Patriots make a statement with 30-23 win in Atlanta

Patriots off to 4-0 start, but are only going to get better

10/1/13 in NFL   |   jakeryanbrown   |   28 respect

Sep 29, 2013; Atlanta, GA, USA; New England Patriots wide receiver Kenbrell Thompkins (85) celebrates a touchdown with quarterback Tom Brady (12) in the second half at the Georgia Dome. The Patriots won 30-23. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY SportsNot too many people around the NFL were impressed with the Patriots 3-0 start to the season.  They beat the Bills, Jets, and Bucs to start the season, which didn’t surprise too many.  Sunday, the Patriots silenced any haters with a statement victory down in Atlanta, 30-23.  They were dominant on both sides of the football for most of the game before the Falcons rallied late in the fourth quarter to make it interesting. 
 
Tom Brady and his young receivers finally are in sync after concerns of the Patriots not having enough playmakers on offense.  Rookie Kenbrell Thompkins has emerged as the number one receiver that the Pats hoped he would be.  He lit up the box score Sunday with six receptions for 127 yards and a touchdown.  Julian Edelman has caught at least seven passes in all four games this season.  Rookie Josh Boyce had his first reception of the season Sunday night as well.  Rookie Aaron Dobson only had one catch, but had seven last week.  The craziest thing about this offense is that their 4-0 start comes without Rob Gronkowski, and he will likely make his return next week when the Patriots head north to Cincinnati to take on the Bengals. 
 
Aug 16, 2013; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots wide receiver Danny Amendola (80) talks with quarterback Tom Brady (12) on the bench during the second quarter against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Gillette Stadium. The Patriots defeated the Buccaneers 25-21. Mandatory Credit: Stew Milne-USA TODAY SportsNot only have the Pats done it without Gronkowski, they also will get their number one receiver Danny Amendola back in the coming weeks.  Adding Amendola and Gronkowski to an offense that is already clicking will make the Patriots a legit threat to make a run to the Super Bowl.  They have versatility in the backfield as well even without Shane Vereen.  LeGarrette Blount, Stevan Ridley, and Brandon Bolden have complemented each other very well in Vereen’s absence.  Brady went from a frustrated quarterback a couple weeks ago to a very happy man with his two biggest playmakers on their way back and rookie receivers that are making plays.  This Patriots offense is going to be very hard to stop the rest of the season. 

While the offense has finally come together, people tend to overlook the Patriots defense, which has played very well so far.  Aqib Talib has been one of the best defensive players in the NFL so far with four interceptions.  The secondary has been impressive and the pass rush has also been solid so far.  While the defense has been a major reason for their success, they suffered a huge blow with Vince Wilfork tearing his achillies.  Wilfork, one of the team’s captains, will be missed, especially against the run, where he is a huge force up the middle.  The Pats defense will definitely miss their Pro Bowl defensive tackle the rest of the way, but have enough talent to win without him. 
 
The Patriots made their statement beating the Falcons, but now they have two big tests coming up the next two weeks.  They will face the Bengals on the road and the Saints at home.  With Gronkowski and Amendola on their way back, this Patriots team could get even better, which should scare the rest of the league. 
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