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Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Moving right along...

Now that I've had a full day to sulk about The Patriots loss to the Broncos this past weekend, I'm back on track and ready for the next game.

That last game was not enjoyable, to put it nicely. The Broncos defense did to The Pats what the Pats like to do to other teams: take away what you're good at and make you have to do something you don't want to do. In The Pats case, that 'something' is obviously throwing the ball instead of running it, which is kind of an odd thing to say with Tom Brady as your QB, but if Brady's got nobody that can get open for him to deliver the ball to, what is he supposed to do?

If there was one thing that really bothered me about last week's game, it was seeing Brady so emotional and frustrated throughout the game. Brady is the guy you expect to remain cool, calm and collected. Seeing him angrily ripping off his chin-straps and screaming at the refs was an unsettling thing to watch.

The passing game is going to be a work in progress until Brady and his new receiving corps can get on the same page. I can only hope that this situation will continue to improve throughout the season as Brady gets used to his new targets.

The Pats have a tough game coming up this week vs. The Bengals. (When was the last time you heard someone say something like that about The Bengals?) I am glad to see that the Bengals are respectable again, though I hope they will suck this weekend.

Defensively, I think The Patriots are in good shape. I am not expecting them to shut down Cincy's offense, but The Pats D should be able to keep the game within reach. That means The Pats are going to have to be able to match up with Cincy on offense and get some points on the board... It would be nice to see passing attempts end up in completions this week as well as field-goal attempts actually making it through the uprights.

I know as a fan, I have become a little bit spoiled by the last few years of The Patriots success. I expect to see The Pats come out and steam-roll teams, but the fact is, they have never done that, even when they were going 14-2. They are just not that kind of a team.

The Pats are 2-1 right now and honestly, that is nothing complain about. The hand-wringing that is going on over the state of the team, something I am guilty of myself, is a little bit overboard at this point in the year. 2-1 is not a bad record at this point in the season, so lets keep things in perspective.

Things will get straightened out in Foxboro. Like I wrote in my NFL column on Faster Than the World last Sunday, it's not even October yet, so remain calm.


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