Patriots Week 14 Report Card
Offense: Grade: A+
The Patriots have now put together 2 complete efforts with their win in Chicago this past week. Albeit the snow may have had a little something to do with that, still it was nice to see them playing so well in such nasty conditions. As I have said many times before that a running game is so important especially on the road, and again it was good to see that balance and effort this past week (Green-Ellis 87yds on 21 carries). I was also very surprised to see Brady pass as much as he did in the game, and even more surprised at how effective he was while doing it (369 yards passing), of course the offensive line does get a lot of the credit in how well the offense has been doing the past few weeks! My only critical point on the offense is the near 2-picks that Brady should have had, which could have turned the game in the other direction if the Bears were able to get those picks. I’m noticing from time to time that Brady does take a few chances that maybe he should not, but then again I guess you have to have a little Brett favre in you eh?
Defense: Grade: A+
Well once again here is something that I thought would never happen this year, what is that you ask, well giving the Patriots defense an A grade in back to back weeks. Once again I’m realizing that the weather definitely had a little something to do with that, but one also has to give credit where credit is due, after all the Bears played in the same conditions as well. Much like last week, the defense pretty much shut down the running game (47 yards) as well as the passing game (138) this past week, while also forcing 4 turnovers which has been another hallmark of this defense. Of course it’s not all goody, goody, there is that tackling problem that is starting to rear its ugly head, it’s kind of been a problem off and on this season, it’s a part of the game that not many people really get concerned with, but it can cost you big plays and quite possibly a game or two.
Special Teams: Grade: C
I was almost reluctant to give a grade here because of the weather; I mean let’s face it when the weather gets this nasty kicking a ball is not the easiest thing to do with any accuracy. However my point in giving the grade on special teams this week is focused on the kicking coverage, which as of late has started to develop the same problem as the defense, and that is tackling. In this particular situation the miss tackles actually did give up a big play, and the Bears only touchdown. This is an area that does need some work, it sure is funny how the most simplest of things can be the hardest to do.
In conclusion, The Patriots have now played their 5th game of their hardest part of the schedule, with one more left at home against the packers. After clinching a playoff spot with the win over Chicago, they also move one step closer to capturing the division and a first round bye, and we all know how important that can be. It’s hard to believe that there are only three games left and the playoffs are around the corner, I’m still not fully in belief that this team can get all the way to the super bowl, mainly because of the defensive play, don’t get me wrong the past 2 weeks have been nearly flawless, however 2 great weeks can’t erase what happened in the first 12.