Patriots Survive Wild Sunday In NFL

It was just one of those Sundays in the NFL where crazy things were happening all over the league. The Raiders put up 59 points on the Broncos, The Ravens, after talking about how things were going to be rough on the Bills, needed a Buffalo fumble in OT to get a home win, Tennessee receiver Kenny Britt put up 225 receiving yards and three touchdowns, the Steelers beat the Dolphins on a controversial play in the end zone.

The Patriots game against the chargers was no exception. After jumping out to a 20-3 lead after three quarters, but needed to hold on to win 23-20 when Kris Brown of the Chargers missed a 5o-yard field goal attempt for the tie.  To get to that point, we had another 4th down decision by Bill Belichick, which is already being made the focus of the game by some in the media, and the Chargers – they of the horrible special teams needed to surprise the Patriots with an onsides kick in the fourth quarter.

Some will be quick to dismiss this win, others will look at Baltimore’s struggles with Buffalo and try to dismiss last weeks win as well. In my mind though, the 2009 Patriots lose both these games. The 2010 Patriots found a way to win them.

Ten Things We Learned Sunday: Different year, different players, different mentality – Christopher Price leads us off today by noting how the players are striving to separate themselves from the 2009 Patriots.

Pats’ gamble pays off — sort of – While Mike Felger was critical of Bill Belchick’s decision to go for it on fourth down late in the game, Mike Reiss says the choice was the right one. Tom E Curran says that the play just shows that Belichick is fearless.

These Patriots are lucky and good – Chris Gasper says that while the Patriots were very lucky yesterday, good teams make their own luck.

Take it and run - Mike Felger lays out where the Patriots failed, but calls this a very good win.

‘D’ comes through – Dave D’Onofrio dubs the Patriots unit the “New Name Defense.” Karen Guregian also has a look at the defense. The Patriots’ offense? Different story.

Toughness, smarts save the Patriots – Ron Borges says that the Patriots didn’t need to dominate this game they just needed to survive – which they did.

Patriots played to the whistle, and Chargers did not – Jim Donaldson notes the difference between the teams yesterday.

Meriweather plays it safe – Monique Walker’s notebook has the Patriots safety hitting hard, but legally.

Pierce: Most pain gone, some lingers - Jackie MacMullan talks to Paul Pierce, who is recovered physically from last season, but the sting of game seven still hurts.

The moment that changed Jermaine O’Neal’s life – Paul Flannery with a look at an important moment in the Celtics center’s life.

18 Questions on the Drive to 18: Part 1 – Rich Levine with part one of his Celtics preview.

Learning to deal without Perkins – A. Sherrod Blakely has a look at a big issue the Celtics will need to deal with.

In O’Neal, West finds key corner man – Julian Benbow has the Celtics notebook. No mention of the Delonte West-Von Wafer dustup.

  • Tony

    So which Globie will be the first to call Belichick's 4th and 1 decision "arrogant" today?

    Shank? Ryan? Mazz?

    See, when BB does it, it's "arrogance"; when someone the media likes, like Sean Payton, does it, it's "gutsy."

  • Jamie Folk

    Great points here by Bruce. People here have some bizarre memory loss from when the pats were winning super bowls. They had games against crappy teams where they played terrible but still won. I remember one game against the Browns in Foxboro where the final score was 6-3 Pats and it was just a terrible game to watch, but they won it. That is the bottom line. People act like the Pats played like crap and that is why this game was so close but the Chargers were clearly fired up and flying all over the field on defense. They were getting pressure on the QB like no one I have seen this year and their defensive backs played really well. They just made a bunch of retarded mistakes that good teams don't make. Give this one to the defense for playing heads up and move on.

    • Tony

      Agreed.

      Did anyone notice that the Bills put up 34 on the vaunted Ravens' defense yesterday?

      Those were the same Bills who put up 30 at Foxboro and sent the entire fanbase (and media) into hyperventillation mode.

      It's the NFL and there are no layups. Even the 0-16 Lions of 2008 made some opponents work hard for a win.

      Win and move on to the next week.

      It's not the BCS and there are no style points to accrue.

    • Jon

      Agreed. This was the best defense in all of football they played against and they played well up until that massive drive that opened the third.

    • Classless

      Great points, Folk. I seem to remember every week people calling for Charlie Weis's head over his bizzare play calling. How many games did the Pats win from 2001-2005 in which the offense stalled out after repeated 3 and outs?

      As for the 4th down call, keep going for it Belicheck. I'd rather go all in then be a chicken like Childress, Harbaugh, and many other coaches.

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