Patriots vs Cowboys: The Aftermath

Tom Brady Patriots Cowboys

Tom Brady had it when it counted on Sunday.

NEPD Staff Writer: Doug Kyed

And, exhale.

Three impressive defensive showings should shut critics up for now, right? Probably not. Here are some thoughts on week 6:

-Ryan-lead defenses give Brady fits, but now Brady’s got two weeks to prepare for Pittsburgh. That’ll be a great game. Pittsburgh’s defense might look easy compared to the Jets and Cowboys.

-I thought Welker would be able to destroy Orlando Scandrick. Boy was I wrong. Great game from Scandrick.

-As much was made about Dallas’ run defense, the Pats still managed 100 yards with a beat up BenJarvus Green-Ellis.

-Hernandez seems to have a bit of a fumbling problem, but he’s an otherwise incredible player. There was a first down he got in the second quarter that I’m convinced no one else in the league could have converted. It required his combination of breaking a tackle, stepping back, making a move and charging forward.

-Both teams did a great job of spreading the ball around, especially Dallas. That’s going to be the way to beat the Patriots zone defense, but it wasn’t enough.

-Brandon Spikes did a nice job blitzing today. We saw some of those similar blitzes in preseason with Jerod Mayo.

-Andre Carter continued to be a beast at DE in run coverage and with two sacks. The pass rush in general was very impressive early, but tailed off as the game continued.

-Patriots did a great job against the run and it wasn’t just because of Felix Jones’ injury. Jones was doing nothing against the Patriots’ defense. It’s a great sign that Tony Romo had the only run longer than 8 yards.

-This team needs a clinic on tackling. At times it seems like Patrick Chung, Devin McCourty and Jerod Mayo are the only ones who can wrap up.

-Penalties and turnovers almost killed the Patriots, but they proved once again they don’t always need to win the turnover battle to win the game.

-New England continued to give up big plays through the air. That was to be expected against the numerous Dallas weapons.

-At least we saw a glimpse of Taylor Price and Shane Vereen today, right? Baby steps.
-Ochocinco continues to look lost in the offense.

-I thought the defensive line in general looked great today. They’re the best unit by far on defense so far and do a lot to bail out the linebackers and secondary.

I’ll have more tomorrow in my six keys to victory. I’ll also be charting the Patritots secondary tonight. I’ll post my findings on twitter and in my post tomorrow.

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21 Responses to “Patriots vs Cowboys: The Aftermath”

  1. Bill says:

    I hope TB has California license plates on his multiple luxury vehicles. Because he clearly belongs in California. I doubt the SF team has any serious interest in an aging QB. But, I’m certain the Oakland Raiders are interested in TB being their QB in 2012.

    TB can no longer execute that type of late game drive against a well coached, well conditioned, playoff calibre team, as he did against the pathetic Cowboy team.

    I did enjoy watching NO become a 4-2 team. I find that encouraging from a 2012 NE Pat’s draft perspective.

    I’m a Dolphins fan tonight. Because it will be entertaining to watch the Jets lose, yet another game. And I don’t want the Dolphins to have the #1 pick in the 2012 draft.

    • DWE says:

      OAkland….2012………I’m pretty confident he’ll be signing again with N.E. as long as they keep building the team back up. But for now***He’s still contracted with us through the 2014 season currently numb nut’s…..put the crack pipe down Bill.

  2. Lundahl says:

    Lets set it straight. The offense struggled because Rob Ryan blitzed on ever y play ! It took him six guys to get to Brady ! A genius ? What’s genius about a guy that blitzes the QB with six guys ever two plays ? Nothing ! Yeah he’s out there, shouting at the officials to make himself interesting. But lets get even straighter to the point. When the Cowboys had to cover, they couldn’t do it. The defense wasn’t coordinated well enough and they couldn’t coordinate themselves right. What’s Ryan’s job ? DEFENSIVE COORDINATOR. Not defensive game manager, or defensive playmaker. That last drive embarrassed that D that thought was doing so well because they waggled Brady at full eight. And again, Patriots need to call basic plays to counter the blitzes. I thought that on their first offensive possession they would of played the same gameplan as they did on that last drive.

  3. John Major says:

    I’m sick and tired of the football analysts or experts calling New England’s defense the 32nd ranked in the league. Overall, they seem to stop the run. Their zone coverage is adequate. They struggle with man to man coverage and most of the time they don’t get enough pressure on the quarterback. They pretty much have a bend but don’t break defense where they give up a lot of yardage compared to the amount of points. Right now, I think their defense should be rated somewhere between 16-20th. If Haynesworth plays like he suppose to, we should be able to get more pressure on the QB which should make the LB’s and CB’s jobs much easier. I don’t understand how a player that hardly plays in actual games is always hurt. Haynesworth so far is a major disappointment. All the hype about what a great football player he is. Remember all the hype he got when the Patriots signed him. Great Albert was going to lead the Patriots to the promised land (Super Bowl). He looks more like Fat Albert! He still has the second half of the season to prove me wrong. I hope he does. We also miss Jerod Mayo immensely. I think he is the 2nd best defensive player on NE behind Wilfolk. I’m predicting New England’s defense to be average (16th) by the end of the year. With their great offense and all their great weapons, an average defense will be good enough. They need to come up with a new formula for rating defenses because yardage doesn’t tell the whole story.

