Ahhhh the sweet, sweet nectar of a win in Denver. That is a rocky mountain brew I will never grow tired of. Seeing Brian Hoyer taking snaps while Tom wore his stylish winter hat on the sideline to close this thing out was exactly the lullaby I needed to tuck my drunken self into bed on a Sunday night.
Speaking of Tommy, he looked great on Sunday. I mean he leads the league in passing so obviously he's looked great all season on the whole. But I think we can all agree there have been times when his accuracy has been a bit off. He's missed some throws. He's been ducking ghosts in the pocket. The red area execution has been lacking. Against a defense with scary pass rushers and even scarier corners, Tom carved them up like he was getting a jump on Thanksgiving. However, I highly doubt Tom deep fries his turkey the way he torched the Broncos secondary. He just doesn't need those calories.
While it appears Carson Wentz is doing everything in his power to be the trivia question answer to "what random person ripped an MVP award off Tom's mantle in 2017" I still haven't given up. Sometimes our tuddy passes can drop as the weather gets worse, but a 3 spot on Sunday was a good start. I saw Tommy is only on pace for 32 on the season. I'd like that to be closer to the 36 range and that will have me feeling that holiday cheer.
How about Marty Bennett, eh? Dude shows up in town on Friday and is playing on Sunday. I wanted it to happen but wasn't sure if it would. He only played 7 snaps but went for 3 catches and 38 yards. His first one was a 27 yard rumble where he bailed Tom out of trouble on a check down and I literally yelped with joy. Seeing ANY production out of that number two TE spot so far this year has been like trying to see Santa. You know he's there, duh, you have presents in the morning, but if you try to look for him he vanishes.
The Imagination Agency seems very excited to be a Patriot again and I couldn't be happier to have him here. Tom trusts him, and that's all that matters in this life. He did look like he was legit hurting though. After his second catch he went to the death tent until the second half. I think we will have to monitor his snaps for a while (possibly all year) but as long as he's healthy in the yoffs I'm cool.
Gronk was man vibing per usual, finishing with 4 catches for 74 yards. Its a damn shame we barely got to see the Gronk/Bennett connection in full swing last season, because I think they both benefit each other so much. It's a perfect symbiotic relationship. Like how little fish swim next to a whale and eat tiny bacteria off its skin. They get to eat and the whale gets clean. Or how I always throw up in the alley behind my house every Saturday night. I get the poison out of my body and the possum that lives in our yard gets Taco Bell that was barely chewed and pretty fresh!
But the reason I bring up Gronk at all is because the man had a tuddy flat out robbed from him. I get SO mad at NFL players when they go screaming for their coach to throw the red flag and then they end up being wrong. Gronk even said in his post game presser that Bill asked him if he was sure before we challenged. And I'm still not mad. I don't understand what the refs are looking at when they watch these replays. What is the point of replay if you are still going to blow the call?? Gronk put his hands under the ball. Then the ball was on his forearm. Then he rolled over into the end zone. The ball doesn't move a millimeter and at no point does it touch the ground! I felt like I was taking crazy pills. When they showed the replay on the jumbo tron Gronk started celebrating on the field because that's how obvious it was. Then they come back at us with the ruling stands and we blow two timeouts. Pathetic.
I was also pissed about the QB sneak Tommy pulled on third and 1. He slipped and went down short of the marker, no doubt about it. But then he keeps moving forward and gets it by the entire upper half of his body. Someone pushed him forward, I don't remember who it was, Burkhead maybe? But my point is that spot was ridiculous. Its like they saw him go down and thought we were playing college ball so they spotted him there. But no Bronco is anywhere near him. They are on the other side of the line still. They only get to Tom after he squirts forward for an easy conversion. If Rexy hadn't picked up the 4th down on the next play I would have written a strongly worded letter to the White Star Line about this.
Burk had himself a HELL of a game. With the activation of Bennett, Gilly found himself the odd man out as a healthy scratch. This was shocking to me when I first heard the news. But the more I thought about it I suppose it makes sense. He was buried on the RB depth chart, playing 13 snaps a game. His only job on Middle Earth is to convert short yardage situations and that appears to be one thing he can't do. It sucks because I really thought he was going to be a huge upgrade to LG this year, and that's not the way it has played out. He's got some time to prove valuable, and he's great #depth, but shit man. I had big plans for the kid.
Either way, his absence opened the door for Sexy Rexy and he kicked that fucker in. He led the way in the backfield with 36 snaps. He had 10 carries, 3 catches, a tuddy, a tough 4th and 1 pickup, and a blocked punt for good measure. It's like when Bill called Jules to tell him the Pats were drafting him and he said "we don't know what you're going to play, but we know you can play football." That's how I feel about Burk. The kid can play football. He was knifing through holes hard and getting extra yards after contact. To think I thought he was the next Brandon Bolden when we signed him. For those SAT nerds out there, I think this would be the appropriate comparison Bolden:Burkhead::Milwaukee's Best:Sam Adams Winter Ale
DIDI remained the "lead" back despite being out snapped by Rexy but he ran well. He had 55 yards on 14 carries and a tuddy, plus a 103 yard kick off return tuddy. That's why these two are so valuable. They can be your horse on the ground, but they also have real value in the kicking game. Every time we crib one of these kicks they cut to Tom on the sideline and he's got his helmet on with his hands raised in the air. But I know deep down he's livid that he doesn't get to go score one himself. Would it kill DIDI to step out at the one and let us get another tuddy pass on the 'ol stat sheet?? Food for thought.
