After a surprising loss to the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 1, the Patriots went on the road to beat the Saints in New Orleans. This was definitely a test for the team as the Patriots seemed a bit lackluster in the season opener. After all, Tom Brady did not even throw a touchdown. This week, however, the Patriots seemed to return to form and played as expected. Here are three observations from the game.
The Pass Rush
The Patriots’ pass rush is obviously not among the best in the league. However, there was definitely some promise in what was seen today. It seemed like the Patriots did not blitz much, yet managed to get some decent pressure; at times the pass rush seemed to be only a moment too late. Third-year man Trey Flowers continues to impress and is clearly the Patriots leading pass rusher. Surprisingly, fellow Arkansas alum Deatrich Wise Jr had a bit of a breakout game; he was all over the Saints’ rushing attack and consistently in Drew Brees‘ face. He also tallied a sack and was just short of having one or two more. The rookie pass rusher has definitely impressed.
I thought it was common knowledge that Tom Brady was washed up after his one bad game against the Chiefs. He clearly fell off a cliff, right? Right?! At least that is what the reactionary press and toxic fans would have us think. I saw one fan write on Reddit, “Brady just retire, don’t go out like this” during the Week 1 loss.
If throwing for 447 yards and 3 touchdowns is being washed up, then Brady was even better than I already thought. Brady clearly showed up and lit up the Saints porous defense right from the first drive. In fact, Brady seemed just as good as ever. His pocket movement was fluid, arm strength was clearly still there, and of course, his accuracy was… accurate. Clearly, Brady is far from washed up.
What even is up with all the injuries? If the Madden cover curse is real, then it’s not targeting Brady; instead, it’s targeting everyone around him. Here is the list of players who were injured in just this one game:
RB Rex Burkhead
WR Chris Hogan
CB Eric Rowe
There could be other players not listed here that were also injured. Clearly, the Madden cover curse wants to hurt Brady but cannot touch his GOATness. So instead, it is targeting everyone else.
Injuries remain the Patriots biggest threat to returning to the Super Bowl. This early in the season, things are not looking good for the Patriots in terms of staying health. However, the only silver lining could be that if the injuries happen early enough, most players will be healthy for the postseason.