a much needed win, as both the Jets and Dolphins also won. It keeps us on top of
the Division, and still in control of our destiny.
odds makers will likely have the Patriots favored to win in Buffalo next Sunday;
while the Jets and Dolphins will likely be underdogs to Atlanta and Tennessee,
that makes me feel good.
why the grain of salt? Because I didn't see anything yesterday that filled me
with the confidence of old. We played a poor 5-8 Panthers team, with a "who's
he" at QB, and managed a far from dominating performance. Yes, there was
significant performance in our 2nd half performance over recent weeks. But it
WAS the Panthers. It was a win that didn't justify anybody moving the
Patriots up in their "Power Rankings".
had Buffalo's number for years, and I'm reasonably confident that we'll came
away with a win next week. I do not, however, have a high level of confidence
that we can beat either Jacksonville or Houston (especially Houston!) in the
following two weeks.
still approaching the rest of the season in a hopeful, but not confident mood. I
remain concerned about Brady's less than top level play; Moss's apparent lack of
"Full Tilt Full Time" effort; continuing errors by the secondary that allow big
plays; and our inability to make the really critical big plays on both offense
and defense that often decide games. That last was the thing that Darryl
Johnston pointed to as the difference between the Patriots of past years, and
this year's edition. He noted, as some of us have, the lack of veteran
leadership on the defense.
bright side, opponent aside, the offensive game plan clearly included an effort
to run the ball more, and to throw more screens and passes to the TE. These are
things that many of us here have been wanting to see for weeks. Maroney,
Faulk, and Morris were all involved in both the running and passing game;
and I was very happy to see that. I expect to see Taylor added to that group
either next week, or in week 16. The increased depth has to be a positive for
try to keep all those positive thoughts in mind, as I focus on one game at a
time, and think only "Beat The Bills!"