While not all was perfect, and certainly losing Wilfork qualifies, It seems that the Pats are playing more consistently and are starting to get on the same page.
First the D. Talib certainly seems to have a Revis like affect on opposing teams stars. Every play he seems to be right there making a play on the ball. I loved the way they gave him help over the top so he could play underneath without worrying about getting beaten deep. Talib alone is the major reason why this D has improved in the passing. Overall with the exception of big pass play late the D did its job. Very effective in the red zone, good against the run, making nice plays at key times and overall seemed to be in control of an offense with good weapons. The adjustment on Gonzales jamming him at the line with LB also proved effective and was nice to see in game adjustment that effectively took him out of the red zone D later in the game. The loss of Wilfork may be a big problem; however it seems to me he was playing through this or other injury as he was much less effective past few weeks. Belichick has been shifting to many two linebacker schemes taking out Spikes in favor of a safety to help in coverage. The jets exposed the strategy a bit, but overall the opposing team's running games have been more or less held in check. Without Wilfork I imagine it will be much more difficult to stop the run without him taking on two lineman. A freed up line man is a problem for linebackers responsible to fill the gap and certainly won't help with two LBs. Either Collins or Flethcher need to step up as passing down LB that can be effective at the run, or Bill better be in shopping mode. At least we have Armond Amstead coming back, but i wouldn't mind some more depth. Perhaps even move Jones inside and look to get Carter back if he has anything left in the tank. Maybe more 3 4 looks just need to find somebody big to line up over the center. In any case i am sure we will see movement by Pats on defensive line. Something to bare watching.
The offense while yet still wasn't the juggernaut we have come to expect , did show improvement across all areas. First the game ball to the ground game. Seemed like the Pats could run at will which i am sure made passing easier. The ground game helped keep the heat off Brady who looked much better than he did in first 3 games. Brady showed a lot more accuracy he was still tentative in releasing the ball to the rookies. Seems like he is waiting for the cut before letting it fly, and definitely holding onto it longer. The good news is he seemed much more accurate given the time. The rookies have improved but the trust isn't completely there. It seems we lost 2 or 3 third down conversions due to drops by the rookies. While getting better still more to go. By the time Gronk, Ammendola, and Vereen return at least two of the rookies will be able to help. Still i would like to see more from Sudfield and Boyce, especially Sudfield who hasn't been aggressive enough in the passing game with his size. Edlman is proving to be more than a poor man's Welker. Showed some speed and was certainly reliable, it will be interesting to see his role when Amendola comes back.
Overall a satisfying win. I had this as the easiest of the 3 games we are about to face. Yes Atlanta was at home, and was in desperate need of a win, but they have a lot of injuries especially in the secondary. Their O line was depleted as well. Pats played efficient and made few mistakes nice to see them make some progress in that regard.
Going forward, I think Cincy will be a key game, the most well rounded team we will face early on. New Orleans, i do not yet believe in their D. Cincy has the potential to be a trap game. It is also a conference game which i would think make it more likely we'll see Gronk, but without him I think this will be a tough game for the Pats.