Sunday 13 January 2008

Guns Of The Patriot

So much for Jacksonville being the only team capable of stopping New England. Credit to the Jags though they managed to match the Pats score for score until the end of the third quarter when the New England defence finally forced them into a field goal situation which left the score 21-17 Pats. On New England's next series Brady marched his team down the pitch and picked up another TD, 28-17. Now eleven points behind the Jags were never going to recover and New England ran out eventual winners 31-20.

For the first half the Jags made the Patriots work though, young QB Gerrard, in his rookie playoff campaign did extremely well going 12/14 in the fist half, nearly perfect. Unfortunately for Jacksonville Tom Brady was perfect in the first half and then again for most of the second. He went 26/28 in the game! The two incomplete passes were also drops by his receivers on very catchable passes; not Brady's fault. That level of perfection in the playoffs is quite frankly ridiculous.

What may be even more remarkable than Brady's near perfect play is the fact that during his immaculate display Randy Moss caught only one pass for fourteen yards. In the entire match. Not only that but RB Maroney went for over 100 yards. And I thought New England didn't have a running game? In contrast Jacksonville's own rushing offence was well contained by the Pats, Jones-Drew and Taylor held to just 66 yards between them on the day.

This game has to finally bring an end to the accusations that New England have no ground attack; its simply not true. Maroney and Faulk just get forgotten in the midst of the Brady-Moss hype; they are an extremely dangerous and capable pair of backs. Moss' relatively quiet game against the Jags highlighted that when pushed to, the Pats can pound the rock as well as anybody in the NFL.

With Moss occupying most of the Jag's defence some of the Pats 'lesser' offensive names got some limelight. Stallworth, Gaffney, Welker and Watson all cashed in on the Jacksonville fear of Moss. Double covering the big guy just left his mates open and freed up the rest of the Brady bunch to showcase their ability.

I thought if Moss was smothered and New England forced to run, they may bottle. That maybe a good ground game would outpace their linebackers but no, that didn't happen. And the Pats were only too ready to deal with the double/triple coverage on Moss. The Jags may have been the last team capable of even keeping up with the Pats scoring machine for 2 quarters. This team is unstoppable.

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