PATRIOTS OFFENSE STRUGGLES IN ODD QUARTERS- Although Tom Brady connected with LaFell for 12 yards on the Patriots' first play of the game, the team really struggled with the ball early on. Their first possession netted a total of 20 yards and gave the offense less than two minutes of rest. Possession two was even worse with the Patriots accumulating 9 yards in route to a 3 and out. The Patriots final play of the first period was a 3 yard carry by LeGarrette Blount.
First Quarter Totals-
3:35 of time
The Patriots third quarter was not much better and for a while looked like it was going to be significantly worse. Yes, significantly worse than 32 yards of offense. Possession one of the second half started with a ten yard offensive holding penalty. That foul was shortly followed up by a wasted time out that Brady wished he had at the end of the game. Net yards for the offense before Allen's next punt of the day was negative three. The next possession was over pretty quickly, but at least had a Rob Gronkowski first down reception in it. If not for the final Patriots' fourth quarter scoring drive which started with 2:21 left in third period, the Patriots could have had a grand total of 10 yards in the third.
Third Quarter Totals-
PHANTOM CALL- That 12th man call was AWFUL. If you weren't paying attention early on, you might not have seen the phantom 12 men on the field. The situation was a 3rd and 1 with about 4 seconds left on the play clock. Rodgers was nowhere near ready to snap the ball and I'm not even so sure that he realized that the clock was almost out. Then, suddenly we have a flag on the Patriots for having an extra player on the field and the umpires believing a snapped ball is imminent (you know, because the play clock was almost to zero). The only problem with the call was the fact that the Patriots had 11 guys on the field the whole freaking time. So, Belichick argues his point and wins, but Rodgers is the real winner because he essentially avoids the imminent penalty and get a free timeout. While mistakes happen, I really don't get why the Packers' got to have 15 seconds put on the play clock for the restart. While this play did not lead to a touchdown, it did keep the momentum in the Packers' favor and eventually led to a 3 point chip shot.
UNTIL WE MEET AGAIN- Did the Patriots hold back any plays for a potential more important meeting? I'd say yes. Was it as intentional as some would like to believe? Probably not. Last week the Patriots made a game plan for this game against the Packers. Throughout the game they used plays from that set of plans and not everything including the kitchen sink. Come playoff time, if we need the kitchen sink that's what we'll use. Would Belichick or any members of the Patriots' organization ever admit to this? H.E. double hockey sticks NO.
DEFENSE- Overall, the defense did pretty well bending but not breaking. While both Packers' touchdowns appeared to be breakdowns in the defense at inopportune times, having Green Bay go 0-4 in the red zone at home is commendable. Playing on a neutral field with a rested and hungry Chandler Jones, I like our chances.
OFFENSE- The second and fourth quarters were pretty good, not outstanding, but I'll take it. If we didn't sit out the first and third quarters, the streak would be to 8 games. Personally, I felt we had too much predictable shotgun offense to be successful. Our offensive line is better at blocking for a running attack. Brady also forced it to Gronk a couple of times when he had other receivers open elsewhere. LaFell looked pretty good and got an awful lot of praise from the announcers. I think I might have been the only person who isn't paid by Bob Kraft to even realize we got him on our team last winter.