I have four words for yesterday’s thrilling, yet underwhelming 23-21 victory over the Buffalo Bills by the New England Patriots:
It’s a great start.
Really. I’m not joking.
Sure, there was a lot of be dour about. The Buffalo Bills are a 7-9 team at best. For the 61st game in a row (or something like that), the Patriots defense put no pressure on the opposing quarterback. And Brady & Co. on offense appear to have a case of the fumbles that doesn’t appear to be going away soon.
That being said, yesterday’s football game, with all of the drama, is what really happens in football games, especially in January. Things don’t go your way (when it comes to the Patriots, we’re talking offense) and you have to find a way to win.
The best thing that could have happened to the Patriots happened in Week 1. Peyton Manning threw for seven touchdowns — two or three of which were meaningless — and has already picked up the MVP trophy (speaking of meaningless!).
This is what happened a decade ago. Manning always won big and owned the stat sheet every weekend. Brady and the Patriots won a lot of games, more than half that were of the ugly mode.
Brady’s role is going to be different this year. He will need to be the vocal leader, and that means on defense and special teams, too.
What I particularly liked about yesterday’s win was that Brady didn’t do it alone. Not only did Danny Amendola fill the Wes Welker stat line (10 catches, 104 yards), but he filled Welker’s “big play” quota, too. And lest we forget about the first half groin injury, which a lot of us expected to be a month-long debacle, which he overcame like Welker overcame a jaw-breaking blow to his head.