Week 1 of the NFL season is a confusing place. Players are in different jerseys, guys have changed their numbers, new coaches have installed new systems, and everyone's hopes and dreams are alive. But it appears that no matter what happens during the offseason, when the Texans show up to the Razor to play the Pats, they get their brains beat in. Wash, rinse, repeat.
Believe it or not, even with all the good we saw on Sunday, the one thing I can't get out of my head this morning is TAKE CARE OF THE BALL. The Pats have always had one of the better turnover ratios in the league, mostly due to how few picks Tom throws, but that was not on display yesterday. We only lost the turn over battle by one so it wasn't a disaster, but you have to take care of your luggage. Ball security is job security. Looking at your Riley McCarron. I have a weird relationship with Riley because he is essentially the same person as Braxton Berrios (From? THE U) who I'm in love with. So if Riley is going to continue living Berrios' life I'm gonna need to him stop muffing punts considering that's his only job on earth. I'd rather fair catch every punt for the rest of the season and hand the ball to Tom than turn it over again.
Speaking of Tom, the interception count is WAY too high. You know how hyped up I get about this. He's allowed two picks all year. Interesting decision to throw one in the first game. Doesn't give him a lot of wiggle room the rest of the way. But who am I to question the way Tom goes about his business? I believe he probably Dr. Stranged himself before the game, saw 14 million six hundred and five possible futures, and realized that to win the super bowl this year he had to throw a pick toady. It's the only way.
Gronk is such a treat, its easy to take him for granted. We've heard a lot this summer about the fun levels on the Patriots. Some of it is legit. Tom admitted its not always fun coming to work here. Gronk says the same. But watching him do his dance and send the ball to the center of the earth has me believing he still has fun out there on Sundays. Feed me more Gronk spikes, and less Gronk fumbles please. Tee latter probably cost Jeremy Hill his life.
I'm actually really sad about Hill. You know how if you have a great night with the boys or if you wheel a girl out of a bar you always boost that place in your mind? Like you always say you love that bar but when people ask you why you don't have a great answer because you don't want to admit you took home a 7 once and you still think about it on lonely nights. Well that's how I feel about fantasy football players. If I ever had someone early in their career and they popped off for me I have undying love for them no matter what happens since. I had Jeremy Hill as a rookie. I got him super late in the draft, and he went for 1100 yards and 9 tuddies. He has that talent in him somewhere! I was ready for him to burst back onto the scene in New England. Nothing is confirmed yet with his knee, but it didn't look good. I'm sure we'll know more on Wednesday. Part of me likes the delay, because if he tore it then we would know by now right? But then again, we could have a linebacker get decapitated on the field and Bill would tell he wont know the severity of the injury for a few days.
Flip Dorsett was the biggest surprise for me on Sunday. Coming in I thought I could show Tom two dudes and he couldn't tell me which one was Flip and which one was Dwayne Allen. But 7 grabs for 66 yards a tuddy had me dreaming of his days torching secondaries at The U. The Colts are morons and never should have used a first round pick on Flip, so I hesitate to say "he has first round talent!!" but I am willing to say....he has talent?? If he can stay on the same page with Tommy it might just make me feel bad when we bench him because we signed Dez Bryant.
The big surprise on defense was Keionta Davis. I think most people will say Bentley here, and I don't hate that take. He looks like a steal in the late rounds, and he was second on the team in tackles on Sunday. But for me its been clear he was gonna have an impact all summer. Davis is a guy we lost for the season last year and I was very excited about him then. You never know how guys will bounce back. Early reports are very encouraging. He was second on the team in snaps from the DE position, trialing only MY BOY Trey Flowers. There's always going to be a rotation there, but seeing him get on the field more than Wise and Guy speaks volumes about what the coaches think of this kid. From the eye test alone, he was everywhere on the field. Causing pressure and containing Watson. I don't think he had a single tackle yesterday, but I haven't been that aroused without any psychical contact since I first saw American Pie.
The pass rush in general was a joy to behold. We sacked Watson three times, forced a fumble, and hit him 12 times. I might have missed one, but I didn't see that classic over-pursue and allow the mobile QB to scamper for a billion yards. Watson definitely got loose a few times, but it didn't come from a breakdown in technique. Clayborn was coming in on passing downs doing exactly what I wanted him to do when we signed him. Wise looks like he might have the same type of year 2 jump we saw Trey have. Shelton looks like a great pick up, the way he pushed the pocket from the middle. Right now, I'm loving the depth. Teams have shown the last few years you need to rotate those guys to keep them fresh so the pressure remains consistent into the 4th quarter. I can't tell you how much fun this season will be if the D can stay on QBs for 60 minutes like we did in week 1. Takes enormous pressure off the secondary and lets us see creative sack dances. They make life worth living.
Where was Derek Rivers though? I've said before, him and Davis were the two guys I was most excited to get back. I didn't hear about an injury. When Reiss reported him inactive he said it was a mild surprise. I'm kind of hoping he is banged up though?? Because if he's a healthy scratch I don't feel good about his game and I'm not sure I can handle another draft pick disaster right now TBCFHWY.
How do we feel about the secondary in general? Rowe wasn't that bad. Gilmore is elite. And I really do love Jonathan Jones. To think we probably left 4 interceptions on the table by scratching JC Jackson... But the boys held up well. Watson was definitely rusty, and Nuke did Nuke things, but that interception by Gilmore was a great play all around, and we looked competitive on most plays. Thinking back to the Panthers game in particular from last year, there were wideouts NUDE all over the field. They were going streaking through the quad and everyone was doing it. I didn't see much of that yesterday. Teams are going to move the ball, they are going to complete passes, but as long as we cut out the major breakdowns I think we can give ourselves enough chances to make game changing plays.
Great win against a good team. I look forward to approximately 18 more of them.
Oh and before I sign off let me just update JJ Watt's sack total against Brady: 0