This was one miserable day weather-wise. Marima and I happened to be at Gillette Stadium prior to the game for an event (more on that in another story) and we caught the freezing rain portion of the day. Lots of fun. As one player said, snow you can handle. Freezing rain just makes you wet, cold, and miserable. It took me an adult beverage and a couple of hours to warm up and dry off. But heck, this is New England and if you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.
I'll get going on the recap in a few, but first - a rant. To the rival fans who keep labeling the Patriots as a classless organization for "running up the score", you should come up with another hobby because this just ain't cutting it; you know jack about football. Other than having Laurence Maroney or BenJarvus Green-Ellis tackle Tom Brady, what would you have the team do? Maybe knee the ball for the second half? Or just throw interceptions for 30 minutes. Yeah, that'll do it. Throw interceptions. At any rate, the classiest group of rivals have been the very fans most affected by this game, the Tennesse Titans' fans, specifically the crew at Music City Miracles. The vast majority are pinning this on their team and taking a tough loss with dignity.
I want to apologize to Titans' fans because there's really no easy way for me to say this: I don't consider this the return of Brady nor the return of the team to it fullest potential. Tennessee is a struggling team and is having a tough go of it. They aren't a good litmus test for our boys from Foxboro. Indy, Miami, and NYJ - in that order. A win against Tennessee, I'm sorry to say, does not make me dance.
The statistics literally speak for themselves, but bear repeating:
Most points in a game - 59
Most points in a half - 45 in the first half
Most points in a quarter - 35 in the second quarter
Most total net yards in a game - 619
Most net passing yards - 426 (tie)
Most touchdowns - 8 (tie)
Most passing yards in a half - Tom Brady, 345
Most passing touchdowns in a half - Brady, 5 in first half
Most passing touchdowns in a game - Brady, 6 (tie)
In addition, the Patriots set two NFL records - most touchdown passes in a quarter (Brady, 5 in second quarter) and largest halftime lead (45-0).
A lot of that is pretty sick, especially 5 touchdowns in the second quarter. I'm not sure I've ever witnessed a game like that and frankly, hope I never do. Yes, I always enjoy a win but by the fourth quarter, it was no longer entertaining. It was getting painful.
- Tom Brady - Other than the stats listed above, the fact that Tom Brady connected with Randy Moss AND Wes Welker for a total of 5 TD's - in the snow - is pretty cool. He wasn't overthrowing them and there didn't seem to be any misreads on routes like in previous games. Again, I don't consider this the return of Tom Terrific; he did get clobbered a few times but, for the most part, he was almost never pressured.
- Sebastian Vollmer - Filling in for Matt Light, the German rookie did a heck of a job protecting Brady's blind side as well as springing Laurence Maroney for a 45 yard touchdown run. This kid could have a future and challenge Matt Light when his contract comes due at the end of 2010.
- Laurence Maroney - I don't, for one moment, think Maroney is finished with his "El Mo Dance". He was still doing it. It's one thing to let a play develop and hang with your blockers. Quite another to literally stand straight up and bounce from side to side, looking for the hole. Be that as it may, he did have an impressive game yardage-wise: 123 yards on 16 carries and a 45 yard TD run. Gotta give him some props for that.
- Defense - Titans QB Kerry Collins was -7 yards passing. One could say that the defense had a good day by shutting down a mediocre QB, but I saw a lot of turnovers created by our guys and a very hard hitting Brandon Meriweather. Gotta love it.
- Hmm... Uhhmm... Let me see...
Next up is the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in jolly 'ol London England!