This morning, the first morning of October, I speak for Patriot Nation when saying I feel a hell of a lot better than this time last week.
What a relief.
Last week I mentioned the group chat with my brother and dad. Well this week my dad said the Pats would get “hammered” this week and I was baffled to hear that to say the least. However, after the game he admitted he was wrong.
On the subject of dads, here’s what Dallan’s dad said last week.
Some true bulletin board material from a couple of dads.
It was pretty much 2014’s “Onto Cincinnati” game all over again as the Pats came out looking to dominate and boy did they, smashing Miami 38-7.
I would’ve been happy with a scrappy win of any sort as the Pats were in desperation mode this week but to truly feel better about this team as a whole we needed a blowout win like this.
The Dolphins must be kicking themselves, for once they were in position to grab a huge advantage in the division and they got freight-trained by Brady and Belichick once again. Classic AFC East. So does that mean this Miami team isn’t for real? I think the 3-0 record overrated this team a bit for sure, by the time the season is said and done the Phins will be around 8-8 or 9-7 for sure…where they belong.
Now here’s some ups and downs on the day:
-Blocking/Offensive Line: WOW the Pats blocked well in this game, paving the way for 178 rushing yards. It wasn’t even just the o-line that stepped up but also the tight ends, Develin, and receivers. Dwayne Allen is usually heavily criticized but the guy can flat out block as he demonstrated in Sunday’s win. Another highlight in the blocking department was by newcomer Josh Gordon, who threw a key block downfield on James White’s 2nd quarter touchdown run.
-Tommy’s toughness: It was a 38-7 win for the Pats but the quarterback didn’t actually play that great. However, Brady’s smarts and toughness glossed over his up and down day. Brady had two tremendous touchdown passes while being hit. The second one being a lobbed dime to White while staring down the tracks with the train coming.
-Sony and Sweetfeet: This is the obvious positive from the game. These two dazzled on Sunday and they look like they could be one hell of a tandem out of the backfield for the Pats. Critics were too quick to pull the trigger on Sony Michel last week as the rookie ran for 112 yards and a touchdown. Honestly I don’t even think he’s fully healthy yet after missing the preseason with a knee procedure. James White is Mr. Consistent for the Pats and last week Brady said they needed to get him more involved. They did just that against Miami as “Sweetfeet” touched the ball 16 times for over 100 yards (44 rushing, 68 receiving) and two touchdowns. Perhaps the highlight of the entire day was White’s touchdown run where he juked a Miami defender out of his pants.
-Defense!: Who would’ve thought that the Pats would play D like that after last week’s debacle in Detroit? I was impressed as New England came out with tons of energy, looking more like the defense in Week 1. They were able to put solid, consistent pressure on the QB and the Patriots coverage in the secondary was very good. After letting up over 100 yards rushing last week the front seven stepped up and shutdown Miami’s run game, led by future hall of famer Frank Gore. The Pats held Miami’s backs under 50 yards rushing. A shutout would’ve been the icing on the cake but a garbage time touchdown by Frank Gore did away with that, oh well.
-Receivers: It’s hard to find negatives in a 38-7 win so time to be a hard ass. The Patriot receivers may have made some nice plays on Sunday but overall they weren’t great. Phillip “Flip” Dorsett made some great plays, including a great touchdown grab, but he also ran some bad routes and had a bad drop on a deep Brady pass. Chris Hogan has been a major disappointment through the first quarter of the season and against Miami he had one catch (in garbage time). Josh Gordon had two nice catches in the game but I’m not really including him on this negative list because he’s only been with the team for like 12 days. The blowout win was led by the running game and passes to James White (and a couple little clutch garbs by Gronk who was mugged continuously by the Dolphins in this game). The receivers still need to improve a lot but with Edelman officially back in the building today I feel great about the situation.
-Protecting Brady: Brady had a clean pocket for most of the day but there were a couple times where he took some big hits. The offensive line can’t let that happen and offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia lit into them after Brady took a huge hit in the 4th quarter. It’s obvious but you MUST protect TB12 back there.
With Edelman back today it had me thinking about something. The last time Edelman and Gronkowski played on the field together was November 21, 2016 against the Jets in Week 12 of that banner season. Pretty unbelievable it’s been that long since Brady has had both of his favorite targets. That wait may continue this week too, just as Edelman returns Gronkowski is hurt once again (exited Sunday’s game early with an ankle injury). Hopefully it’s just minor.