It’s the third week in September, and refreshingly, the New England Patriots haven’t lost a game yet. Granted, they have yet to play a decent team, but usually that doesn’t matter this time of year; 2-1 or 1-2 through three weeks is more or less the name of the game around these parts.
But I guess when you’re playing a third string QB and your defense simply doesn’t allow points, you can’t really look at history as any kind of indicator.
- Yesterday was a very stark reminder that I’m not getting any younger and I don’t know how much longer I’ll find the notion of going to Pats games in December appealing. You couldn’t have asked for a better day to be sitting in the nosebleed section of Gillette Stadium watching the Patriots absolutely curbstomp the Jets.
- The only problem with such nice weather, though, and such a thorough beating, is that I was deprived of the usual people watching that accompanies sitting in the cheap seats of a sporting event with like-minded broke folks who have been hydrating steadily for the last three hours. Everyone was in such a good mood that, except for that one moron in the boonie hat who spent the entire game complaining about how badly this team needs to get rid of Stephen Gostkowksi, I may as well have been at a backyard BBQ.
- Yes, Ghost missed another extra point. And yes, it’s a little concerning. But if you’re screaming for his head in Week 3, I’d kindly ask you to relax a little. Especially boonie hat guy.
- Not sure if you’re aware, but the Patriots parted ways with Antonio Brown a few days ago. I don’t know why the media didn’t ask Belichick more questions about it, but I’m no expert. And when you part ways with a very talented receiver who you figure to be a big part of the offensive gameplan, you’d think that the team would compensate for that by going big and running the ball often rather than re-institute a pass happy offense with a large number of wrinkles. But the Patriots came out in shotgun, went empty on a lot of sets, and threw on almost every down. Tommy B’s first two completions of the day were to Brandon Bolden. Whoever had the money line on Bolden getting passing targets, I’m taking my gambling advice from you from now on.
- The biggest plus about the Antonio Brown saga was that it completely took the spotlight off of Josh Gordon. We all know by now that the Boston media needs to cling to something that signals the end of the dynasty. To be as doomy and gloomy as possible. We’ve run the gamut over the last two decades, from players hating their coach to locker room rifts to arrogance to poor management to body language and everything in between. Prior to Antonio Brown getting here, a big storyline was Gordon’s inability to stay off the weed for a full season and how unreliable he is in terms of availability. But with the Cirque de Antonio getting the spotlight, suddenly Gordon wasn’t a factor in the media narrative. But now that Brown is gone...we’ll just see.
- I just hope that the storylines surrounding Gordon today revolved around some of the superhuman things he accomplished on the field yesterday. Six catches for 83 yards is a decent outing, but the numbers don’t tell the story. Breaking tackles. Sideline grabs. Beating quadruple coverage on third and long to keep a drive alive. Let’s save the “can he finish the season” talks for another day and appreciate that we aren’t going to miss Antonio Brown in the slightest.
- New York’s first drive was five plays and ended in a punt. New England went 90 yards in four and a half minutes and scored. The Jets netted -13 yards on three plays for their next drive, and New England netted 45 yards on three plays when they scored again. Yes, this game effectively ended before either team even suited up, but it was officially over with five minutes to go in the first quarter.
- And when the game is already out of hand early, you can start paying attention to the smaller details that can sometimes elude you when you’re worried about securing the win first. So here are a few more detail-oriented observations from a guy who was watching a game without any camera angles or replays from way up in the stands where the beer flows like wine.
- The Patriots continue to be a gameplan-specific running team, so I’m still not sure whether there’s any need to worry about Sony Michel.
- What is a little concerning, though, is the run blocking. Most of Rex Burkhead’s yards yesterday came off the second and third cuts, and the longest run of the day for the Patriots was eight yards. That ultimately starts up front.
- It’s impossible to fully comprehend just how loudly Tommy B complains to the refs unless you witness it in person. He really, really didn’t like that Intentional Grounding call, and everyone in the entire stadium knew it.
- Philip Dorsett caught that pass. You’re never going to convince me otherwise. As far as I’m concerned, his streak is still alive and well.
- This defense, man...I don’t know how excited I’m allowed to get, given the quality of the opponents they’ve faced thus far, but they’re giving up an average of one point per game, transitioning seamlessly between a 3-4 base and a 2-5 nickel, and Devin McCourty seems to have as many catches every game as whoever the number one receiver is that week.
- Adam Butler is a player who is flying under the radar as Jamie Collins wreaks havoc on the world and this secondary swats everything away. He’s morphing into a passing down specialist. Credit to Danny Shelton as well, who has gone from underwhelming acquisition to immovable object in the middle of the line.
- Congrats to Braxton Berrios, who led the Jets in receiving yesterday with 29 yards. 23 of them came on a single catch. New York’s biggest playmaker was a Patriot until a few weeks ago.
- Jerod Mayo and his defense have given up a grand total of three points in three games, and yet here we are, the next day, already on to the Bills, and I’m still a little irritated that the Jets put 14 on the board. Champagne Problems at their finest.
- I mean, I know it doesn’t count...but the Patriots surrendered two touchdowns no matter how you slice it.
- Public service announcement to any and all New England Patriots: I’d like to kindly ask any and all of you who are thinking about having a(nother) kid to try and time it so your wife gives birth in the offseason. Anytime between June and November, have at it.
- Is it bad that I legit can’t wait for Dolphins vs. Jets?
There’s a surprisingly resilient Buffalo team on the docket that boasts a very solid defense, and the winner of next week’s matchup will have sole possession of first place in the AFC East. I hope all of the Buffalo area EMTs are well stocked up onelectrolytes, burn gel, and bandages.