NFL Week 12: Breaking Down the Patriots' 18-Point Win over Philly

Caleb AbnerContributor IIINovember 27, 2011

PHILADELPHIA, PA - NOVEMBER 27:  Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots calls signals out at the line of scrimmage against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field on November 27, 2011 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
Rich Schultz/Getty Images


Just like that, the team with the worst-ranked defense in the NFL has moved into first place in the AFC, tied with the Texans and the Ravens

Just like that, the Eagles have probably lost all hope of moving into the playoffs, in addition to seeing Andy Reid on the sidelines next year.

The game was nothing if not interesting. 

Here's what stood out. 

1. Belichick Spreads the Ball

For the first half the season, all Patriots fans ever heard about was how Wes Welker was the only decent wide receiver on the team. He apparently carried the team's passing game on his shoulders.

This game should completely debunk anyone anywhere who ever believed that. 

No. 12 spread the ball to four receivers, each gaining over 50 yards, two gaining over 100 yards. Yes, Welker was one of the two, and he caught two touchdowns, but overall the ball was really passed around the offense. Five players took handoffs for positive yards, including 27 rushing yards by Brady.

To put that total in perspective, the best RB in the NFL rushed for 31. 

Whatever is happening, I like it. 

2. The Defense Proves That They Aren't Just Covering Their Pathetic Asses

One of the key defenses for the under-performing Patriot defense is that they are willing to concede yards but not give up points. Today they actually showed some evidence that this was true. 

In the first five minutes of the game, they gave up ten quick points and several big gains to the Eagles offense. Until the two minute mark, they only gave up three more, giving Vince Young a last minute damage control touch down drive. He totaled 400 yards passing, more than Brady, but just  a single touchdown.

Many may complain that the Pats could still stop those fourth quarter drives, and I would agree. All the same, the defense did its part in winning the game. 

3. Julian Edelman is a Boss

Last week a 72-yard punt return, this week a key linebacker. Stranger things have happened. He applied some clutch pressure on Vince Young, made some touchdown saving tackles, and a lot of choice coverage.

On the secondary as thin as this, they need all the talent they can get. 

Here's to hoping that Edelman will one day have a touchdown on offense, defense, and special teams. All in the same game.

Stranger things have happened.

Just ask the 10th ranked defense in terms of points allowed.