Much of Pats Nation was all ready to excuse this game away, to put it in the loss column and write it off to no Gronk, no Brady, no offensive line, no home field, no Nink, too much Goodell, whatever. Hell, they were NINE AND A HALF POINT underdogs. I don't think they have been that big a dog since Hugh Millen was stuffin' his hands under center. Put me in that group - I didn't think the offense could hold up against that defense. They didn't look great, nor would they. BUT, they looked better than most people thought. Every television analyst with a microphone and a left-over Manning boner picked the Cardinals.Marty, The Imagination Agency. pic.twitter.com/2ch8uZZaGL— Danny (@recordsANDradio) September 12, 2016
After the first two Patriots drives, it appeared that perhaps Tommy Mutha Fukkin Brady hired a makeup artist and tossed on a number 10 jersey. Aladdin Gee was slicing the Arizona defense with quick reads and a shit load of Edelman first downs ala vintage TMFB. So, Honey Badger over adjusted and gave safety help for Edleman, leaving a rooking covering Chris Hogan 1 on 1. And we saw what happened there. Joshy McDannyboy made the Cardinals his bitch for one play.
The problem, however, became obvious fairly soon thereafter. The Cardinals upped the pressure, defended the out routes (Jimmy's first option many times) and bull rushed the line. This offensive line made up of guys like Andrews, Karras and Jackson is simply not very good. But they've never been very good. It's just that the GOAT's quick release has rendered the line's ineptness as meaningless. Jimmy Gee was okay, but will have three more games to get better at it. I think he will.
The other key to the Pats offense was that they just refused to throw in Patrick Peterson's direction. Edelman was targeted 7 times and made 7 catches. 5 of those catches came before the Cards decided to put Peterson on #11. Peterson only had 4 tackles and ZERO passes defended. That's how the Pats roll... take away the best player on defense and beat 'em 10 on 10.
My other takeaway from last night is sadly that the defense was not as good as everyone has been telling us. David Johnson was a beast and all the while Collinsworth praised the "big hammer linebackers" Collins and Hightower, they combined for just 5 tackles while Johnson was running mostly downhill. The Butler was flat out toasted by Michael Floyd in the first quarter - he cannot let that happen. Logan Ryan played very well, I thought. Patrick Chung and Jabaal Sheard combined to look like Pop Warner minimum play tacklers on a screen pass to Johnson, both completely whiffing in the open field while allowing a 26 yard gain.
But hey... this is house money now for the young quarterback. This was one they were not supposed to win. But they won. And because they won, we get to dance. I've added a little bit to the victory dance as you will see. That's because Gisele doing the Rio Strut is my new favorite thing to watch. And, according to Mike Damone, whenever possible, put on side one of Led Zeppelin IV.