1) Tom Brady – It would seem irrelevant to keep
issuing game balls to the quarterback of the team, but in Brady’s case,
that’s not so. Brady is without his top 5 targets from 2012,
and his current group continues to have the dropsy’s. This
time, Brady’s new favorite, KT didn’t have that issue. Brady finished
with 316 passing yards a pair of TDs and a 119.8 rating (his best of
2) Aqib Talib – Revis who? Aqib Talib
nearly single-handedly won saved the game for the Patriots. With
Atlanta’s top weapon Julia Jones catching just 50% of the passes thrown
his direction, Talib then drew coverage on Roddy White on the Falcons
desperation 4th-goal attempt. Talib moved into position,
reached through White’s outstretched arms, and punched the ball away,
without drawing an interference call.
3) Julian Edelman & Kenbrell Thompkins
– The Patriots’ WR duo each managed to record over 100 yards
on the day receiving with Thompkins (11 targets, 6 receptions, 127
yards) managing an amazingly acrobatic TD catch. Edelman (9 targets, 7
receptions 118 yards) caught nearly everything thrown his direction.
Patriots Offensive line – not only did the Patriots
o-line pass protect for Brady’s best outing of the year, they pounded
the Falcons D-line running the ball 10 times in a row to put the Pats
in position for a 1-yd TD throw.
Matthew Mulligan – ‘Who?’ you ask. The
Patriots 4th string TE caught his first TD.
LeGarrette Blount – 9 carries for 64 yards a
whopping 7.1ypc average. Pounded Atlanta, and scored a TD.
1) The Injury bug – the bug bit again, grabbing
Vince Wilfork’s Achilles, to end the season of another Patriots top
2) Replay booth – What is the story with the NFL
when the TV audience can get every replay angle, but the refs on the
field cannot? Sorry Bill Belichick they said, you cannot
challenge a potential incomplete pass due to the lack of
replay. Then a botched spot that killed a Patriots drive at
the 2 min mark, wasn’t overturned? Bad spot or bad replay?
Both at fault.
3) Home Field Advantage - The Falcons had
every reason to have a home field advantage, but the crowd was quiet,
or just barely noticeable at points in the game. Brady and co were
never affected by the din, and operated efficiently without fear of
poor communication. Crowd was noticeably absent the whole
game until the end when they had to be quiet because the Falcons had
The Power Rankers who had Atlanta ahead of the Patriots the first few
weeks of the season. Really? Tsk. Tsk.