There’s one thing about the Patriot’s preparation that you can pretty much bank on: The Patriots D will screw up your gameplan.
The Miami Dolphins went into Sunday’s game ranked in the top 5 of the NFL’s best rushing teams. Ronnie Brown has figured out how to run in the extra blocker formation and he’s even learned how to toss wounded ducks over the heads of unsuspecting defensive backs, ala when he dropped one in for a Six in the first half of Sunday’s affair… But for the most part, the Patriots contained each of the primary rushing threats, holding Ricky Williams to 33 yards on 7 carries and Brown to 48 on 15. The big rushing gash came in the form of former 2nd round draft pick Pat White who kept an option play for 33 yards.
So the game was forced into the incapable hands of Chad Henne, who isn’t very good, though he did find 219 passing yards on 19 of 34 attempts. (And Porter, of course, said nothing.)
The Pat’s offense was sufficient. Brady was iffy but serviceable (to Brady standards), throwing a pick and a Six over 332 yards. 147 of them went to Randy Moss including one absurdly awesome one-handed stab down the sideline over Miami’s standout rookie Dback Vontae Davis who took one away from Randy in the first quarter of play.
Lawrence Tip-Toes Maroney had a deceptively good stat line as well. 82 yards, 20 carries, one score. He just doesn’t hit the holes like a guy that wants yards. He had a couple good gains in the first half, got all pumped up for contact, and then as the game went on, he become more and more passive, and with the loss of Fred Taylor and the availability of the gay-bashing, wife-beating Larry Johnson, I start to wonder if there isn’t another rehab signing in the works.
The game was won by the Patriots D. Safety Brandon McGowan lead the team with 8 tackles and a FF, a fully healthy Jerod Mayo had 7 tackles and rookie Dback Darius Butler contributed 6 tackles in his 3rd straight standout game. Even Adalius Thomas got in on the Sacktion (get it? get it?!?).
The Patriot’s began their November stretch with a big divisional win. The hardest month of the season will continue next week at the 8-0 Colts, then comes home for the J-E-T-S JETS JETS JETS and then travels to the 8-0 Saints. 1 down, 3 to go.
(And I had HUGE fantasy week.)