I have 2 things I need to say. First of all, Tom Brady is the greatest dual threat quarterback of all time, sorry Michael Vick (yes, I’m kidding for those not fluent in sarcasm). Second is very serious, Josh McDaniels needs to be fired, or take a job somewhere else in the offseason. We will touch upon this second point later.
In a day which featured a slow first half from the Pats offense the Pats still won 24-10. It went to halftime with the Pats up 10-7. The defense continued its hot streak and only allowed 10 points, 3 in the second half. The biggest winner of the game should definitely be fullback James Develin. He now has 3 rushing touchdowns on the goal-line, where the Pats have struggled mightily this season despite having the greatest QB sneak sneaker of all time in Tom Brady. He also blocked extremely well per usual, get this man to a second straight Pro Bowl.
The defense has been on a roll and there was no stopping them for the Vikings. Trey Flowers continued a great, and underrated season collecting another sack while providing the elite level pressure he has all season. They held Kirk Cousins to 201 yards, 1 touchdown and 2 interceptions. The secondary locked up the big plays downfield which forced Cousins to settle for short gain passes where the Pats defense made the tackles to keep them short of first downs. Stephon Gilmore has continued his elite season as a top cornerback in this league. I haven’t been high on rookie cornerback J.C. Jackson in the past, but he played extremely well, breaking up multiple passes and tipping up a pass that was intercepted by the Pats closer, none other that Duron Harmon.
The Pats offense woke up in the second half and realized that the had receivers open down field. McDaniels finally realized that Josh Gordon was good and kept him on the field on third down. Gordon finished with 58 yards and a touchdown. He has been amazing since coming over from Cleveland and Brady trusts him more by the week. James White bounced back for 118 total yards on 13 touches. Burkhead returned to action and was a boost to the offense running on fresh legs and Cordarrelle Patterson had the catch of the night against his former team. Brady slightly underthrew him but he was able reach down and in front of him and catch it right before it hit the ground. For guy not known for his receiving ability he has been pretty good for the Pats.
Now I need to rant, Josh McDaniels has pissed off a lot of Pats fans, including this writer. He will run the ball on first and second down and sometimes end up in 3rd and long and draw up a pass play where the Pats can’t get a first down and they have to punt. You have Tom Brady against a banged up secondary or just a bad secondary, but you choose to run the ball on good defensive lines. On the goal line you can’t call a QB sneak, a toss to the outside or a creative pass play it’s always runs up the middle. We have great guards and tackles that can get outside to block run plays, Gronk is a dominant blocker but you run right to the strength of the opposing defense. I wouldn’t be surprised to find out that Brady adjusts passing plays at the line of scrimmage on the effective plays. I hope McDaniels takes the Cleveland or Green Bay head coaching job then maybe people will understand that Brady made McDaniels not the other way around.
Now the Pats are on to Miami, home to incredibly frustrating Dolphins – Patriots games. A game we should win but will probably be much closer than it should be. Then off to Pittsburgh for a pivotal matchup with the Steelers. After their loss to the Chargers the Patriots overtook the second seed in the AFC playoffs, in position for a first round bye. So a win against a possibly James Conner-less Steelers could seal up the second seed especially because the Pats beat the Texans week 1, giving them the tiebreaker in the event that they finish with the same record.