(I can’t wait to see how many angry emails and tweets I get from people who only read the headline.)
It’s hard to find to find much fault with the Patriots performance last night, so those who wish to force doom and gloom on their audience the next few days will have to work a little bit. I’ve seen a few references to the 45-3 December win over the Jets a couple years ago, and how that turned out, I’ve seen the phrase “peaking too soon” – how do we know the Patriots are peaking? Still seems like plenty of room for improvement, right? I’ve seen worries about the two fumbles – both recovered by the offense, mind you – and continued worries about the kicker, who didn’t attempt a field goal last night.
But if you’re going through those items and fretting over them, I’d say you’ve got issues. The Patriots ran roughshod over the Houston Texans, who were an NFL-best 11-1 coming into this game. New England jumped out to a 21-0 lead in the first half, and kept the pedal down in a 42-14 thumping.
The CSNNE interview with Wes Welker last night ended pretty awkwardly, as the receiver was asked about his tough night connecting with Tom Brady (targeted 9 times, 3 catches) and Felger suggested the drops got into Welker’s head. He wasn’t amused, nor was he interested in Troy Brown’s suggestion that being on the punt returns messed him up as a receiver. Felger also managed to chastise “sensitive” Patriots fans who interpret them listing out all the ways the opponent gives the game to the Patriots as taking away from how the Patriots played.
For all those marveling that Dan Shaughnessy called this one, as if he actually had any knowledge or foresight, I just have to shake my head. If you read his column yesterday, he was insulting to Robert Kraft, to the Patriots and especially to their fans, and the column was written in a completely disingenuous manner, hoping the Patriots could somehow lose a game that he said they should win easily, and then he could thus blast them. Really it was genius. It was a no-lose proposition for Shaughnessy. Win, and he gets credit for “predicting” the win. Lose, and he gets to blast them. Pure genius.
Alright, let’s enjoy this one for a few days before we worry about the 49ers. Can we? Is that allowed?
Get all the coverage at PatriotsLinks.com.
Season’s Greetings – Leigh Montville on Sports on Earth looks at the Patriots doing what they do – come to play in December.
What we learned: Defense answers all questions in rout of Texans – Christopher Price says that the Patriots have a championship defense.
Plan short-circuits Watt – Greg A Bedard looks at what the Patriots did to limit the disruptiveness of J.J. Watt.
Patriots’ defense comes of age – Jackie MacMullan says that earlier in the season, the idea of a Super Bowl run was “pure folly, simply unfathomable.” Why is it so hard for some to catch on to the pattern that New England defenses almost always get better as the season goes on.
5 Things We Learned about Monday’s Game– Andrew Tornetta and Tim Weisberg analyze a few points from last night.
Win over Texans a statement of purpose – If you work in a Secretariat reference, there’s a good chance I’m going to link you. Well done, Tim Whelan Jr.