Week 14 Snapshot: Hanging On

Never say never.

Heading into today’s game against Seattle, I was fully expecting a blowout victory.  But things never work out like you think they will.  Down by eight in the fourth quarter, Matt Cassel led the Patriots on two scoring drives, taking the lead on a Sammy Morris one yard touchdown run on fourth and goal.

As ugly as the game was, not to mention the game winning drive, the Patriots were able to pull through with a W, and that’s all that matters at this point.  What may matter just as much was the result of another game.  The Jets lost to the 49ers 24-14, putting them at 8-5 on the season.  However, the Dolphins also won, putting them at 8-5 as well.  I will have a full breakdown of the playoff picture tomorrow.

Game Notes

  • The defense was sloppy all day.  They let up too many third downs, and missed too many tackles.  They really looked slow.
  • Richard Seymour continues his dominance this year, recovering the game sealing fumble, and working off double teams all day.
  • With Vince Wilfork also injured and Ty Warren inactive, the Patriots moved Mike Wright to nose tackle, and putting LeKevin Smith at defensive end.  Both players played pretty well, with Wright making a big rush on Seahawk’s quarterback Seneca Wallace in the 2nd half.
  • The new (or old, depending on your perspective) additions for the Patriots, Rosevelt Colvin and Junior Seau, didn’t do that much.  Seau looked good on run support, picking up one tackle (although he made a nice tackle on a play that was negated, do to an offensive holding).  I didn’t really pick out Colvin for anything great.
  • Injuries are a serious problem on the defensive side of the ball.  Tedy Bruschi went down with a left knee injury in the first half, and his status is uncertain.  Vince Wilfork was also injured in the 1st half, and did not return.  James Sanders was benched, and I’m not sure if it was injury related.
  • Offensively, we were pretty inconsistent.  But they did pull through when it counted, converting third down after third down on the final drive.
  • Matt Cassel seemed to struggle today.  He looked inconsistent and wasn’t very accurate.  Still, he got the job done, and was able to pull through in the clutch.
  • Today was the first game we had Lamont Jordan back from a calf injury.  He only had a few carries, but I’d like to see him more involved in coming games.
  • Wes Welker is the man.  Enough said.  He really kept the offense going, finishing with 12 grabs for 134 yards, and was the go-to guy on that final drive.
  • Jabar Gaffney had a nice catch on the drive that made it 14-13 in the third.  While he has had a couple of crushing drops this year, he has looked pretty good overall, and is learning to take advantage of the consistent single coverage he is getting.
  • How much better has the pass protection been since Stephen Neal returned from injury?

Game Balls

Offense: Wes Welker – Welker had a phenomonal day, finishing with 12 catches for 134 yards, coming up with a pair of key first downs on that final drive.  If it hadn’t been for Welker, the Patriots offense wouldn’t have gotten very far.

Defense: Mike Vrabel – For me, this wasn’t a hard decision.  He had a really effective game, tying for the team lead in tackles.  He had a couple of nice pass rushes, as well as run stops near the line.  Since A.D. went down, he has played much better.

Look Ahead

Next Sunday, the Patriots will go up against the Oakland Raiders (3-10).  While this should be an easy win, the way the Seahawks played us today, you really just don’t know.  Again, the Pats are practically in a win or go home situation.  Every game is a playoff game.

Courtesy NFL.com

Courtesy NFL.com

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4 Responses to Week 14 Snapshot: Hanging On

  1. Tommy Boy says:

    While this was a nice win…. we must now watch out for the Dolphins too. They now technically hold the tiebreaker over us. We really need to win out and have both of those teams lose a game to make it to the playoffs.

    By the way, I disagree with you, I think Cassel played pretty well throughout.

  2. Grogan14 says:

    The team won’t win more games if they play like this

  3. r1zzo23 says:

    I hate to look past the Raiders, but when the Cardinals come to town, we better pray for a snow storm because our pass protection will get TORCHED! With that said, good win by the Pats this week. The 49ers helped us out too but now the Dolphins are making this AFC East interesting again. This will come down to the final week of the season.

  4. TYI says:

    Yeah… screw the phins theyre completely overrated. they’ll lose to the 49ers just like the Jets did.

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