Monday, September 25, 2006

Disappointment in the running game

What happened last night can be simplified into the following sentence: the running game was stopped, therefore the Patriots lost the game.

I just hope this doesn't turn into a pattern. Until Brady and his wide receiving corps (except for Brown) get onto the same page, this is what the various defenses across the league are going to try to do to the Pats.

Come in and stop the run. Dare the pats to take to the air. Why? Because the yardage after the catch is going to be lousy until a wide receiver catches the ball. There are, of course, exceptions to the rule, but Maroney will only break out once a game after a catch. Brown isn't going to outrun anyone, neither is Faulk. Graham and Watson can run over a few players (and you have to be impressed by Watsons speed).

But without a receiving threat who can do what the Broncos did on offense (turn a little catch into a big play) a few times a game, the Pats aren't going to win in the playoffs.

I have no doubts they're going to make it to the playoffs. They're special teams and defense are too good. So is their running game. But if they fall behind early and have to rely on the passing game, they're going to be in trouble.

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