I'll stand up and admit it. I thought it was over. I thought the Patriots were done. I told my wife there was no way New England could come back from 11 down not because we couldn't score but because I didn't think the defense could stop Buffalo when it got to be 3rd and 15 (seriously, are we ever going to stop anyone on 3rd and long?). Mentally, I was already trying to convince myself that coming off a loss with a short week and a road game against the J-E-T-S Jets, Jets, Jets coming up would actually be a good thing. We'd be angry and focused and all of that and have something to prove. And then Tom Brady went to work--again--as he always does and tonight Patriot Nation is happy (and breathing a huge sigh of relief).
We'll all analyze this game in the days ahead but here are my quick thoughts:
- Tom Brady is still Tom Brady. It took him a little time to get going (and he did a pretty good Jay Cutler imitation on that Aaron Schobel interception), but Brady down the stretch looked like...well, like Brady down the stretch. Few things are more beautiful to watch than a Brady two-minute drive.
- I hate the throwback unis. The Patriots belong in blue, not red, and I kept thinking someone had switched the TV to the Chiefs game. I'm afraid we've got four of five more games in those things. Give me my Flying Elvis Patriots back. It's just not natural to see them in those colors.
- Those roughing the passer penalties were ridiculous. The one on Adalius Thomas was borderline but the one on Wilfork was maybe the second worst roughing the passer call in NFL history, second only to one on Julius Adams in the 1976 Raider playoff game. In fact, the referees must have been confused by the throwbacks and thought they were supposed to steal the game from the Patriots like they did in the Raider game.
- Ben Watson may have atoned for last season with those two TD ,catches in 76 seconds. The second one was a great catch. In fact, I thought it was Moss at first because it looked like a typical Moss grab, stretching high to pull it in. Let's hope Watson is going to rejoin the offense this year and give us yet another weapon to use to split a zone deep.
- Mayo better not be hurt badly. The defense needs him and he's ready to step in this year and take over that defense.
- How strange is it to look out there on the defense and see no Bruschi, no Vrabel, no Harrison, no Seymour? That's an almost completely revamped defense. And, except for 3rd and long, they did a decent job, especially considering that one Buffalo TD came on the interception return and the last TD was set up by the aforementioned roughing the passer call that ruined what would have been a defensive stop.
- Did anyone on this site think that one of the most significant offseason acquisitions would be........Tully Banta-Cain?
Those are my quick thoughts. What do the rest of you think?