It’s always a good thing when the Patriots win their first game of the season. Here are my quick takeaways from the game:
– It’s easy to forget that Gronk is the most uncoverable player in the NFL, we were reminded very quickly. 3rd and 12 into double coverage and the Texans never stood a chance.
– Patterson might just be a gadget guy, but it’s pretty obvious that he’s going to be a part of this offense
– Not sure if it’s because the Texans o-line stinks, but the Patriots were able to generate pressure without blitzing. If that keeps up, the defense will be scary.
– The fumble by Gronk early couldn’t have gone much worse, Patriots lose the football and probably lose Jeremy Hill for the season, after James Develin accidentally took his knee out on the fumble return.
– The drive at the end of the half was ridiculous. Start in the i, work the sideline, insane catch by Gronk, and Dorsett uncoverable with man, a TD, a fantastic catch on the sideline, and another catch on the drive as well.
– Speaking of Dorsett, he looked very good in the Brandin Cooks role today. If he plays this way all year, the offense won’t miss Cooks much.
– I don’t know how the refs are going to call it, but I have no idea how the hit on Burkhead that forced his fumble wasn’t a penalty. Defender leaped, led with his head, and made initial contact with Rex’s head.
– One place they struggled was kick coverage. Texans routinely past the 20 to start. Perhaps missing Brandon Boldin there.
– At times the Patriots came out with 2 RBs, and it’s so hard to stop that. One play, Burkhead was wide and White was in the backfield, White motioned to the slot on the other side and Rex went to the backfield.
– A pet peeve of mine is teams not calling a timeout before the 2-minute warning. In this case, the Texans only lost 5 seconds, but call a timeout before the 2-minute warning and then the clock stops after the next play no matter what. You save a few seconds on the clock, and you use the same amount of timeouts.
– Up 7 with 50 seconds left, and the special teams comes through with a perfect punt by Ryan Allen and perfect coverage by Jonathan Jones. Gotta imagine Bill loved that.
– Ja’Whaun Bentley seems to be the linebacker that played the most snaps for the Patriots today. While it obviously wasn’t perfect, he seemed to play pretty well out there and had the defense in the right spot most of the time. If he plays this way in the middle of the field consistently, it’s going to free up Hightower and Van Noy to rush the passer and make some plays.
– Nice touch that Jason McCourty, who had a rough preseason and didn’t much, if at all, had the pass breakup on the Hail Mary. The pass was way short of the end zone anyway, but still good to see.
– It’s only one game, but there were a lot of positives today. Clearly, some things that still need work, but tons of good things today.
– Thank God the Patriots are back! It was great having actual football that mattered back on. Looking forward to the rest of the season, hope you follow along with me, as I’ll have one of these after every game.
Pat is the host of the Weekend Warrior Podcast
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Photo: Houston Chronicle