The Patriots improved to 5-2 and moved into a first place tie in the AFC East yesterday with a 23-16 win over a surprisingly plucky St. Louis Rams team, who have shown great improvement since Jim Haslett took over as interim head coach three weeks ago.
On Patriots Daily, Chris Warner has a look back at yesterday’s win, and looks at candidates to provide some unexpected help for the Patriots later this season.
Chris Price has his 10 Things We Learned Yesterday column.
Karen Guregian has the Patriots answering to adversity with this win. Christopher Price has Matt Cassel engineering his first fourth quarter comeback. Mark Farinella says that we should accept that the days of the 40 point wins are over (last week’s 34 point win wasn’t good enough?) and that the games are going to look a lot more like yesterday this season. Christopher L. Gasper has the Patriots back in their rightful place atop the AFC East. David Brown has New England’s resiliency – combined with its weak schedule – keeping them afloat in the AFC playoff picture. Eric McHugh has the Patriots with some bad moments, but still coming away with a win. Shalise Manza Young has the battered but unbowed Patriots moving back into first place. Chris Kennedy says that there was plenty of good and bad for the Patriots yesterday. Andy Vogt has the Patriots silencing the Rams at Gillette. Matthew Roy says that the Patriots were good when it counted yesterday.
Bob Ryan has Matt Cassel making improvements in his game week-by-week, and turning in a pretty decent performance yesterday. Michael Felger says that this Cassel kid might be OK after all. Brian MacPherson says that yesterday was a step forward for Cassel in his development as an NFL QB. Hector Longo demands to know why the Patriots were so “giddy” with Matt Cassel’s performance yesterday against the “bottom feeding” Rams. Price has Cassel showing signs of promise in the win yesterday. John Tomase says that Cassel just keeps on improving and impressing. Brown has Cassel having to go out and win a game for the first time yesterday. Jim Donaldson says that Cassel graduated from game manager to game winner yesterday.
Mike Reiss has Mr Clutch once again stepping forward for the Patriots yesterday. Farinella has Kevin Faulk riding to the rescue yesterday for the Patriots. Bill Burt has a look at how valuable Faulk is to the Patriots, and how a lot teams wish they had this versatile performer. Dan Ventura has Faulk once again picking up the slack for the Patriots on offense. Tim Weisberg has the versatility of Faulk shining for the Patriots again. Glen Farley has Faulk turning it on for the Patriots when in counted. Robert Lee has Mr Dependable coming through again. Jennifer Toland says Faulk is always putting the team first.
Farinella has the Patriots’ defense hanging in there despite all the injuries. Adam Kilgore has the Patriots calling all hands on deck in the secondary after a rash of injuries yesterday. Chris Forsberg has the front seven, led by Adalius Thomas and Richard Seymour helping out the secondary by finally getting some pressure on the QB. Tomase has the Patriots defense answering the call yesterday when a play was needed. Daniel Barbarisi has the secondary tightening in the end when needed. Young has the Patriots’ pass rush a key to the win. Farley has the defense scrambling to put bodies on the field yesterday. Kennedy says that Belichick was a secondary mover and shaker during the game.
Ron Borges seems impressed with the Patriots ability to hang on until the end in this one. Steve Buckley has the Patriots feeding off their rallying cry that no one gave them a chance after Tom Brady went down. Farinella has the Patriots feeling pretty good about themselves and their 5-3 record to this point. Lee has Wes Welker proving the doubters wrong once again. Toland has Randy Moss coming up big on the winning drive.
Borges goes through the best and the worst from yesterday. Lee also offers up some postgame analysis from both sides of the ball. McHugh figures out who was hot and who was not yesterday. Mike Petraglia wraps things up from Gillette with soundbites from the locker room.
Gobis’ notebook has Wes Welker still Cassel’s go-to guy yesterday. Gasper’s notebook has the Patriots turning in the first penalty-free performance in franchise history. Guregian’s notebook has the shelves empty at cornerback by the end of the game. Weisberg’s notebook has the depleted secondary making a big play when it counted. McHugh’s notebook says Cassel had game when it counted.
Probably the best thing about FOX doing the games yesterday was that there was not a single reference to the CBS Scene at Patriots place…