Wow, the offense is really back, and the last two weeks have proved that. Yesterday’s game enormously important in terms of the playoff picture, and the Patriots were able to pull trough despite not capitalizing on early opportunities to take control of the game.
- Matt Cassel, wow. At the end of the preseason I was one of the few supporters of Cassel, saying he could do a decent job as a starter. However, I never saw this coming (except maybe after the kool-aid I was drinking following the 2005 regular season finale. Matt Cassel not only looks legit, he looks elite. The past two weeks he has been shattering Patriots records, and the offense is back in full force. Now it’s up to the defense to step up, they no longer have excuses (except for a list of about one thousand injuries… but hey, we got it done in ’03).
- Benny Green-Ellis looked real good on that last drive. I don’t know why he doesn’t get the ball consistently.
- Randy Moss was once again amazing, as was Wes Welker. It’s about time people start talking about these two as the premiere receiving group in the NFL. I would talk about Gaffney as well, as he’s made some nice plays the last two weeks… but he dropped another easy one… and I need some time to regroup.
- Defensively, stellar play from Richard Seymour, but legendary play from Big Vince Wilfork. He clogged the lanes all day, and has been dominant the last several weeks. Big key in stopping the Wildcat.
- Mike Vrabel continues to show increased effectiveness, finally recording a sack. Last year he was just so dominant, and I hope he can get back to what he was for the stretch run.
- Kevin Faulk is the man. Period.
- It’s about time people stop trying to label Brandon Meriweather a bust. He made his fourth interception today, and he really does look like a budding star, at least in my eyes. Also, I don’t think safety will be a draft priority for the Pats, because we already have to very good starters.
OFFENSE: Matt Cassel – I think this decision really goes without saying. See above. However, there is one play that I want to point out. Fourth and one, second quarter, the Patriots run a quick quarterback sneak. However, Matt Cassel gains six yards on the play, plowing through defensive lineman, showing his true toughness.
DEFENSE: Brandon Meriweather – Tied for team lead in total tackles, and made the game sealing interception. This was a toss-up between Meriweather, Wilfork, Seymour, and Vrabel.
A Look Ahead
Next week, the Patriots will battle the Pittsburgh Steelers, in what should be a very heated game. While I would certainly say that the Patriots won’t be favored, a win would be huge for setting them up for a playoff berth.