|17-0...2 more to go|
by Dean Nicosia
Lawrence Maroney had a great night running for 122 yards on 22 carries
Brady pulls off this Academy Award winning fake hand-off, then turned and threw a TD
Koppen and the rest of the O-line gave Brady time to have a coffee in the pocket
A nice handshake, Bill must like Jack...
|The Patriots did it again, they
won in style while showing off yet another element of this dynamic
offense...a running game.
Jacksonville finished the season ranked 11th against the run and 15th against the pass, and the Patriots were number 1 in the league passing the ball, by a ton, and 13th rushing the ball.
So what did the Patriots do?
They ran the ball, for 122 yards.
Not that the Patriots didn't pass the ball, but they had a rare, under-300-yards, performance in that department. But look a little closer and you'll see that Brady was close to 93% passing (26 for 28), which was an NFL record for both regular and post season.
It just shows you that what is already great, can get even better. When you give Tom Brady, who is already insanely great, a running came, he becomes darn near perfect, or at least he was last night.
Last year Tommy (as I like to call him) was good enough to carry the Patriots to the AFC championship game without any receivers. (except Gaffney, who is a good one but who was an undrafted rookie last year) So this year you give him 3 dandy receivers and he breaks the NFL record for TDs and leads the league in passing yards, only throwing 8 interceptions while throwing for an average of 300 yards per game.
Plus he ended the season with a 117 passer rating.
Not bad (understatement of the decade), but then you throw in a running attack, in a playoff game against a very good defense, he completes 93% of his passes and ends up with a QB rating of 141. He just keeps getting better the more weapons you give him, and last night he was close to perfect.
Remember, last year we had an OK running game and no receivers and he just about took the team to the Super Bowl, this year he is out of this world!
And this postseason, so far, with the addition of a healthy Maroney running effectively, he's darn near perfect.
Wow, take one of the most prolific passing teams this league has ever seen, and add a running game going into the postseason. The Chargers and Colts haven't even played each other yet, but they both must be a tad-bit concerned about what faces them next week. (you could say something about soiling their drawers, but we won't go that far)
A Juggernaut is what faces them next week, at least on offense, and not a bad defense to boot. (With an extra day of rest this week and no travel plans, even our older linebackers will be ready for the task.)
Maybe that was the word I was looking for after dynasty, Juggernaut. Well, let's not temp fate with talks beyond what we know right now.
What we know right now is that the Patriots are 17-0 with an extra day to prepare for the AFC Championship game next week which they will host, and they are 2 games from all kinds of superlatives.
And now they face those two games with a running game.
At least they had a running game last night...