For the first time in a long time I was disappointed in James Sweet Feet White. He had a late tuddy on an ankle shattering move at he goal line the likes of which I haven't seen since I was Slip N' Slid-ing people in NBA Street. But he had a major whiff on a blitz pick up resulting in a Brady sack in the red area, and there were two other times where he got stopped on third down. One resulted in a FG and I think one in a punt. It's not that he got stopped, but watching the play live it looked like he could have picked up the first but got too cute. He made the wrong cut trying to get too much out of the play when he could have taken the yards given to him and moved the chains. It's hard to criticize this guy ever, and he knows I just can't stay mad at him, so we will move on but I was bummed out with the effort last night.
The wideouts put in a good effort with no Hoags. Dola did Dola things. Flip Dorsett stepped in for Hoags as the starter, but didn't have too much production. At least he caught a few balls. Clearly the game plan in this one was to keep their corners out of it as much as we could. That means attacking the middle of the field with our dynamic running back and tight ends. That was working out just fine so there was no reason to try to force anything outside. But if I told you I'm satisfied with Flip's production so far this year I would be lying to you. Especially considering the fact that if (when) Money Mitch returns Flip will find his ass planted to the bench next to Gilly.
Cooks had 6 for 74 which is about back to where I need him. I think I just need to accept he isn't the elite elite elite tier one wide out. He's just below that. And that's OK. I also thought Tommy had him deep on one in the third quarter and there was an egregious PI on Chris Harris that went uncalled. But he basically grabbed the Chef's left arm and was dragging behind him for 5 yards like my parents dog when he decides he's had enough of their walk.
Quick shout out to Stevie G coffin cornering the Broncos on kick offs all night. It's honestly amazing that this dude can pop up footballs and drop them on the 1 in the corner of the field without kicking it out of bounds or into the end zone EVERY. TIME. They post this stat every year but our starting field position is so much better than our opponents its mind blowing. We basically show up on Sundays and say we have a better quarterback than you but you have to move the ball further than us to score, cool? And no one is allowed to say, no that's NOT cool.
The defense showed up man. And by that I mean we didn't let the Brocktopus beat us. This game was weirdly too close for comfort for a while, even though it felt like we were pummeling them. We would just give up one big play every series, which would set up a Broncos field goal. And we had those two straight possessions where we settled for 3 and it felt like we were up 11 all night when it should have been 20.
There wasn't much pass rush, but my boys Wise and Flowers held down the fort literally by themselves. Trey Flowers is DOPE by the way, and I am so pleased about it. Adam Butler actually led the way in snaps on the DLine, and minus one big time over pursue of Brock I thought he did a great job two gapping. Even Alan Branch decided he should be good again and played well.
CJ Anderson had more running room as the game went on, and that is an area I definitely think Bill will be upset about while he relaxes in his Colorado Springs spa this morning, but the return of Malcom Brown should help that out a ton.
And David Harris you beautiful bastard, you keeping doing your thing! He was up to 30 snaps last night, just behind Roberts. He's great against the run, with a few big hits right at the line, and he even had a pass breakup! Who said this guy can't cover?? I truly don't know if he just didn't get the system to start the year (doubtful) or if the team was trying to monitor his minutes early (doubtful) but this guy can help us. We obviously need him now more than ever with High being six feet under ground, but David Harris was bred to play LB for the Patriots. I think he will show us why from now until early February.
Our billion dollar concussion returned to the lineup to play corner back last night, and I gotta admit he had a nice game. DT didn't do much out there, and Gilmore was lined up opposite him basically all night. If this dude can find the form Bill thought he was signing then I will start to love our secondary again. I was little disappointed Bad-boi-emosi didn't get any snaps as a result. I thought he was heroic during stand-in duty, and that should have earned him some playing time. I highly doubt we've seen the last of him, even without any new injuries, so I hope he spends this time like a teenager's dick and is ready at a moment's notice.
But the real problem is Malcolm Butler. Problem is harsh. He's been way better lately. Back to his old self even. But last night was a disaster. I've heard people today saying he competed for every ball, and he played better in the second half. Fuck that. He was Emanuel Sanders whipping boy all night. That double move on Sanders first catch TORCHED Malcolm. Whatever, it happens. But he couldn't cover Sanders if he was his fucking blanket. Sanders finished with 6 for 137 and it was actually worse than that if you were watching.
He was open on every play, and he was beaking in Malcolm's face after every catch. There two plays that should have been picked, but Malcolm misjudged one in the air, and one he dove to break up and impossibly missed the ball. Like he swung at it with his hands, and hit nothing. He's a grown man trying to hit something. Like not trying to miss it. He was legit trying to put his hand on that football. And he's not drunk. And he hit nothing. It was fascinating. There was even one play where Brock over threw Sanders up the right sideline that scared the shit out of me. With the ball in the air Malcolm got his head turned around in time, located the ball, and acted like he was going to pick it. But then he was way too short, Sanders put on the jets and blew by him, but couldn't quite get there. What kind of D is that?! If I know anything it's that adversity and doubts brings out the best in Malcolm so hopefully he watches this game tape every night before he goes to bed on the way to Mexico.
Hey Dwayne Allen, nice 20 snaps, 1 catch for 11 yards and a tuddy. Go Fuc- wait what did I just write?? Is that Dwayne Allen's music??! To quote Tom Brady, "Fuck Yea!"