This one was quite an impressive performance from the Pats as they took it to the Cards in every single facet of the game. Starting from the opening drive the Pats defense was able to control the line of scrimmage and force Warner (30 yards passing) to be off balance. This game was over at halftime and the Pats sure know how to play in the elements. Here are the answers to my pregame questions:
- Can the Patriots stop the Cardinals’ passing attack? As I said before, the weather forced the Cards to run the ball more than they are used to early in the game and Warner was never able to find a rhythm. The Pats defensive front seven was massive as they owned the Cards’ offensive line all day. At one point, Warner threw nine consecutive incompletions – the longest streak of his career. A massive effort all around by the Patriots defense.
- Will there be a letdown for Matt Cassel? Despite growing up and going to college in California the weather seemed to have no effect on Cassel. The USC product was 20 of 36 for 345 yards and three TDs, simply incredible. The fact that Cassel was able to lead the Pats to a 21-0 lead without Moss or Welker catching a ball gives you an idea of how dominant the Pats were in the running game. Two first half TDs by Lamont Jordan took the pressure of Cassel, who actually threw the ball deep quite a bit. Another great performance from this guy, it’s going to be sad seeing him in another uniform next season…
- In scoreboard watching, what are the chances Baltimore, the Jets or Miami lose? This is an ever changing answer but what we know isn’t good thus far. The choker Cowboys couldn’t get the job done last night and so the Patriots need the Ravens to lose next week to have any chance at the wild card. On the divisional front, KC gave Miami all they could handle but just couldn’t stop Chad Pennington and the Dolphins wildcat offense as the ‘Phins prevailed in frigid Kansas City.The Jets are currently playing the Seahawks but they drove down the field rather easily on their first drive, culminating in a short field goal.
You have to hand it to the Pats for coming out and beating a team who is playoff bound. The Patriots played with passion from the get go and combined with the elements, really took it to a team who seemed to have their foot off the peddle. There is no doubt that a cross country trip and piles of snow had an effect on the potent Cardinals offense but it doesn’t bode well for their playoff hopes that Arizona could not stop the Pats or run the ball when they had to. As far as New England goes, the defense was active, Cassel was sharp and the hog mollies up front dominated the line of scrimmage. That right there is the ingredients for a well deserved blowout.
Tags: Bill Belichick, Kurt Warner, Lamont Jordan, Matt Cassel, Patriots, Randy Moss, Wes Welker