by Chris Warner, Patriots Daily Staff
Nothing like a relaxing blowout to jumpstart the week. New England battled the elements and little else Sunday, smacking Tennessee 59-0 at snowy, wet Gillette.
The best aspect? Patriots starters got some rest in the second half. The worst? This game had all the competition of a BB gun vs. a tin can. New England took their shots and consistently hit their targets, with scant resistance.
A few quick reactions below…
Titanic: A perfect description of the Titans, who at 0-6 have definitely hit the iceberg.
Slush Fun: Just like Arizona during last year’s snowy slaughter in Foxboro, Tennessee showed constant discomfort in the adverse conditions, dropping passes and turning the ball over with defeatist regularity. The final tally: five turnovers, including a fumble on fourth down that lost 22 yards.
Laurence Of A-Rave-aw-yeah: As a long-time Laurence Maroney supporter (cough), it brightened my day to see him excel despite sloppy conditions. Maroney dashed through the snow for a 45-yard touchdown run and finished with 16 rushes for 123 yards (7.7 ypc).
A Rolling Moss Gathers Some Stones: Against Tennessee’s undermanned defensive backfield, Randy Moss had himself the kind of day his fans have been craving (eight catches, 129 yards, three TDs). He got most of his momentum in the second quarter, catching a couple of scoring bombs (40 and 28 yards) that warmed the hearts of the frigid faithful. Moss added a 9-yard touchdown grab in the third.
Peaking Tom: What a day for Tom Brady. At one point (after Wes Welker’s first touchdown), Brady had completed 18 of 19 passes for 301 yards and four TDs. After Welker’s second score at the end of the half, Brady had gone 24 of 28 for 345 yards and five – count ’em, five – touchdowns, all in the second quarter. Brady’s final line: 29 of 34, 380 yards, six TDs.
Tackling The Issue: As a huge supporter of drafting Sebastian Vollmer in the second round (cough, cough ), it’s been rewarding watching the gigantic German take over for Matt Light and holding down the left side of the offensive line. He seems to handle well in the snow, possibly due to his Bavarian engineering.
D Major: Some credit to the defense that shut down Tennessee’s ground game when it mattered, shut out the visitors for four quarters and got five turnovers. Of course, the Titans looked horrible, but plays by newcomer Brandon McGowan (forced fumble), old friend Junior Seau (fumble recovered) and rookies Darius Butler and Patrick Chung (interceptions) all deserve mention.
Next week, New England travels to London to play Tampa, their second winless team in a row. Let’s hope for a bit more of the same.
Email Chris Warner at firstname.lastname@example.org