Monday Night Football was actually enjoyable for me with Jon Gruden now on the cast. He brings a good voice, a great personality, and an encyclopedia of football knowledge to the Monday Night team.
But, what's even more important are the things we learned from that specific game.
1. Tom Brady is going to be okay.
The greatest fear/worry of a lot of fanbases is whether or not Tom Brady is going to be his dominant self. Is he going to be a guy who will come back from an injury and terrorize opposing teams again?
Well, he answered the question last night. He completed 38 out of 53 passes for 378 yards with two touchdowns and an interception. He still is an effective quarterback, who took advantage of the situation when needed and beat the Buffalo Bills.
He probably won't throw 50 touchdowns because the NFL is now more used to the Patriots offensive look, but he should have a winning season. He is one of the best to ever play the position and so far, he's got my vote for Comeback Player of the Year.
2. New England is beatable.
Now, I just finished praising Tom Brady, and yet I call New England beatable?
Well, I was analyzing one player, now I'm analyzing a team, and they certainly are beatable. The general consensus was they were going to make Buffalo look like a minor league team, but they only win one point.
They won the game yes, but they won because return man Leodis McKelvin was a bigger idiot than Woody Boyd from "Cheers."
McKelvin should have taken a knee or at least gone down to keep the ball protected. Instead, he decides to take an unnecessary risk and in the process, turns over the ball to New England.
New England did force the fumble and took advantage of his stupidity, but I believe that they got a very lucky break. The way the Bills were playing offensively, they were going to run out that clock and finish the game.
I'm not saying the Patriots won it illegitimately. I am saying that the majority of kick return men are not that vacant when it comes to the cranium.
3. Terrell Owens is still effective, but not getting the ball.
Two catches for 46 yards. Doesn't seem like much, but he made them at critical third down moments. He was double covered very often which definitely means that he is still a threat to opposing teams.
The Patriots had a conundrum in covering T.O. and Lee Evans, so that opened up chances for Fred Jackson, Shaun Nelson, and Derek Schouman.
Now, the bigger issue is whether or not his ego will get in the way. He certainly didn't look like the cat who caught the canary last night.
From my time listening to his interviews in his time in Dallas, I think I have a decent understanding of Terrell Owens.
He wants the ball. He wants to win the championship. The problem is that he doesn't realize that his team could win a championship by using him as a decoy. He sincerely believes that the only way Dallas or Philadelphia or even San Francisco won is because he got the ball.
If you look at the history, he has some grounds to think it, since the year T.O. played for Philly, they went to the Super Bowl, and Dallas won the NFC in 2007. What happened? He got the ball a whole lot.
Last night is just more fuel to the fire, because if he had gotten the ball more, there is a great chance that Buffalo would have won. That game was very close, so any small thing could have altered the outcome.
I don't know if T.O. will keep it in house or not, but I certainly know that he's wishing he had more chances to catch the ball.
4. Fred Jackson is making a case to start over Marshawn Lynch.
Marshawn Lynch is an excellent running back for the Buffalo Bills. In his first two seasons he's had over a 1,000 yards rushing in each season, but if I'm Dick Jauron, I'm pretty tempted to start Fred Jackson from now on.
Fred Jackson had a very good game, rushing for 57 yards on fifteen carries, and catching five passes for 83 yards and a touchdown.
This was against a very good New England defense, something that most people overlook because of the offensive stars on the team. Fred Jackson was a very legitimate threat that was the main offensive target when the Bills scored to take an 11 point lead over New England in the fourth quarter.
He got the ball eight times for 51 yards including a ten yard touchdown catch.
He showed up during a clutch situation, so I'm really impressed with him. Lynch may be a better athlete, but he's more trouble than anyone in the league to me.
First, he was accused of sexual assault by a former girlfriend, and even thought the charges were never filed, it makes your eyebrows rise.
Then, he strikes a pedestrian with his car and disregards the idea of calling the police or an ambulance, to run away instead.
He pleaded guilty for failing to report an accident, but he was lucky that the lady didn't die or else he'd be Donte Stallworth.
Finally, three days after he played in the Pro Bowl, he is arrested in California for having a loaded gun after the officer smelled marijuana. This guy does not know how to stay out of trouble. Adam "Pacman" Jones learned his lesson—this guy still hasn't gotten it.
He's now serving a four game suspension, which is why he wasn't playing last night.
Dick Jauron should make Lynch have to earn his job back, because this guy needs to learn how to mind himself, or at least follow the law.
All Fred Jackson has to do, in my mind, is keep playing well for him to start over Lynch.
Overall, great game and a good way to see how these two teams with new changes work.