    • D. T. says:

      I disagree about Albert. He’s been playing lights out when he does enter the field. He got double teamed and triple teamed all game. He knocked Romo down, collapsed the pocket, put a hand in his face, all game. I think the only rating that we should use is how many points we give up per game. NOT counting pick-sixes or ST TDs, we have given up 20.6 points a game. We score 30 a game. Do the math. BUT let’s also cut the garbage TDs (Raiders, Dolphins). We end up with 18.5 points a game. That is extremely respectable considering the opposition we’ve had – Dolphins, Chargers, Bills, Raiders, Jets, Cowboys. 3 of which score 30 average (Cowboys included). The other 3 were/are respectable with tough players (dolphins – Bush, Marshall, Bess, Raiders – McFadden, Moore, Bey, etc., Jets – Holmes, Burress, Mason, Keller, Greene, LT, etc.)

      • DWE says:

        Agreed with Haynsworth being pretty good when he is in……Albert’s contract is incentive based, he get’s paid regarding how many games he’s in, how well he does….Chad Worthless-CHO was paid 4.5 MILLION up front, nevermind 2-3 mil a year for three yr’s.
        That cash up front IMO has made him LAZY, IMO he doesn’t care & he doesn’t fit!! They were idiots to pay him that up front money……If he doesn’t begin to catch balls steady and become a factor late in the season/play-off’s…..I trade or cut him early next year…..and accept all the smack talk from the fan base on what additional offencive or defensive player we COULD HAVE gotten instead for that 4.5 MIL……

        Albert although i would have never bothered regarding his past antics on the field in Tennessee…stomping on another player’s head with no helmet on in the pile…?But at least he has actual injury issues, so he’s got a “reason” VS Chad Johnson who has a 4.5 million dollar “excuse” to not be a factor.

    • Big Dan From Maine says:


      I agree with you I think that the pats COULD get to the 16th ranked defense by the end of the year. That coupled with our offense will be a force to be reckoned with.

      Im a little disappointed with Albert also, I think yesterday was his best game this year, but he can only bring it in short spurts, where as Wilfork can do it all game. Albert has the ability, I am hoping that his “back problems” heal, and he can get his head screwed on straight.

      Now Ocho Stinko, thats another issue, what a waste of a roster spot and money. I dont see him doing anything at all this year.

  4. Dan says:

    Key is they’re getting better, and the league is in tough shape…most teams stink this year, kind of pathetic. We’re good and we’re getting better. I like the fact that both our lines are playing good ball; and, of course, we have Brady…we can move the ball on the ground and through the air.
    About the defense…long way to go, but they are playing tough now, that’s a good start….solid line play and tough.
    All teams are giving up yards…nobody is shut-down anymore…it’s just impossible with all these passing offenses. The stable of receivers they played against yesterday are going to make some plays…there’s no getting around that.
    I like where the team is at…

  5. D. T. says:

    It was good to see Andre Carter get his two sacks. He’s been playing lights out this entire season but hasn’t got the sack. Today he got his reward. I hope he continues to get sacks. Wilfork almost got another interception. Haynesworth played very good and was in Romos face at least three times. Spikes was a monster even though he takes bad angles now and then. Ninkovich looks a little slow – he can’t cover that well. Witten made him look foolish in the 3rd quarter on a 3rd and 8/9. Bodden played well as did Arrington. McCourty wasn’t great, but with safety help he managed decently well.

    The Cowboys D showed up to play but so did ours. Both teams were averaging 30+ points and both Defenses halved that number. The difference was that our D held up three times in the 4th (with some bad play-calling from the ‘Boys) and our O finally put everything together on that last drive.

    You have to be happy with this game. No major injuries, a very good D’fensive performance, a clutch drive when it mattered. This reminds me of the Browns game – we had three turnovers, made many mistakes, never got on rythym, but this time, our D stepped up until the O figured it out. I think the Patriots are now good enough to win in the playoffs. Before, I always felt that the Patriots relied on Brady. But in this game, the D bailed out the O so many times.

    Looking ahead….

    1) We’ll heal up – get Dowling, Vollmer, Mayo back. All key players.
    2) Belichick has tons of film with which he can berate the players with – this means they’ll be motivated as if it had been a loss.
    3) The bye will give Belichick time to figure out the Steelers, Giants, and Jets. Patriots are always incredible coming off a bye.
    4) The Patriots are in first place in the division heading into the bye.

  6. Ken W says:

    I think the unsung player of the game would have to be Brandon Spikes. He had a great game plugging up the running lanes and was timing his blitz up the middle perfectly.

