New England Patriots Week 7 team grades vs Atlanta Falcons
Special teams were arguably the biggest difference in the game tonight. Special teams are sometimes overlooked, but they can really change the tide of a game and that happened this week.
This game is a lot different if the Falcons take a 3-0 lead late in the first quarter. Instead, Cassius Marsh blocked Matt Bryant’s 37-yard attempt. The Patriots would take the ball right down the field for a touchdown to take the lead.
That was the first miss of the night for Bryant, who also missed a 36-yard field goal on the Falcons first drive of the second half. Those are two chip shots that Bryant missed that could have changed Atlanta’s fortunes this week.
For the Patriots, Stephen Gostkowski was perfect. He made field goals from 29, 21 and 39 yards away. He also made both of his extra point attempts. It was a nice bounce back after he went 1-for-2 last week against the New York Jets.
Punter Ryan Allen wasn’t needed often, but he got the job done when called upon. Allen punted twice, averaging 50 yards per punt with a long of 57-yards.
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The Falcons didn’t return either punt, while also struggling to return kicks. Andre Roberts managed only 82 yards on five kick returns, averaging 16.4 yards per kick return.