Those Patriots sure are on a roll, aren't they? My viewing of their latest steamrolling was delayed a couple of hours due to the girls playing in a basketball game. But A10.3 scoring 4 points and R11.5 scoring 2, and both out there during crunch time, made it all worthwhile.
The smashing victory over the tame Chicago Bears was made even sweeter by the simple fact that I work for a company based in Chicago, so needless to say there were a few wagers on the line. I felt confident enough to even let them take the points (the Pats were 3 point favorites). But the game was never in doubt. Some bits and pieces from the game:
- I was pretty confident going into the game. Save for the New Orlean debacle last year, the NFC just has never scared me.
- I loved how the Patriots came out and immediately went against the common "wisdom" and went 5 wide with an empty backfield. They just aren't affected by the wind and snow.
- Once again, despite the elements, the defense gave up 19 yards on a 3rd and 18. Argh, that made me so angry!
- Other than that though, they did a very solid job on defense. They seemed to bring the pressure at the right times and tackled pretty well. I still think the strip fumble by McCourty was down by contact, but hey, when things are working, things are working.
- Danny "Rudy 2" Woodhead had an amazing touchdown run, especially considering it was only for three yards. He couldn't have seen more than backs and butts and yet he kept moving for an impressive final dive into the end zone.
- Was that a brilliant catch by Tate or what? A full out dive along the sideline - wow!
- Man, can Devin Hester juke! I can hardly blame the Pats special teams, the only black mark on the day, for not bringing this guy down. He can just change directions on a dime. Amazing that Ninkovich was able to able to track him down.
- I think the biggest difference in this team over pretty much any other Patriots team in the past decade is the amazing trio of tight ends. They can each do it all, with The Big Gronk leading the way.
- It's pretty incredible that they clinched their 9th playoff appearance in the last 10 years and that one missed playoff was the infamouse 11-5 Matt Cassell team. In fact, they've made the playoffs for 12 of Bob Kraft's 17 seasons of ownership.
- I sure loved the jacket that Coach B was wearing at the game way better than the Stay Puff jacket he wore the previous week. That's a very sharp looking jacket; too bad I can't seem to find it at the Pro Shop.
On to face Green Bay this weekend in Foxboro. A cold, blustery, snowy Sunday night - should look great on the TV! That is not one of my tickets, although I do like a good snow game. One interesting twist will be to see how facing Dom Capers, current Packer defensive coordinator and past "de-facto" Patriots defensive coordinator, affects the game planning.