Tom Brady, Dont'a Hightower, and Bill Belichick did their job to make the Patriots an obnoxiously powerful statement for the rest of the league. It was up to the Patriots fans to hold up their end of the bargain.
CBS going with the "let's make everyone hate these poor Pats fan kids" opening.— Mike Dussault (@PatsPropaganda) October 30, 2015
STOP SHOWING OUR SPOILED-ASS SPORTS CHILDREN.— Nicholas O'Malley (@nickjomalley) October 30, 2015
WHO THOUGHT THIS WAS A GOOD IDEA? EVERYONE HATES THESE KIDS NOW.— Nicholas O'Malley (@nickjomalley) October 30, 2015
Alec addressed the pregame video that CBS decided to show the entire world. It consisted of kids talking about how great the Patriots are, and how no other team can compare, and that the four Super Bowl wins with Tom Brady are the most impressive feats in football history, even though none of those kids were alive during the first three championships.
The best part about the video was that these kids are absolutely correct in every single conceivable way. There is no more impressive stretch in the history of the NFL than what Bill Belichick and Tom Brady have done since 2001. None. This is the greatest span in NFL history.
You're not playing Tennessee anymore Mr. Campbell.— Mike Loyko (@NEPD_Loyko) October 30, 2015
After 27 minutes last week, the Dolphins had 41 points. After 27 minutes this week, the Dolphins have 39 yards.— Tim Reynolds (@ByTimReynolds) October 30, 2015
"Those are the REAL Miami Dolphins," former coach Joe Philbin whispers to his wife.— Ben Maller (@benmaller) October 30, 2015
Did anyone actually buy into the idea that the Dolphins could win this game in New England? Sure, I thought the game would be closer, and that Miami would cover the spread, but I never thought Miami would actually win.
There are certain teams that can beat the Patriots on any given Sunday. They're teams that can build up a lead on their first couple of drives. They're teams that have #3 and #4 receivers that can beat the Patriots #3 and #4 cornerbacks. They're teams with defenses that can rush the passer, linebackers that are dangerous in coverage, and cornerbacks that can play press coverage. These are games that happen away from Gillette Stadium.
Yes, there are anomalies, where the Patriots lose players to injuries, or the officials pick up flags or call once-in-a-lifetime penalties, or Peyton Hillis turns into the Incredible Hulk, but that's about it.
Third-and-a-mile never looked so easy as when the #Patriots give it up. Every. Single. Time.— Erik Frenz (@ErikFrenz) October 30, 2015
And yet my heart still sank after Rishard Matthews converted a 3rd and 11 on the Dolphins opening drive. The Patriots eventually forced a punt, but after a couple weeks of 3rd down struggles, Miami's early conversion left me wondering about the quality of this Patriots defense when the team needed them the most.
But that this was their only third down conversion until the final play of the third quarter, when Miami converted a 3rd and 3 with a 4 yard crossing pass, also to Matthews. That was it. The Dolphins were 2 for 11 on third down on the day. The defense is solidly in the top ten.
Hand to the face. No idea. This is what earned Chandler a flag in the EZ last week. pic.twitter.com/DYoi5pFMrq— Rich Hill (@PP_Rich_Hill) October 30, 2015
Can we talk about how blatantly teams are grabbing and hitting Patriots receivers before the ball gets there? We're talking about arm bars and jersey pulling and hands to the face and piggyback rides. But the second Rob Gronkowski tries to throw a defender out of the club, the flags come out.
Brandon LaFell almost came down with a huge pass, but this non-call was brutal. Gronk was held earlier in the game, too.
No team has been called for Offensive Pass Interference (OPI) more than the Patriots, with seven infractions. The next most is four, by Washington and Atlanta. OPI has only been called on a Patriots opponent once this season.
When looking at how teams benefit from penalties, the Patriots have a -5 differential in calls for versus calls against with pass interference (seven OPI, four DPI against; one OPI, five DPI for). That's the second worst differential in the league, behind only the Falcons -6.
Just because Gronkowski is the size of a dump truck doesn't mean he can't be interfered with, and if you're calling penalties on the Patriots that wide out touchdowns, you had better call it fair and throw the flag when the opponent is doing the exact same thing.
Has "Dion Lewis could have been on (insert team)" passed Fitzpatrick going to Harvard yet?— John Barchard (@JohnBarchard) October 30, 2015
Did you know that Tom Brady was a 6th round draft pick?
Did you know that Ryan Fitzpatrick went to Harvard?
Is Joe Flacco ELITE?
Would anyone blame Dan Campbell if he had the Dolphins stay on the field at the half and do the Oklahoma Drill?— Vincent Frank (@VincentFrankNFL) October 30, 2015
This is making fun of Dolphins head coach Dan Campbell's first practice in charge of Miami. The Oklahoma Drill is a one-on-one exercise where one player is trying to beat their opponent. That's the entire premise and it's used to get players ready for contact. It's also straight out of a training montage from the 1970s that just needs Live to Win playing in the background.
Dan Koppen (@koppen67) October 30, 2015
While it's way too early to start stitching up a Patriots Hall of Fame jacket for offensive line coach Dave DeGuglielmo, I think it's reasonable to give him the key to the city. The Patriots offensive line was facing Ndamukong Suh and Cameron Wake the week after playing the Jets defensive line. These are some of the best in the league.
And Googe trotted out a line of left tackle Sebastian Vollmer (typical right tackle), left guard Josh Kline (typical right guard), center David Andrews (undrafted rookie), right guard Tre Jackson (rookie back-up), and right tackle Cameron Fleming (practice squad promotion).
At the end of the game, Jackson went down with a knee injury and Ryan Wendell was plugged right back into the starting line-up. The Patriots were missing starters in Nate Solder (we get two more weeks to use this reasoning), Marcus Cannon, Shaq Mason, and Bryan Stork.
No one else is allowed to get hurt. Hopefully every can return for this upcoming game.
LeGarrette Blount fantasy garbage time— Ben Volin (@BenVolin) October 30, 2015
I forgot all about the Jonas Gray Revenge Game!— Dan Hanzus (@DanHanzus) October 30, 2015
Is there any more satisfying moment in a Patriots game than when New England turns their focus to grinding down the clock, and LeGarrette Blount opens up the drive with a huge off tackle run around the left tackle? With the Patriots leading 29-7 with 11:28 left in the game, Blount opened a drive with a 14-yard gain, a 9-yard gain and a 3-yard first down converion.
Tom Brady then went 25-yards to Brandon LaFell, 20-yards to Julian Edelman, a sack, and then a 16-yard touchdown strike to Edelman. Ballgame.
Those 26 closing yards on three plays for Blount was roughly a third of his 74 yards on the day, but this is Blount doing his job. Having a closer that can put the game out of reach, like Jonathan Papelbon or Koji Uehara, is one of the greatest feelings in the football world.
Jonas Gray had seven yards over the first three quarters of the game, and 44 in the final quarter.
The Patriots would beat the Texans by 974— Rodger Sherman (@rodger_sherman) October 30, 2015
The math checks out.
On to Washington.