Patriots @ Vikings
Tale of the Tape
The Patriots needed to use this week as a stepping stone to getting back on track for the season and Adrian Peterson being inactive offered them that opportunity. Without Peterson the focus of the defense could be shifted elsewhere. The defense was able to sit back and wait for Matt Cassel to make the mistakes. And wait they did as they intercepted four passes off the former Patriot in what was a disappointing reunion for him.
With all the special teams and defensive production the offense didn’t need to do anything special on Sunday. This was a good thing, because once again except for a few players and plays the offense continued to be pedestrian with very little push up front from the offensive line and Brady still not being completely on the same page as his receivers.
Chandler Jones After being part of the lowlights last week Jones was moved around in the formation from DE to OLB and what a difference it made. Jones finished with 8 tackles, 1 TFL and 2 sacks on the defensive side of the ball getting to the QB early and often Sunday. To top off a dominant week he added and extremely athletic one-man wrecking ball play with a block punt TD return to finish out the 2nd half.
Devin McCourty McCourty made a great diagnosis on a play coming across the field to intercept a poor Cassel decision. This is the type of play I think McCourty will be able to make often this year as his double team responsibilities lessen with a much stronger secondary.
Darrelle Revis He is mostly on here because this is his first interception with his new teams as he begins to show the fans why he is so highly paid. He made his interception look like a walk in the park, when in reality it looked that way because he saw the play coming the whole way.
Offensive Line This unit continues to be a weakspot on the team, particularly up the middle. Marcus Cannon shows despite his talent, guard isn’t exactly the best fit for him and the center position still doesn’t seem to be figured out. Here’s to rooke Bryan Stork getting the start this week!
Malcolm Butler After what has seemed like a Cinderella start to his career Butler has started to really show his UDFA side. I still think he finds a way to stick around, but once Brandon Browner returns from suspension, he shouldn’t see much playing time.
Brandon LaFell Mr. LaFell stays on the lowlights this week as he was relegated to basically just a special teams role this week. He will be worth continuing to keep an eye on. If his role continues to diminish Belichick has shown in the past, if you don’t contribute, you don’t stay and this could be Brian Tyms new spot.
Sunday at 1pm the Patriots host the Oakland Raiders who are doing just a fine job being the Oakland Raiders this year. They should not offer much of a challenge to the Patriots, particularly at home and should offer another chance for the team to build confidence before the schedule ramps up.