Week 8 – The Mattyoshow Review

In this segment I will provide a weekly review for the previous weekend’s Patriots game, as well as my prediction for next weekend’s game.

-If you told me before Sunday’s game that the Patriots would hold Adrian Peterson to 92 yards (with one touchdown) on 25 carries, I would have considered that a solid performance by the Pats’ defense, predictably en route to a New England victory.  After watching Sunday’s game, I would call their performance against Peterson and the Vikes’ rushing attack much more than solid, it was downright impressive.  It’s not the total that I am concerned with, as 92 yards for most rushers in the NFL would be a good day.  The most important number to look at is Peterson’s longest carry on the day went for 9 yards.  Adrian Peterson has a history of punishing defenses in between the tackles, and when he eventually breaks a run outside, it goes for big yardage.  Well, not on Sunday.  Limiting Peterson’s big-play ability was the most instrumental part leading to a Patriots’ win against the Vikings.

-After being limited to 44 yards in his last two games combined, BenJarvus Green-Ellis broke out in a big way Sunday, rushing for a career high 112 yards on 17 carries, and pounding in two touchdowns (the last of which sealed a Patriots win).  Green-Ellis’ play has been limited recently with the emergence of Danny Woodhead as a viable backfield option, but with a lead in the fourth quarter the Patriots turned to Green-Ellis to control the clock and bring home the win.  BenJarvus did just that, continuosly running the ball very effectively late in the game, burning down the clock and bringing the Pats into scoring position.  I loved the attitude that BenJarvus ran with on Sunday.  Hopefully Belichick doesn’t pull his usual nonsense and Green-Ellis will see somewhere in the vicinity of 20 carries next week at Cleveland.

-For the fourth game in a row Jerod Mayo has been the Patriots best defensive player.  In my “What to look for…” segment last week, I highlighted the Mayo-Peterson matchup, explaining that the battle between those two may very well decide the outcome of the game.  On Sunday, Jerod Mayo won the battle.  He amassed 14 combined tackles (7 solo, 7 assisted), making key plays all over the field.  The most impressive of his plays came in an Adrian Peterson touchdown run.  Mayo hurdled several linemen to whack Peterson mid-air, causing his forward movement to stop completely and actually sending him about one foot backwards.  The touchdown call was upheld in a review (which I still disagree with), but that play was eerily reminiscent of Tedy Bruschi flying over offensive lineman in a goal line stance to make a huge hit.

-It seems as though I can’t go even one “Mattyoshow Review” without mentioning Devin McCourty.  This kid impresses me on a weekly basis.  McCourty ended Sunday’s game with four tackles and one interception.  McCourty has now recorded in interception in two consecutive weeks.  The interception came late in the third quarter.  The Pats were up 14-10, but the Vikes were driving down the field.  As Harvin caught the ball and was falling to the ground, McCourty ripped the ball from his hands and returned the pick 37 yards down the field (outrunning the speedy Harvin the entire way).  This play was huge in terms of momentum in the game and his own personal development.  What might have been even more impressive than that interception is that McCourty had to leave the game for one play after getting the wind knocked out of him.  That was the first and only defensive snap that McCourty has missed the entire season.  Pretty damn impressive for a rookie…

-As I am writing this post I received a wonderful text message informing me that THE MINNESOTA VIKINGS HAVE WAIVED RANDY MOSS!  This isn’t the time for me to start ranting about how the Patriots should sign him back immediately, but it is a great segue for my next point.  Ever since the Randy Moss trade was completed, I have failed to see a viable option on this team as a deep threat.  I’ve said it before and I’ll continue to say it, Brandon Tate isn’t really what we thought he was going to be after the departure of Moss (and yes, I did see his 65 yard touchdown catch, but the credit for that play falls solely onto Tom Brady).  Deion Branch looks slow out there.  He finds soft spots in zones and makes plays, but he isn’t burning guys deep.  Welker hasn’t been very productive since Moss left.  Hernandez has played great, but he’s not a vertical guy.  Who else do you turn to?  Brady threw for 240 yards and a touchdown.  With Moss leaving, I can say that I was ready to turn my back on the days of Brady airing it out 50 times for 400 yards, but throwing for 200 yards every week isn’t going to consistently get it done.

NEXT WEEK’S PREDICTION – Patriots 27 – Browns 13

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One Response

  1. Whats even more impressive about the D is that they played that well without Patrick Chung. The man is a mainiac!

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