If someone asked me if Tom Brady only threw for 172 yards and 1 touchdown against the surging Baltimore Ravens would the Patriots win the game? I would tell them there is no chance in France the Patriots win that game. Well butter my biscuit and call me Sally because the Patriots did just that.
Legarrette Blount rushed for 76 yards and two touchdowns on 16 carries. Blount also spit in Baltimore’s eye with mocking Ray Lewis’s dance.
Steven Ridley tacked 54 yards on 15 carries.
Edelman had 7 receptions for 77 yards and is starting to look more and more like Wes Welker as the weeks go on. Danny Amendola added 2 receptions for 45 yards. Aaron Dobson had 1 reception for 21 yards. Although that may not look good on paper, he stretched the Baltimore defense and made them focus on a guy running down the field. Even though he is not catching all his deep targets, the defense has to respect him.
The Patriots defense played exceptionally well for the first time in weeks. They forced 3 INT’s, two from Flacco, who struggled mightily with his bad knee and did not seem to be comfortable in the pocket the whole game.
The Patriots held Ray Rice to 40 yards, including stopping Rice on a crucial 4th and 1 play when the Ravens were threatening to score in the 3rd quarter. Bernard Pierce ran for 31 yards on 10 carries.
Shane Vereen injured his groin during this game, which is defiantly something to keep your eye on in the upcoming week. Losing Vereen would be a major blow to this already banged up Patriot offense.
Now I am not going to get ahead of myself here. Although the Patriots looked extremely impressive, especially on the defensive side of the ball, I think I need to take a step back and look at this game. Joe Flacco had a mild MCL sprain, and had to wear a knee brace which affected his mobility in the pocket and could have taken some heat off his throws. It also ensured Flacco would not leave the pocket and try to make a play with his legs. Also, the Ravens run game has been nonexistent all year so the Patriots could really just focus on the pass this whole game. Now add those two together and you can see how I can still be a little hesitant on saying the Patriots Defense is back. Luckily we still have one more week to see if the Patriots can keep up this defensive effort against two very good running backs in Fred Jackson and C.J Spiller.
That being said this is obviously a major improvement from what we saw last week against Miami. I would consider this a statement win to the rest of the NFL. And that statement is no matter how many injuries New England endures, we will not go down quietly.
The Patriots face off against the Buffalo Bills next week who just shut out Miami 19-0 earlier today, which is only the second time this season a defense has shut out a team. This is not an easy game by any means.