiefs last week, Pats fans across the country began to freak out. Was this the end of an era? Are we just an average team now? Should we start Garoppolo?
Well, our boys certainly answered that in a big way tonight. Led by a fired up Tom Brady, the Patriots dominated from start to finish, in every facet of the game. The offensive line was perfect, the running game abused Cincinnati’s defense, and led by Darrelle Revis, the Pats’ defense held up their end as well.
The Patriots opened up the game with two dominating touchdown drives, and I think it was obvious to everyone that this game would not be close. The Pats game out firing on all cylinders, and it seemed like Brady and the offense were truly angry about last week’s loss. They ran the ball early and often (like I said they should), and it later set up plenty of open passes across the middle for Rob Gronkowski, and Tim Wright.
At the beginning of the offseason, I thought this offense would thrive with all of their weapons. And tonight, they flashed a bit of that efficiency that we all thought we would see in week one. The Bengals couldn’t handle Gronk, Edelman was his typical productive self, but it was the emergence of Tim Wright that really stood out to me. It reminded me of when Gronkowski and a certain other number 81 abused defenses across the middle a few years ago, and when this offense is rolling like they were tonight, they can beat anybody.
It all got started with the running game, however, as the combination of Stevan Ridley and Shane Vereen was deadly tonight. As a team, New England ran for over 200 yards, and one Ridley touchdown. The offensive line deserves a ton of the credit, because they really dominated the Bengals’ defensive front.
As for the Patriots’ defense, they did exactly what we all thought they should do, as they played tight, aggression man coverage all night long. Bill Belichick finally used Darrelle Revis in the way he was meant to be used, by locking him up on A.J. Green all night long. This allowed the front seven to be aggressive in playing the run, and with the talent they have in the back end, Andy Dalton never got anything going.
The Pats suffered a few minor injuries, as safety Devin McCourty sustained a rib injury in the first half, while rookie defensive tackle Dominique Easley hurt his shoulder. Both of them did not return to the game after they were hurt, but they don’t appear to be serious.
New England is back. But really, were they ever gone?
On. To. Buffalo.