September 29, 2016

Pats trail at half of opener, 13-6

We’re bloggin’ live from the Bethel Inn and Country Club as we await my bride’s twentieth high school reunion tomorrow night. If you’re already laughing about how generally uncomfortable I’ll be twenty-four hours from now, two words: shut up.

This place is fantastic, though. We’re watching the Pats in a nice room warmed by an exquisite gas fireplace, shortly after finishing 9 holes of golf (don’t ask) and hitting the pub for a couple of Geary’s seasonals. Damn it feels good to be a gangsta.

And football too. And wireless Internet access. Is this heaven?

Look, these games don’t matter, so who cares what the score is or how it got there. Both teams played their starters for a series and got the hell out of Dodge. Tom Brady had one series and drove the team 75 yards before settling for a Martin Gramatica field goal. The defense opened the season by allowing a scoring drive to Mike Vick, who passed for one first down and ran for another. Early on, the game was left the the backups and newbies, which is what makes these things interesting.

Laurence Maroney…..WOW. It’s going to get ridiculous this week with the rookie. He was pretty freaking impressive with both the first team and second units. He broke a shotgun 27 yard run on a 3rd and 17, setting up Gramatica’s three. He finished the half with 66 yards on 9 carries, and could break a hundred with some second half carries. He mixed burst with a hard nose, and I probably liked his 3 yard runs as much as anything. I like a guy that takes what they give him. While we’re on the subject, though, I didn’t think Corey Dillon looked bad, either.

Matt Cassel hasn’t been impressive. He doesn’t seem comfortable in the pocket especially. He hasn’t stepped into to too many throws, and he flat missed Bam Childress on what could have been a sizeable gain on a seond quarter drive. And he got raked by Patrick Kearney for a fumble that set up the Falcons touchdown (a sharp pitch and catch by Matt Schaub and Michael Jenkins). Blah.

Reche Caldwell caught a 7 yard pass, but on Brady’s drive, he let a sure touchdown pass bounce off his hands. The throw was there (immaculate by Brady), the route was there (a nice slant that gained inside position); alas, the catch was not.

Let me tell you, Willie Andrews sure looks like a good man with the punts to me. Poised, sure-handed, and aggressive. He’s averaging 16 yards on two returns. And later, he downed a Josh Miller punt inside the Atlanta 10. This is what fringe guys are supposed to do; make us believe.

The first team defense allowed a score in its one drive, and the second team defense is allowing Matt Schaub to do what he does best: ring up points on the Pats. Everytime I saw Monty Beisel, he was getting shoved around. The most impressive defensive plays of the half were by Asante Samuel (a heady pick of a short Schaub lob to the end zone, after a long Falcon drive), and a Pierre Woods sack of Schaub over former Patriot Fred McCrary.

They’re kicking off the second half; talk to you after the game.

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