The Patriots answered a lot of questions.
Can they play tough against a good and acknowledged probable playoff team? They passed the test and looked good doing it.
Did they surpass any offensive records doing it? No, they didn’t have to.
What we did find out is that the special team is special and they came up big once again. On offense they showed that they still know how to move the ball up and down the field.
What we also learned is that a score is a about points. Nobody likes to settle for a field goal, but hey, that’s how many of the prior Patriots games were won before the 2007 season.
What the Patriots really showed is that they are a very good overall football team.
The head coach, Bill Belichick, put the rest of the league on notice. This is not a one-dimensional team. This team is just not all about an explosive aerial offense.
Bill has quietly let all pundits speak only of Brady’s struggles with the passing game. He has ducked the questions about the massive turn over of the defense where many of the perennial fixtures were, traded, retired or let go.
Despite all the changes, there was always a big focus on how Brady was doing with his return to duty. This is where everyone got it wrong.
Brady is important, always will be to the Patriots team, but he is not the end all of the 2009 Patriots team.
Bill’s team had become too dependent on the quarterback position these last few years. This became evident last year when Brady was injured and was lost for the season.
Last year many of the tools were in place for a back-up QB and it allowed for a decent offense. It’s the defense that needed retooling.
The day always comes where despite all the tools available you, sometimes you just don’t have the right one. When that day comes, you either have to make do and bust a knuckle or go out and get the right tool.
I think Bill got his knuckles busted up a bit last year, and he decided that’s not going to happen again; he needed better, and more, tools.
Bill didn’t go back to basics; he upgraded the basics that already existed. Bill made it happen this year. The defense was the winner against the Ravens.
I’ll be the first to say that I want my team to score so many points that I don’t have to worry about the opposing teams capability to score. But there is some comfort in seeing a defense that can keep the game close in case the offense is having a bad day.
Mr. Belichick knows what his offense is capable of just look at the confidence he has shown by going on fourth down conversions. He is just beginning to get a feel for what his new defense is capable of.
Tom Brady is the quarterback of the New England Patriots, but the Patriots are the personification of the man who really leads them, Bill Belichick.