NEPD Staff Writer: Doug Kyed
This win was pretty typical 2011 Patriots game: dominant performances from Brady, Gronkowski and Welker, a slow start for the Patriots offense and a whole bunch of garbage time yards let up by the pass defense. The only thing we were missing was the fourth down Mark Anderson sack.
Here are some things that were different in the Patriots win over the Colts:
-Nick McDonald got the start at center and actually had a pretty good game. Reason no. 1,683 why Dante Scarnecchia is the best offensive line coach in the history of football.
-Matt Slater, Nate Jones and Niko Koutouvides all got starts on defense. Slater played alright, he had a nice forced fumble, Jones and Koutouvides looked fine, but I’ll be happy to see the full defense again in the next couple weeks.
-Arrington and McCourty seemed to struggle a bit today. I’m not sure what’s going on with McCourty this year, but it will have to change before the playoffs. McCourty was probably the Patriots most important player on defense last season and this season’s he’s been very mediocre.
-Sterling Moore should only ever see time at safety. He gets really burned at corner.
-No Julian Edelman on defense. I was very disappointed.
-No Antwaun Molden either, which was surprising. I guess that probably means that Belichick had confidence that Edelman and Molden can get the job done.
-Not a ton of pressure on Orlovsky, which I was fine with. I’m not sure if I even saw a blitz and there’s no reason to show your hand against the Colts.
-This was probably the Patriots worst defensive performance since the Steelers, but consider who was playing on defense before you overreact.
-I think once the games are important again, we’ll see a ton of no huddle from the Pats.
-Hernandez had another really nice quiet game.
-Jerod Mayo got his first interception of his career and it was a beautiful diving catch.
-Ocho made one nice catch and one pretty bad drop down the sidelines. Those are the catches he needs to make.
-Rob Gronkowski may not have broken the receiving touchdowns by a tight end record today, but he did break the TOTAL touchdowns by a tight end with his “rushing” TD today.
-The Patriots run defense continues to be impressive, they held the Colts to just 3.2 yards per carry.
-The Patriots run offense was about as impressive as the Colts unfortunately.
-Vince Wilfork had a huge game with 10 tackles, a sack, a tackle for a loss and a QB hit. That’s the Wilfork we’ve been waiting for all year.
I’ll have more tomorrow in my keys to victory post.