1. Offense Continues to Produce
The Patriots' offense continued to prove why it is one of the most potent in the league. They racked up a total of 457 yards, 353 through the air and 104 on the ground. With the possible exception of the Packers, I believe that the Patriots have the best offense in the NFL and they reinforced my belief today.
2. Eagles Are Out of Playoff Contention
I think it is evident that the self-proclaimed "dream team" has not lived up to their pre-season hype. They were very depleted coming into today's game, but it was still a must-win for them regardless. Needless to say, they did not deliver and subsequently, their playoff hopes are essentially gone. The Eagles would need to win out just to have a winning record, and with the way they have been playing, I doubt even that will happen.
3. Brady Spreads the Wealth
Tom Brady had been criticized in the past for locking onto one target or throwing to much to just one receiver. He certainly proved these naysayers wrong in this game. He threw for 360 yards with Welker, Branch, Gronkowski, and Hernandez all receiving for over fifty yards. His play helped Welker return to dominance and reminded us all of Deion Branch's last game against the Eagles in a Patriots' uniform.
4. Defense Delivers
The Patriots defense has been criticized all season long, and will most likely continue to be criticized. But, in this game at least, they have much less to be criticized about than in previous games. For the first time, they did allow the big play (actually a couple of them), but when it really mattered, they played well. They held the Eagles to four for thirteen third down efficiency, and although they gave up 466 yards, what matters most is that they only allowed 20 points (and only 13 points when it really mattered).
5. Edelman Belongs on Defense
Everyone has been comparing Julian Edelman to Troy Brown ever since Edelman started playing defense. In a way, the comparisons are accurate considering Brown played receiver, returned punts, and played defense during his time as a Patriot just like Edelman has during his short time as Patriot. But in a way, the comparisons are doing a disservice to both men. I don't think anyone would disagree that Troy Brown was a much better receiver than the seldom used Edelman. However, what is becoming more evident is that Edelman is a much better defensive player than Brown ever was. Troy was a decent coverage corner, but he was not the defensive presence that Edelman is. Not only is Julian exhibiting good skills in coverage, but he is coming up and making tackles. Sure, the situation of having a receiver on defense isn't ideal but the Patriots made it work with Troy Brown and the situation seems even better with Edelman.
6. Multi-Faceted Offensive Attack
Many people look at the Patriots offense and see a passing team. In a way, that is an accurate observation. But upon further inspection, you will see a solid running game that, while maybe not as potent as the passing game, can still produce. They rushed for 104 yards and two touchdowns during the game and did so with the use of four different running backs and the ever-athletic quarterback, Tom Brady. The Patriots certainly won't win games solely on the ground, but their running game certainly can't be ignored.
Oh no, the cakewalk of the latter games is over. Peyton Manning and the abhorred Colts are coming to town for another battle of the ages. Manning is going to tear our secondary apart!
Last year, this is what the thought process would have been. But how the mighty have fallen. The once rival Colts are now just a speed bump on the way to the playoffs. They still can't be counted out of the next game though, despite their winning-less season. In a way, I'd almost rather have Peyton be playing to test our secondary. But alas, I guess we'll just have to settle for Curtis Painter.