This past Sunday was the rematch everybody had been waiting for. Julio Jones and the Atlanta Falcons came to Foxboro, and people around here were a tad worried because of their talented offense.
Another reason is that the Patriots secondary was banged up with Gilmore and Rowe not playing again. This forced Johnson Bademosi into play. Usually just a special teamer, he really shined through all the fog and stepped up when they needed him. Bademosi only got thrown at 4 times, and he did have a pass break-up. 3 out of the 4 were completed for 31 yards, but the fact that they only threw at him 4 times really says something. That means that he had such good coverage that Matty Ice didn’t want to throw in his direction. He came up huge in stopping the air attack of the Falcons and could be valuable later on if they need him again.
Another player who stood out was Cassius Marsh. Marsh came up with a big-time field goal block which got in Atlanta’s head early. Marsh set the tone by performing a swim move past the line and leaping into the air to get his hands on the ball. This play by Marsh gives Bill a little Pat the Patriot in his pants. One thing by Marsh that kind of hurt them was in his pass defense. He was thrown at twice and both times they were completed. Now, this isn’t a big deal since he usually rushes the passer and isn’t in coverage but if they want him to go back into coverage he actually needs to cover the guy. Marsh also had a hit on Matt Ryan which forced him to throw the ball incomplete and that is what Marsh does best, pressuring the Quarterback. Look to see him used more in the future as well.
Next is Kyle Van Noy. Van Noy has been on the field for 95% of the defensive snaps and becoming a big part of the defense. The former first-round draft pick back in 2014 has been one of the key parts of the defense early on this year. On Sunday he had 2 run stuffs and one was on a jet sweep to Gabriell on the goal line. He has been one of the great special team additions turned into a regular player by the mastermind Bill. Another Linebacker to go along with him was David Harris. Now he didn’t play much but when he did you could see him. He had a nice stick on a run and absolutely planted Coleman. It looks like they might be saving whatever is left in the tank for him come playoff time if they need him.
The last player that not a lot of people recognize is Adam Butler. He was the lone Patriot with a sack and it also came with another pressure. He was one of the reasons that Ealy was released. Butler has made himself know to the true diehard fans since the preseason. He stepped in late for Malcolm Brown when he got banged up and was held out of the last few drives. Butler is a young player that Pats fans should look for later in the year when injuries start piling up.