Solid, solid win. The Patriots came out today ready to play smash-mouth football, and that’s exactly what they did. You could tell from the tempo of the Bills’ first and drive; A three and out capped by a crushing sack by Richard Seymour. Then, the Patriots came out, moved the ball down the field quickly, and scored on a thirteen yard Matt Cassel run.
The Patriots really moved the ball well all day. Cassel had a really nice game, didn’t make any mistakes, and continued to progress. I thought he looked very more confident in the pocket, stepping up well into throws, and avoiding the rush when necessary for the most part. He also was throwing the ball well in the 10-25 yard category, connecting to Moss, Welker, and Gaffney on multiple occassions.
While the Patriots threw the ball well, they really set the tempo with the ground game. Enter BenJarvus Green-Ellis. The undrafted rookie continued to look very impressive, going for 105 yards on 26 carries with a touchdown. He runs with good pad level, has a nice initial burst, makes quick cuts (as in he doesn’t dance), and just keeps his legs churning to pick up the extra yards. The more I see him, the more I think he could actually become a legit threat. It will be interesting to see how many carries he keeps when Morris and Jordan come back.
Offense – BenJarvus Green-Ellis, RB: Green-Ellis was a major factor in the Patriots win. His 105 yards on 26 carries helped set the tempo for the game, as his ability to kill the clock allowed the Patriots to take control of the game. I also want to give recognition to Wes Welker who played another great game, registering 10 receptions for 107 yards including a few impressive catches.
Defense – Ty Warren, DE: As I’ve said many times, Ty Warren is one of the most underrated players in the NFL. He came up big today, registering seven tackles as well as a crucial sack on Trent Edwards.