New England Patriots Game Grades: Passing Offense Leads The Way


Here are the game grades for this week’s New England Patriots’ win:

Passing Offense: A+

Going up against the best pass rushing team in the league, the Patriots weathered an early storm, and went on to obliterate the Buffalo defense. After Dan Connolly went out with a head injury in the first half, Jordan Devey came into the game, and the offensive line immediately struggled. However they bounced back in the second half, which allowed Tom Brady to go to work.

Brady completed 27 of 37 passes, threw for 361 yards, and tossed four big touchdowns. Brady was as precise as I can ever remember, particularly on the deep ball, as he connected with Brian Tyms for a 43-yarder, Brandon LaFell for a 56-yarder, and Rob Gronkowski for a 33-yarder. One of the main aspects of this offense that has been missing for a long time is the deep element, and with LaFell and Tyms on the roster, and Gronk 100%, it may be back.

Rushing Offense: D-

The Pats averaged a mere 1.9 yards per carry in this one, as everybody involved in this aspect of the game struggled. The offensive line couldn’t get any push off the line, and the running backs didn’t do much even when a hole was presented to them.

Stevan Ridley gained 23 yards on 10 carries before tearing his knee up, and his replacements, Shane Vereen and Brandon Bolden, combined for 14 yards on 11 carries. Not the Pats best game on the ground.

Pass Defense: B+

New England got to Kyle Orton four times, the secondary locked everybody up, and they forced two Bills’ turnovers. Yes, Orton finished the game with 299 passing yards, but a bunch of it came in garbage time, and the Patriots honestly made every yard tough to gain.

Darrelle Revis locked Sammy Watkins up, and Alfonzo Dennard, despite getting beat a few times, was excellent as well. Devin McCourty proved once again why he is the second best safety in the game, keeping everything in front of him, and making big tackle after big tackle. This Patriots secondary can handle just about any offense they face, and when the pass rush can get pressure consistently, this is a scary defense to face.

The one negative here was the linebackers and safeties not named McCourty struggling with Scott Chandler, who caught six balls for 105 yards on the game. That is an issue that continues to crop up for this squad. And it won’t get any easier with Jerod Mayo out.

Run Defense: A

The Patriots were without Dominique Easley, Sealver Siliga, Dont’a Hightower, and Jerod Mayo for the majority of this game, and they still held C.J. Spiller and company to 68 yards on 23 carries. Vince Wilfork was a beast in the middle, and Jamie Collins stepped up as well. With Mayo out for the rest of the year, this front seven has to continue to ball going forward, especially the defensive line, from Chandler Jones, to Rob Ninkovich.

Special-Teams: B+

Aside from a bad Danny Aiken snap, it was another solid performance for this group. Stephen Gostkowski drilled three field goals to help lead the Pats to a win.