|Notes and Observations Week 11: Defense Leads Battered Patriots to Victory Over Bills 20-13||Connelly’s Top Ten: Patriots Win Despite Cannon’s Assassination Attempt on Brady||Patriots and Bills Set To Do Battle on Monday Night Football||Connelly’s Top Ten: Patriots vs. Rex|
Touchdown Tuesday is a weekly column on all things Patriots:
Five down, 11 to go, right? We’re five weeks into the season and the Patriots haven’t needed to break a sweat in winning their first five by a combined score of 182-65 (good for the most points scored and the fifth fewest points given up in the NFL so far). The Patriots have won in a bunch of different ways using a bunch of different players.
Case in point was this past Sunday when the 2-2 Browns invaded Foxboro. For the first time all season, Randy Moss wasn’t a big factor and Tom Brady completed less than 70% of his passes. Running back Laurence Maroney missed his second consecutive game with a groin injury and Rodney Harrison was a little rusty after missing the first four games….
Yawn, a 34-17 trouncing.
Donte Stallworth (4 catches, 64 yards, TD) finally got some touches and Ben Watson (first career 100 yard game, 2 TDs) was stellar. And the defensive stars on defense? Tedy Bruschi and Junior Seau, combined age of 72).
What’s this all mean? The Patriots truly are a great team. Great teams find different ways to win on different days. When they are missing key players like Harrison, Richard Seymour or Laurence Maroney, they can plug a reserve in the hole to get the job done.
This coming Sunday the Pats face the Cowboys in what is by far the game of the year in the NFL so far – that is until the undefeated Pats play the then undefeated Colts in Indianapolis in Week 9. This should be a great match up, with the 5-0 Cowboys coming off a stunning, inexplicable win against the Bills where Tony Romo threw five interceptions and fumbled once. My gut tells me this game isn’t going to be close, the Patriots defense will eat Romo alive and the Cowboys defense will struggle against Brady and co.
Patriot of the Week: Benjamin Watson
The TE from the University of Georgia showed just how potent this offense can be. His 6 catches for 107 yards and 2 TDs show that if teams can somehow shut down Randy Moss and Wes Welker (combined seven catches), Watson can step in and be the go-to guy. It’s a shock that Sunday marked his first 100 yard receiving game, though it will certainly not be his last.
Pinhead of the week: Browns OL Eric Steinbach
The veteran OL says Mike Vrabel is classless for diving at fellow OL Joe Thomas’ legs near the end of the game. I haven’t seen the video but seems to me like a little sour grapes from an offensive line that was dominated up and down the field all game. It’s true that the secondary had some struggles, but maybe Steinbach should be more worried about a mid 30s linebacker running through a gaping hole in his offensive line than something that’s NFL League Office interest.
Check back for a full preview of the showdown in Dallas on Sunday!