NFL Direct Snaps: Patriots Tie Jets With Help From Special Teamers

Dan PieroniCorrespondent IOctober 5, 2010

Patrick Chung and the Patriots smart play on special teams helped them to a big 41-14 win in Miami Monday night.
Patrick Chung and the Patriots smart play on special teams helped them to a big 41-14 win in Miami Monday night.Scott Cunningham/Getty Images

 things that impressed and depressed me about week 4.

Five things that impressed me. 

1. The Patriots Team Effort

Going into last night's game against the Dolphins, we Patriot fans were highly skeptical about how our porous defense would preform. While the defense wasn't earth shattering, they did limit Miami to 14 points and get huge contributions from Rob Ninkovich and Patrick Chung, who each picked off Chad Henne. But it was the work of the special teams that really impressed me.

Chung also blocked two kicks and Brandon Tate took the opening kickoff of the second half back for a touchdown. This in effect made the rather pedestrian effort of Tom Brady, and the no catch night of Randy Moss look like no big deal. Now the Patriots head into the bye at 3-1 tied atop the AFC East with the Jets. While their third down defense needs improvement, they're in a lot better shape then they were a week ago.

2. Roddy White

The Falcons star pass catcher made peewee coaches proud when he refused to give up on a play that could have cost his team the game. White's strip of San Francisco's Nate Clements after the latter's interception, help set up the game-winning field goal by Matt Bryant. The moral of the story? Never give up on a play.

3. Josh Scobee

The Jaguars kicker's clutch 59-yard boot upset the Colts. But what really impressed me was his poise and the fact that the kick was right down the middle of of the goalpost. I don't blame Scobee one big for running around like a madman in celebrating his clutch kick.

4. LaDanian Tomlinson

Count me among those who thought the future hall of fame running back would be nothing more than a complimentary back to Shonn Greene one month ago. Well we all have eggs on our faces today as Tomlinson had a 133 yard two score day in the Jets beating of the Bills Sunday. LT is also averaging 6.09 yards a carry, meaning at least for now, he belongs in any discussion of elite backs.

5. Philadelphia Sports Fans

Sure they may have a bad reputation for doing things like booing Santa Claus and the Chicago Blackhawks as they paraded the Stanley Cup around their ice, but I believe there's good in everyone. Although I was surprised by their reaction, Philly finally did something right for giving Donovan McNabb their thanks for the memories he provided them in the form of a standing ovation. I always felt McNabb efforts were never fully appreciated there until they realized he was gone.

Five things that depressed me. 

1. The Chicago Bears offense

Last week I applauded them, but this week I'm ripping them. I don't know who is to blame for the pitiful performance of the Bears offense Sunday night. The offensive line was asleep all night, allowing the Giants to record nine sacks in the first half. Jay Cutler held the ball too long on several plays, leading to those sacks, and the Chicago Tribune seemed to think that Mike Martz as relying too much on the seven-step drop making Cutler and easy target for the Giants.

2. Nate Clements

What ever happened to the man once perceived as the next great NFL cornerback who was paid a lot of money to shut down receivers and intercept passes? Clements gaffe in failing to secure the ball on the aforementioned Roddy White play, cost the Forty-Niners a possible victory. Instead, they now sit at 0-4 in a division they were expected to win.

3. Laurence Maroney

I think the Broncos are suckers for giving up a draft pick for this guy who can't find holes, and does more dancing to elude tacklers then any running back I've ever seen. I don't miss them here in New England in the least, especially if he only generated a grand total of 15 yards of offense.

4. The Bills Defense

The Patriots ran all over them last week, and this week the Jets feasted on them. The secondary is especially bad for missing coverages and missing tackles. 

5. The Cowboys Behavior Towards Dez Bryant and Other Rookies

So what if Bryant didn't carry Roy Williams' pads at training camp, or partake in rookie hazing? Is it fair to sock him and other rookies with a $55,000 bill at a fancy Dallas restaurant? In most high schools here in Rhode Island, hazing is punishable by a suspension of the athletes involved or even forfeiting the season in extreme cases.

Idle Thoughts

1. The best case scenarios for the World Series are they Rays vs. the Reds because the real fans would love to see small market baseball triumph over big market capitalism; or any scenario involving the Braves so that Bobby Cox can get one last shot at glory before retirement.

2. Too bad for the Padres, it always hurts to see a team that was in first for so long falter in the end, unless of course, it's the Yankees.

3. Winning is everything in sports. Therefore, I tend to believe Carmello Anthony when he says he doesn't want to play in New Jersey because he feels they are long way from winning.

4. I don't need to watch the ESPN documentary Four Days in October about the 2004 ALCS premiering tonight, I lived it.

5. RIP Ben Mondor. If you don't know who he is, just know that he's the man who saved minor league baseball in Rhode Island where it thrives today.


    Does the NFL Have a Referee Problem?

    NFL logo

    Does the NFL Have a Referee Problem?

    Mike Florio
    via ProFootballTalk

    Players Under the Most Pressure at Minicamp

    New England Patriots logo
    New England Patriots

    Players Under the Most Pressure at Minicamp

    Maurice Moton
    via Bleacher Report

    Brett Favre Looking to End Youth Tackle Football

    NFL logo

    Brett Favre Looking to End Youth Tackle Football

    Green Bay Packers
    via Green Bay Packers

    Eagles That Never Were: the Ones That Got Away

    Philadelphia Eagles logo
    Philadelphia Eagles

    Eagles That Never Were: the Ones That Got Away

    Louie DiBiase
    via Locked On Eagles