By Justin McKinney, Sports Editor
What more could you have asked for from the Patriots this Sunday? On their biggest game of the year thus far, against a very talented Falcons team they came up with their best game of the season.
Winning 23-7 it was a great night for quarterback Tom Brady and a much needed boost for the struggling defense.
In a game that was filled with as much hype as you can possibly put on a game in week seven of a season, New England was simply dominant. Running backs Dion Lewis and Rex Burkhead rushed for over 100 yards between the two of them, averaging over five yards per carry each.
Given the success the Patriots were having in the run game, the field was wide open for Tom Brady as he threw for 250 yards on 29 attempts with two touchdowns. Chris Hogan was the Patriots leading receiver with 71 yards, closely followed by Brandon Cooks who had 65 yards and a touchdown. Rob Gronkowski also contributed to the offense with a touchdown of his own.
While the offense was rolling as is the usual for this New England team, the defense was a very pleasant surprise as they shut out the offense in the fourth quarter. Aside from one fourth down conversion that was converted on a rush by Falcons QB Matt Ryan, the offense fell silent. The Patriots defense even voided that fourth down conversions as on the same drive a Falcons field goal was blocked.
Given that the defense has been terrible this season, this win was huge. Had the defense been average in every game this year it is fair to say the Patriots would have been undefeated or at least a one loss team.
Given that Davonte Freeman is one of the top backs in the league and Matt Ryan is an elite QB it was thought that this offense would yield problems for the defense.
However, the defensive back field played stellar football with almost no mistakes and the defensive line had perhaps their best game of the season.
It just seemed to me that Patriots defensive coordinator Matt Patricia remedied the communication problems that have been plaguing the defense all season and what we saw on Sunday was a defense where everyone knew exactly were to be.
There was no ridiculous big plays that put daggers in the hearts of the defense. The tackling was fantastic, the communication was on point, and everything looked perfect.
This Patriots team looked as poised and ready to raise the Lombardi Trophy as any Patriots team ever has.
To be very honest the biggest issue the Patriots had all night was their red zone offense not running as affectively as usual. However, given that the stable of Patriot running backs has been strong, Brady has been playing fantastic, and the wide receiver corps have been improving each week; one has to assume that this will not continue to be a problem in the future.
The Pats travel to LA and face the Chargers next Sunday at 1:00 p.m.