Patriots vs Cowboys: Reviewing the Win

Cowboys vs Patriots Aaron Hernandez

Aaron Hernandez came up big for the Patriots again this weekend.

NEPD Staff Writer: Mike Loyko

After re-watching the game tape this morning, I wrap up the Cowboys game and give my perspective on the positives and negatives from the game.

This game was the most important and quite possibly the biggest win of the season for this team. In a game in which the offense and special teams turned the ball over four times, two of which were in spots were points were going to be scored, the defense was able to keep them in the game. A lot has been made about the defense needing to win a game when the offense didn’t score 30 points; they were able to answer that question and did so against one of the better offenses in the NFL.

Overall, I am very encouraged by what I see by the defense, which seems to be getting better each week. I expect the defense to be fully healthy after the bye week for the first time this season.

Looking at the big picture, getting to the bye week at 5-1 and in sole possession of 1st place in the AFC East is great news. This team is one last second FG away from being 6-0, despite all the negativity surrounding their defense. Going 80 yards with 2 minutes remaining to win the game is a great way to go into the bye week, and should do a lot for the overall confidence of this team.

Game Tape Review

– The defense came into this game as a much maligned unit. They took the field with great intensity and energy yesterday. That was evident by the “everyone to the ball” mentality. The defense was swarming to the ball more so than any game this year. As a whole they missed a lot of tackles however, someone was usually there to clean it up.

– The Patriots defensive line owned the Cowboys offensive line and especially the interior of the line all day. Wilfork, Love and Haynesworth all routinely blew, Kyle Kosier, Bill Nagy and Phil Costa into the backfield disrupting running plays or forcing a quick throw from Romo.

– This was Haynesworth’s best game in a Patriot uniform.

– While he hasn’t been perfect I really like what James Ihedigbo has brought to the Patriots defense. Sergio Brown and Josh Barrett just weren’t cutting it. Ihedigbo has provided some stability where it was desperately needed. He plays with great energy, can really put a hit on the ball carrier, and did a real nice job covering the Cowboys TE’s. He has been an under the radar move but I think he stays the starter for a while.

– Brandon Spikes is back! Spikes flew around the field all game long. He looks fully healthy, blitzing on a number of plays and shooting gaps to get into the Cowboys backfield. He made a number of key plays including blowing up the Cowboys shovel pass on 3rd and goal late in the 4th quarter.

– We were able to go 2-0 without Jerod Mayo, but we need him back. I haven’t been impressed with Gary Guyton at all this year. He really struggled in pass coverage again and missed a number of tackles.

– Dan Connolly has been one of the unsung heroes of the first 6 games. Jay Ratliff is one of the best nose tackles in the game. Connolly was able to neutralize him all game, to a point where Ratliff was essentially invisible on the field.

– I thought the Patriots offensive line did a pretty good job all game against one of the best pass rushing teams in the NFL. While DeMarcus Ware had two sacks, one was more of a coverage sack when Gronkowski was covered in the red zone. Light, Solder, Gronk all held their own.

– This team needs to stop shooting itself in the foot. It seems the only way this offense can be stopped is when it stops itself. Penalties and untimely turnover have really stopped this team from taking it to the next level. The good news is all of those mistakes are very correctable.

– Andre Carter was dominating all game long. Not only did he pick up two sacks, one of which may be the play of the game, stopping the Cowboys momentum by settling for a FG. Carter has been remarkable against the run. He sets the edge perfectly and often forces the RB to turn it back into the teeth of the defense. That is something this defense lacked last year.

– Ochocinco was a complete non-factor, but I am not quite ready to give up on him yet. I will give him a full season to prove his worth. I still think he makes a big play at some point.

– What more can be said about Tom Brady, that two minute drive was a thing of beauty. The play of the drive came on the second play of the drive, Brady stood in the pocket and took a hit from Anthony Spencer, however he was able to get the ball to Rob Gronkowski who stepped out of bounds with 2:02 remaining, essentially giving the Patriots an extra timeout by allowing them to run one more play before the two minute warning. His poise, confidence and accuracy under pressure is the best ever. We are truly lucky to have him as our Quarterback.

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12 Responses to “Patriots vs Cowboys: Reviewing the Win”

  1. TD says:

    To us he looks great, but to BB he must be making mistakes/running the wrong routes, etc during practice. If he cannot do what is required during practice, the only way he’s getting in is a big blowout or a bunch of injuries.

    On this team, guys that don’t know what they are doing or not bringing it during practice are sitting on the bench.

    • DWE says:

      I really hope he’s just being held back as a WR asset that BB just doesn’t want ppl to know about just yet.
      Hopefully OCHO will begin to pick things up and be an actual factor within the next few games as well as the next two years he’s signed for….?
      Price……he may know the system, but he’s being held back because BB just wan’t to sit on him for a bit and use the assetts currently on the field and what ppl know.
      Branch is still usefull, Welker is spot on, we have 2 TE that are on point always……Why let it be known we also have Price in the wing’s? If he need’s more time, then as long as the pay is cheep, let him sit and perfect the craft and skills so he can come in and replace whomever it is we are shortly going to loose?
      Between a little injury and still needing some “schooling”, let him sit.

      If it’s known or believed as well he(being price) is so good and knows the system so well….., then he’s gonna be great for Mallet in practice in addition, so why waste an asset and throw a wrench into the works…..? There is nothing wrong with this Offense, so don’t fix it by throwing price in and risk getting him injured while he can work woth Mallet at the same time.

      Ocho is a diversion as well ppl, he’s still gonna garner coverage. As he does get better with a real system VS Cincci…..he can only get better.

