NEPD Staff Writer: Doug Kyed
That one wasn’t fun. You’ve got to give the Bills credit though, they’ve had two incredible second half comebacks in a row now. Coming back from 21 down and winning 34-31 is impressive no matter how much help you had from the other team.
To clear up any confusion, it made sense for Belichick to take that timeout after the near Fred Jackson TD. The clock started running as soon as the play wasn’t ruled a TD. Belichick just wanted the 13 seconds that had run down after the play back onto the clock.
Here are my thoughts on the game:
-This game was lost on bad penalties and bad decisions. The Mankins hold, the Kyle Love personal foul, the Sergio Brown pass interference and the unsportsmanlike conduct at the goal line at the end of the game all played huge parts in this loss. Obviously Ochocinco’s drop didn’t help either. Had that been the TD, the Patriots would have been left with 6:00 on the clock.
-Patrick Chung, Albert Haynesworth and Ras-I Dowling were missed greatly. Chung and Haynesworth could have helped contain Fred Jackson a lot better and Ras-I being on the field could have removed an extra DB needed to help Arrington in coverage. Tackling was a real issue for the Patriots as well. Chung is the best open field tackler in the secondary and that was sorely missed on Jackson’s big plays.
-Before the Love questionable call at the end of the fourth quarter, the Patriots were finally finding a semblance of a pass rush. I have absolutely no idea what officials saw on that call, I’ll clearly need to watch that replay at some point. Did they say Love hit Fitzpatrick up high? That being said, the Pats are going to need to bring the pass rush if they want their defense to improve. Fitzpatrick had all the time in the world to find his 2nd, 3rd and 4th options.
-Wes Welker and Rob Gronkowski were incredible.
-I’d say two of Tom Brady’s interceptions were on him, two were on his teammates. I can’t blame Brady though, the defense needs to learn how to not give up 34 points in a game.
-BenJarvus Green-Ellis had a rough game. I wish we could have seen more of Stevan Ridley in the 2nd half. A lot of problems could have been solved if we could have burned a lot of clock in the 2nd half, which we just couldn’t do. Brady’s INTs didn’t help, but neither did the Lawfirm or our run blocking. A lot of credit goes to Bills NT Kyle Williams, he had quite a game.
-Devin McCourty has been burned a lot this season, and it’s time to stop making excuses for him. He needs to do a better job getting in WRs faces at the line of scrimmage. I thought he would have a nice game against Stevie Johnson since he’s less physically than Brandon Marshall and Vincent Jackson.
-It’s really obvious that we missed Aaron Hernandez. We barely ran the no-huddle, which I knew would happen without Hernandez. Ocho doesn’t know the offense well enough and Edelman isn’t effective enough as an offensive player. Without the no huddle, we can’t put consistent pressure on the opposing defense. We should have BURNED the Bills DBs, but the only players capable were Welker and Gronkowski.
I’ll have more thoughts on the game in tomorrow’s keys column, but for now, let’s not panic. Teams lose, QBs have bad games. Injuries were key here as were dumb penalties and dumb mistakes. The Bills are clearly better than anyone thought they would be and Fred Jackson and Ryan Fitzpatrick are exactly why.