    2-3 times he bowled over the center and blew the play up in the backfield. Great to see that from the young guy.

    • Big Dan From Maine says:


      Again we are all praising this defense. Our secondary couldn’t cover anyone, and our blitz package was terrible. With the exception of the 2 all out run blitzes at the end of the game, every time Spikes blitzed early it was into a blocker. The comment ablove about the only ones that can wrap up include McCourty, he missed alot of tackles. The Ryans can always scheme a defense that slows Brady down, if not shut him dowm. BB is supposed to be the greatest coach on the planet, why can we get a few effective blitz packages per game. Most games we have a decent lead and the other teams are forced to pass, yet we have one of the lowest sack totals in the league. Its just unacceptable. At least this defense did look a little more like the bend but dont break defenses of our super bowl victory years. The did rise to the ocasion in the red zone and at the end of the game.

      While there were some positives from this game our defense played far from the level where yesterdays performance should “shut anyone up”

      It was good to see the Pats pull out an UGLY win. We need these types of games just as much as the pretty ones where Brady has a perfect passer rating.

      • Doug Kyed says:

        The Patriots gave up only 16 points to a team with two big, physical, mismatches at WR, an elite TE that they didn’t waste a safety or LB to mirror all game, a speedy outside rushing RB that they’ve had trouble against all season and despite only forcing one dumb mistake from Romo. Sure, they gave up 300 yards passing, but that’s the nature of the game at this point.

        The Cowboys had all the pieces needed to really exploit this defense and they didn’t. To call this anything but a nice defensive performance is nitpicking.

        • Big Dan From Maine says:

          They only gave up 17 to the Giants a coupl of years ago 2, in a little playoff game I am sure you remember. They couldn’t get to the quaterback that year either. And we havent drafted any defensive difference makers since

        • D. T. says:

          Big Dan,

          the Giants game was very winnable considering we had Manning miracle heave and a Asante missed interception. Heck, even if Brady had got us in field-goal range, we could have forced OT. So to use the ’17’ point is really meaningless. That year we had Stallworth, Gaffney, Moss, Welker and no TEs and a mediocre RB (Maroney). This year, we aren’t putting up the numbers, but we have Branch, Ocho, Welker, Edelman at WR, Gronk and A-Hern at TE, Ridley, Vereen, Woodhead, BJGE at RB. The weapons are double what they were last time and our running game looks good, our TEs block and catch, our WRs are reliable and all have decent stats except Ocho.

          In this offensive dominated league, 16 points is a season low, and it is a low for any offense.

          As for D playmakers, I suppose the current NFL leader in INTs ,Arrington, a young promising CB McCourty, and another top-round pick, Dowling, plus a free-agent Bodden doesn’t equal drafting/acquiring difference makers, huh? I guess drafting/acquiring Spikes, Cunningham, Mayo, Fletcher, Guyton, Ninkovich doesn’t equal new talent. I guess adding Ellis, Haynesworth, Anderson, Carter doesn’t equal adding talent. I guess adding Chung, Barrett, Brown, Meriweather, doesn’t equal talent.

          Granted, not everybody here has worked out. But you can’t fault the Patriots for not rehauling the entire D for the LONG HAUL. Do you realize that apart from Vince, our D is all new since the 2007 run?

      • TD says:

        Big Dan needs to take a chill pill or stop watching TV. A Win is a Win, I remember the year you are scolding Doug on where we hammered teams until Dec and Jan where the competition got really tough as it is now. Next up we will get the Steelers and while we seem to have their number, it will not be easy.

        • Big Dan From Maine says:

          You guys all need to take off the rose colored glasses and face reality. DT I could point out serious issues with every player on the Defense you named except Wilfork and Mayo. I am not saying that the Pats are terrible, this defense just isnt Superbowl talent right now. That is not saying that they can develop. But alot has to start getting better.

          They are winning games with offense, but that will not win a championship.

          Here is to continued sucess for the Pats and continued debate on this website.

        • Big Dan From Maine says:

          that should have read “That is not saying they CAN’T develop.

        • Big Dan From Maine says:

          Also Just FYI I only watched 2 games this weekend, Michigan/Michigan ST, and the Pats. The thing here is that I WATCHED the pats game, not just had it on as entertainement. Thats my hang up and I love it.

          Again guys not trying to be argumentative or a Jerk and I apologize if you guys take it that way. Just trying to being another side to the coin here

        • D. T. says:

          I appreciate it Big Dan. But tell me one other team with a D that is made up of players that are all 2nd year, 1st year, 3rd year, or new acquisitions. This group hasn’t been together very long. Unlike Ravens or Steelers or even Jets.

  7. TD says:

    Nice to see the D rise up and bail Brady out, although it’s a little disturbing to see McCourty struggle.

    Good thing BB got the run game going to help the Offense. Light & Solder struggled w/Dallas edge rushers, although who doesn’t,

  8. cash says:

    Vintage Brady drive there at the end. Loved it! Hadnt seen one of those in a while.

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