      The cup’s 1/2 full not empty, I’d worry more about defense in free agency and the upcoming draft, rather than being upset about the choosing of many weapons for Brady to throw at!!

  2. Big Dan From Maine says:

    Just a couple of comments:

    Tackling by the Patriots is bad, and its bad all over the league and in college right now. Alot of teams are terrible at tackling and the Pats are just bad.

    Ocho Stinko, time for him to be cut loose, we couold use the roster spot for one of the guys comming of PUP. I know we have alot of money tied up in him and it would be a cap hit, but come on, some one tell me why Taylor Price can’t get in on those plays. He has to know the offense, this is his third year, and he cant be any worse that Ocho Stinko.

    • Lundahl says:

      So, basically Brandon Spikes played a like a tool the Cowboys. Right. You actually wanna cut an all-pro receiver ? Dude, do you smoke ? Taylor Price ? The guy is last on the receiving depth chart. You’re crazy.

    • cash says:

      I dont think the Pats tackling is that bad. Just had a bad game and a few plays where it showed.
      Its Taylor Prices’ second season, but I totally agree. Why cant this kid get on the field?!?! He seems to be bright, have good hands, speed, looks like hes in great shape. Maybe BB doesnt trust him? How are you suppose to know if they can play or not if they sit on the bench? Practice is different then games, put them in their and see how they do.

      • Lundahl says:

        Price ? Price isn’t better than Edelman. Ocho, believe me or not, will step up. But I want him to be in the line up in the red zone.

        • Ken W says:

          I think Price should be given a few more looks just to see how he does. He has looked really good in the limited amount of time he has been in. It can’t be any worse then what Ocho is providing right now.
          Edelman has been banged up all year but we still have to remember that he has only played WR for a few years now. He has done a good job filling in for Welker so we know he can play.
          The young guys do deserve a shot to prove what they got.

  3. TD says:

    I saw a breakdown of the last TD on another website. Depending on what the S on that side of the formation did, TB was going to either Gronk or Hernandez each with single coverage. Also getting him time to throw was Mankins sliding back to help on Ware.

    You can see in one frame the talent of Ware. He was 10 yards in the backfield before Hernandez was 6 yds downfield!

  4. Bill says:

    “Tom Brady, you are terrific!” That’s what Gil Santos said as a radio announcer when Tom Brady threw a touchdown pass late in the 4th quarter of the first game of the Pat’s 2009 regular season.

    I have never heard Gil Santos repeat those words in the playoff games TB has played since that regular season game…And with good reason.

    TB is now too old to be a terrific QB against the superior teams in the NFL. Now some people are satisfied with a QB who can win 12-14 regular season games and be a flop in the playoffs. I’m not satisfied with that limited success. I want, and demand the Pat’s trade Brady for the opportunity to draft Andrew Luck.

    “Out with the old, in with the new.” I hope that is the next quote I can attribute to Gil Santos.

    • D. T. says:

      What a stupid retarded statement. You really think Luck is going to win us 14 games and take us to Super Bowls? You really think that Brady is a flop in the playoffs? The last three playoff losses are not on him:Giants: Asante, Helmet Catch, O-Line. Ravens: O-Line, entire D. Jets: Crumpler, D, O-Line and WRs (who couldn’t get open to save their life). I cannot pin any of those losses on Brady. This is ridiculous. Some Patriots fans are spoiled silly!!!

    • cash says:

      This is the difference between idiotic sports fans and knowledgebale sports fans-

      Smart Fans=Obvioulsy we all want a Superbowl every year, but us smart fans realize how difficult it is to succeed in the NFL and for the Pats to do what they do is amazing year in and year out. Its a team game and its not just Bradys fault they lose. We appreciate what they do.

      Dumb Fans= Think the Pats are awful and suck if they dont win the superbowl, and blame Brady everytime. Think BB should be fired and believe its so easy to win the SB and should be done every year. They dont realize its hard buliding a team with age, youth, free agents, and injuries.

    • DWE says:

      Name any NFL team that has kept itself so relivent for so long……?
      After winning three SB’s, this team if it were not for Asante Samual’s and a Freak divine intervention catch that even the reciever himself if he poured glue into his hand before the hike of the ball couldn’t have made if he tried…it was a freak once in a lifetime recepiton, this team would have 4 ring’s and not just the three!

      Take into consideration as well that after that SB run(s), nearly every 1st and 2nd round defensive pick and many offensive ones as well have been either a total and absolute bust, or at best like 40 something % of what was expected/they should have been.

      So how is it that they still remain so relivent for so long after so many decisions that were basically failures regarding “re-building” the team?

      You also take not into consideration whatso-ever the offensive juggernuate that is New England, and also obviously don’t take into consideration that we need not OFFENSE……we need more and better DEFENSE.

      Do you actually listen to yourself?

      Pop a studd or two into this offensive line, be it an older school veteran or a relitively newer/younger kid at the top of his game…. get it a little better back to that offensive wall that credit company card used to made commercials about and then just bring in Defense, Defense, Defense.

      Brady’s under contract through 2014. If we slap an offensive studd inbetween the middle of what we have right now so theres no issues, and put the money and contracts from here out into a cpl of actual defensive monsters(…..that would mean not wasting it on 4.5 Mill up front for guy’s like OCHO), then Brady sign’s another deal with new england after his current 2014 contrcat is done.

      He’s 34 years old now and want’s to play until he’s at least 40. Which gives us up to another 4 year deal after this one is up!
      I also see one more, if not two more rings if they actually sign proper guy’s from here on out by the time Brady retires a Patriot.

      What’s been missing is DEFENSE. Not a Young QB.

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