Four Downs with DJK: Dolphins at Patriots
After telling everyone not to panic after these last few blowouts, I figured the Patriots would get back on track, but I definitely didn't expect it happen in this fashion and so soon.
The Dolphins were the "hot" team entering at 3-0 and quickly found out that meant nothing and the Patriots still run the AFC East as the final score was 38-7 in a Patriots win, so with that being said, here are my takeaways from the action.
I'm not sure if Mr. Michel read my post from last week and maybe it filled him with rage, but he absolutely dominated today and was head and shoulders the reason the Patriots dominated today. After gaining 83 yards in 2 games, he put up 80 yards in the first half of todays game. A comment I also made last week was how pathetic the offensive line was, it was a different story this week. This. Michel's presense and the actual threat of a run game finally opened up some play action passes and at times brought an extra defender into the box (closer to the line of scrimmage). This allowed TB12 to do his thing, sort of.
At certain points in this game Tom Brady looked like the 5-time Super Bowl Champion we know and love, other times, not so much. We'll start with the good, and with that being said how couldn't I begin with that incredible touchdown pass to James White in the 3rd quarter as Brady took an absolute killshot. It looked exactly like when you were a kid and set up a trash barrel 30 yards away and said drop it right in there. He did. Brady also had some exceptional deep passes today, which believe it or not, after his 2008 knee surgery hasn't always been his strong suit, including a perfect pass that was dropped by Phillip Dorsett. As for the bad, both interceptions were unexcusable. It was typical 2009 Brady, scared to stand tall and make the big throw, on both interceptions he had pressure right in his face and threw horrible passes right into coverage. At the end of the day though, Brady is always the least to be concerned about in New England despite what Max Kellerman's "cliff" talks may tell you.
After how horrible the Patriots defense has looked in 3 of its last 4 games including last years Super Bowl, I would've been absolutely shocked if someone told me they would have an interception, a fumble recovery (even though it was due to a botched snap on the one play the strating center was out), and 2 sacks, I would've had no problem telling you they would get the win. If they did that every week the Patriots would really be in business, although I will give credit where its due to Bill Belichick because we all know the actual talent of this roster is that of a 3-13 team. Bill Belichick has always had the uncanny ability to mask the usually terrible Patriots defensive issues, you just have to hope that their talent, or lack there of, doesn't rear its ugly head at the worst times, like the Super Bowl.
By far the most dinged up 29-year old I've ever seen is Rob Gronkowski, whether it was the bionic looking robotic arm, torn ligaments, his back, or now his ankle, he is hardly ever healthy. Gronk did injure his ankle today but the best news is that he was questionable to return, and even though he didn't, because it was a blowout, it's encouraging to know it wasn't a season-ending injury. The bad news is the Patriots next game is in 4 days vs the Colts, so his status will most likely be that of a game-time decision, which probably means if he plays, he's not 100%. This can cause all kinds of problems for our offense, the only reason we were able to move the ball is because Gronk is double teamed constantly, will he still draw one if he's not 100%? The last thing the Patriots want is an extra pass rusher or man in coverage.