Four Downs with DJK: Patriots at Bills
This week in football brought the most exciting game I could imagine to Monday Night Football. For the first time in ten years, MNF came to Buffalo...
Not the easiest game to stay up until 11:30 P.M. for, but usually with division rival teams, throw the records out the window seeing the teams know each other so well and play so often.
Maybe with their actual starting QB, rookie Josh Allen, the Bills offense could've moved the ball and he could've provided the spark. Unfortunately for the Bills, they had Derek Anderson, and wow was he horrible. Needless to say, the Patriots went on to win 25-6 and advanced to 6-2.
Last nights game started by making a lot of Patriots fans, myself included, feel as if they were thrust into a time machine and it was suddenly the year 2008, hoping to steal some of Tony Sparano's old thunder by pulling out the Wildcat. Which granted in 2008, yes it worked and worked amazing for the old Dolphins teams with Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams, but there was one problem, this wasn't 2008. Sure, the Pats may not have deliberatley come prepared for the wildcat formation, but ever since 2008, almost every coach has learned how to stop this since then. It was cute early and worked a few times picking up some first downs, but did they really think this was going to work for 4 quarters? I hope they think that for the next 100 years.
Josh Gordon Not Disciplined
Ian Rapoport reported earlier in the day Josh Gordon would be disciplined for apparently being late to a team meetings, the same offense he was cut for in Cleveland. Josh Gordon and Bill Belichick did not give any actual answers after the game, which should come as a surprise to no one. The real shock is that he was not disciplined, he played the whole game, and although he is still playing catchup, played decent. Rapoport is not normally wrong about this stuff, and the football world was sent for a real surprise to see his report seem 100% made up. Did he have a bad source? Was Bill's initial plan to bench Gordon blown up after the report to avoid Gordon getting a bad reputation? Odds are we may never know, but the one guy who will have some explaining to do (Mr. Rapoport) is the best bet to find out nay information.
Defense Leads the Way... Sort Of
Yesterday for many Patriots fans their oppenent screamed trap game, meaning despite Buffalo's record they would come out play lights out for no reason other than the fact they had a primetime game and wanted to steal a win not so much for themselves, but to take it away from New England. With the way the offense played, this certainly could've been the case, as they only put up 9 points in the first half and couldn't get the ball into the endzone. The reason the trap game never amounted to anything was in part due to the Patriots defense, but also, the Bills offense couldn't move the ball against a high school in Texas. Yes, the defense sealed the game with an 84 yard pick six by Devin McCourty, and played relatively well all night, but I'm still not sold. This defense to me still screams regular season ready not postseason, meaning it will rear its ugly head against the best oppenents and at the worst times.
Field Goal Fest
I know the schedule makers don't know it at the time, without Josh Allen playing, this game had no business being on primetime. I get maybe they figured with a new QB things would be exciting and maybe at least keep things close, but even then, there's a reason Buffalo had not been the in the primetime hours for TEN YEARS. I'm not a betting man, but if there's one thing I'm going to bank on, even with a new QB, Tom Brady has owned the Bills ever since he entered the league, with a 29-3 record over the team. The Patriots felt no threat of a Bills offense so they took more chances and experimented more than normal, resulting in only 6 field goals combined in 3 quarters of football.