In an important divisional win, the Patriots get it done with a 20-10 victory and continue their dominance over division rival, the Buffalo Bills. Whew, pretty lofty and something you'll find on, I don't know, like ESPN or something. Bottom line? Division wins are big, especially when you're in a 3 way tie. Well, WERE in a 3 way tie. It's now a 2 way with the Favre-led Jets who absolutely destroyed the Rams, 47-3. I think I remember the announcers calling for the mercy rule. Anyone complaining about running up the score? I thought not. After all, it's His Favre-ness. Anyway, I just love that picture of BenJarvus, don't you? Ok, moving on...
There are thousands of things Belichick has to think of. Many relate to "What if..." moments. Like, what if my 3 starting running backs are injured? How would I handle that? No way, right? However, this is the 2008 NFL season. In comes "Law Firm", so nicknamed because he has like a billion names or something. An undrafted free agent, BB and Scott Pioli saw something. They saw a polite, talented kid who worked hard and did what he was told. Ending up on the practice squad behind no fewer than 4 running backs, his chance of seeing regular season time was slim. But, the world can be a strange place. Suddenly, HE...DAH...MAN!!! Aided by a solid O line anchored by vets, Green-Ellis had a huge day. Let's get to the stats.
- Third down efficiency - At 11 and 18 vs. Buffalo's 5 and 11, the Bills just didn't have as many chances to convert the ball. This is somewhat related to time of possession: 37:40 vs. 22:20. In a nutshell, we simply kept the ball in Matt's hands and chewed up the clock.
- Red zone efficiency - This is where a percentage makes little sense: both teams were 50% for this stat. However, NE was 2 for 4 vs. Buffalo's 1/2. 2 successful trips vs. 1.
- Time of possession - As stated above, 37:40 vs. 22:20. When NE had the ball, they ate the clock, denying Buffalo a chance to mount a drive and always putting Buffalo behind the eight ball.
- Net yards rushing - 144 for NE vs. 66. No surprise, BenJarvus had 105 of those...and a TD to boot. Oh wait, the other rushing TD was none other than Matt. Give thanks to our 300 pounders.
- Net yards passing - 226 vs. 108 simply dominated the Bills. Wes Welker dominated the charts with 107 yards and had the longest ball, a 27 yarder from Cassel. Add to the number of yards, a 6.5 yard average per carry vs. 4.3, and you have a team who simply had the ball more. Simple as that.
Cassel is looking really good in the pocket. Of course, it helps that the offensive line is doing so well. With 0 sacks, Matt stayed upright and had plenty of time to find his receivers. Another plus to the pig pile doing so well? Green-Ellis is finding the open holes and slicing through for mucho yardage. JHR is smiling, I can tell.
Big game coming up this Thursday: Jets @ Patriots. If we really want to show our dominance in the East, a win would go a long lay to sealing the deal.