From the Armchair: New England Patriots, Week 3
The first quarter had most of us fans saying: “You had 10 days off to work on your game and this is the best you can come up with?” Then the second quarter came and it’s like a switch was flipped. Passes were completed, runs made, blocks held and confidence grew. Before you knew it the Patriots had the Bucs right where they wanted them – fighting from behind. While this unit looked and performed better, there is still much work to be done and more challenging defenses are awaiting them the rest of the way. The good news for the offense – Rob Gronkowski should be back next week. The bad news is that Tackle Sebastian Vollmer was seen leaving in a walking boot.
Three games down and it is largely due to their efforts that this team is 3-0 right now. They seemed a little sloppy at the beginning of the game, but by the second quarter had tightened it up considerably. Aqib Talib playing his former team stepped up and had a big performance showing why he was important to re-sign in the off-season. The Patriots have not had this kind of shut down corner in years. The front seven were again stout as Doug Martin had 88 yards on the ground – but half of those came in garbage time.
Gostkowski was solid again. Rookie punter Ryan Allen still does not look like the same player in the preseason. It is a little curious as to why LeGarrette Blount is returning kick-offs and not Leon Washington.
The Road Ahead:
This coming week has the team traveling to Atlanta in what should be their toughest test of the year. They catch a break in that Steven Jackson will likely be out or very limited and Roddy White appears banged up. We’ll see if the progress continues or if the Dirty Birds start playing as they were expected to at the outset of the season.