Are We Really Gonna Freak Out About That Game? (No.)

 

Are we really freaking out about yesterday’s game? Because we shouldn’t be.

Sure, I would’ve loved for the Pats to extend some drives, for Chris Hogan and Julian Edelman to hold onto the ball, and for the D-Line to generate some sort of a pass rush, but I’m not melting down because of a 27-16 win over the second best team in the AFC.

Let’s entertain the freakout for a little bit though.

In yesterday’s contest, Le’Veon Bell ran for 81YD and recorded 68YD through the air. Antonio Brown caught seven balls for 106YD, and Landry Jones threw for 281YD and a touchdown. Now, did the Steelers put together some good drives? Yes. They did. There were series where both Bell and Brown got theirs and Pittsburgh moved down the field. But you know what? They’re two of the five best offensive players in football, that’s going to happen. The Patriots did exactly what they do with dominant players, limit them. 149 total yards for Bell and 119 for Brown might seem like a lot, but it’s not. On a regular basis, those two rack up astronomical numbers way larger than 149 and 119 & they normally score touchdowns too.

Guess how many TD’s those two scored yesterday? That’s right, zero. Le’Veon Bell and Antonio Brown did not score against that Patriots’ defense, an accomplishment in and of itself, but also a testament to the “bend-don’t-break” style this team plays with. Year in and year out we see this. Teams move the ball against the Pats. However, when they get into the redzone, they don’t score touchdowns, and we saw it yesterday. The Steelers were in the redzone a ton, but scored only one touchdown. Chris Boswell hit three field goals, but missed two. That’s bend-don’t-break exemplified. Is it the best defense to watch? No. Can it be frustrating as all hell? Of course. But does it work? Yes, and that’s why it doesn’t concern me.

And another thing, despite having some pretty bad stretches, the secondary played pretty well yesterday.

Eight passes broken up is not bad at all. As Rich Hill of Pats Pulpit pointed out, more interceptions would have been nice, but PBU’s are always better than completions. And it’s not like the Pats didn’t pick Landry Jones off at all, they did. Malcolm Butler got him in the first quarter.

Also, the Patriots’ defense is only allowing 15.3 PPG. I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty damn confident that an offense led by Thomas Edward Patrick Brady Jr. can score more points in their sleep. So yeah, while some of the concern is warranted, I’m not going to be too worried about this defense.

(Note: Pat Chung was a monster yesterday. 10 tackles and 2 PBU’s. Great day.)

One thing I am worried about, though, is Stephen Gostkowski.

I have no idea what’s going on with this guy, but I’m absolutely terrified. He missed another extra point yesterday, his second of the season. While that might not seem that bad, this is Stephen Gostkowski we’re talking about. He’s been one of the best two kickers in the NFL for almost a decade now, but he’s clearly off.

In addition to his two missed extra points, he’s missed three field goals, the same number of kicks he missed all of last season. To be blunt, that sucks. A lot, and Gostkowski’s does too.

I’m probably just dealing with some Post David Price stuff, but the self-deprication routine has gotten old. I love the fire & desire to get better, it’s just worn on me.

Luckily though, Tom Brady has full confidence in him so I guess that means I do too.

Another guy I’ve got some confidence in is LeGarrette Blount.

After putting up huge numbers through the first four weeks of the season, Blount’s production dipped with the return of Tom Brady. Obviously that was to be expected, but going from 100+YD/GM to under 50 wasn’t optimal. I guess Blount agreed because he exploded back onto the scene in Pittsburgh.

Reaction:

A game in which Brady only throws for 222YD & 2TD was the perfect opportunity for Blount show out, and that’s exactly what he did. Against his former team, Blount ran for 127YD and 2TD on 24ATT; a monster day.

(Note: Those two touchdowns brought Blount’s season total to 8, one more than his previous season total of 7.)

However, his day was overshadowed by one Robert Gronkoswki.

This guy. This fucking guy.

Gronk is an animal. I don’t know how else to put it. I’m astounded by him every week.

After putting up 100+ in his first two games with Brady back at the helm, he put up 93YD & a TD against Pittsburgh.

(Peep that throw by Tommy. Sheeeeeesh.)

But that wasn’t just any touchdown, that was the 68th of Gronk’s career, tying Stanley Morgan for first all-time in touchdown receptions by a Patriot.

Stanley Morgan took 12 seasons to reach that mark. Gronk has taken less than seven, and he’s missed a ton of games since 2012, making the milestone that much more impressive.

However, the accomplishment itself wasn’t the highlight, it was Gronk’s reaction.

We all know Gronk’s got a childish sense of humor, and we all know about his affinity for the number 69.

rob-gronkowski-69-jersey

gronk-69

It’s hilarious. I’ve got no idea what he’s going to do when he catches that 69th TD, but it’s going to be incredible. Gronk’s gonna keep doing him, keep killing defenses, and we’re going to keep loving it.

P.S. Catch my boy James White grabbing another TD yesterday.

Sweeeeeet Feeeeeeeet.

Go Pats.

 

 

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