Patriots are 4-0, but not exactly perfect
Having won their first four games, the Patriots are inspiring fear throughout New England.
Could we have it any other way?
Sunday’s 16-10 win over Buffalo upset folks because Tom Brady was less-than mediocre, their offensive line seems determined to see Brady (and the season) crushed, and Stephen Gostkowski missed another extra point.
Gostkowski is 11 for 15 on PATs, the only kicker in the NFL with four misses. If there is a silver lining it is that the Pats have 15 touchdowns in four games, though the offense produced only one Sunday.
They also failed to cover the point spread, which no doubt caused the most intense anger of the day for those with a dollar or two on the line.
Brady’s stats were awful – 18 completions on 39 passes for 150 yards. He also threw an interception on third-and-goal at the Bills 2-yard line.
The Bills’ defense is better than generally acknowledged, but ugly is ugly, and the Patriots were two-bag ugly Sunday.
He can be credited with some blame in a generally hideous offensive afternoon, but he did a lot of running out of the pocket as a means of survival. The Patriots offensive line is battered and held together with the proverbial tape and bailing wire. It is struggling to pass block and to run block, which sort of erases most of the playbook.
Maybe they miss Rob Gronkowski as much for his blocking skills as his receiving skills.
Whatever the case, unless an all-pro left tackle and all-pro center magically appear, the 2019 edition of the Patriots will go as far as their defense takes them.
And when betting on the over/under, always take the under.
TIME TRAVEL: Oct. 1, 1949 – “Gloomy is the word for Jr. High School (football) coach Wilfred Michaud’s outlook on his team’s chances to repeat as the Merrimack Valley Conference jr. champions. ‘I’m afraid’ admitted Michaud mournfully, ‘we’re going to be in for a lot of trouble.’
“… he has only four veterans from last year’s eleven to build his team around, and only three of these were starters. The four are end Roger Cote, center George MacDowell, quarterback Chris Loukides and halfback Nick Holt.”
PLAYOFF TIME: The Red Sox are on the first tee this morning, but the Major League Baseball playoffs commence.
It says here it the World Series will feature the Houston Astros and the Los Angeles Dodgers, which will leave the TV executives seeing a half-empty glass.
Make the Fox TV suits climb the walls and cheer for the smaller market.
Contact Alan Greenwood at 594-1248, firstname.lastname@example.org or @Telegraph_AlanG.com.