The Patriots kicked off another defense of their Super Bowl Championship by blowing the Steelers out of Gillette 33-3. While a lot of people had the Pats winning, it was the ease that surprised many. Tom Brady who won his 14th season opener which is the most all-time had some trouble early on, but a trick play with Julian Edelman passing the ball to James White got the offense on track and Tom Brady eventually connected with Josh Gordon from 20 yards out to give the Patriots the lead and they would never look back.
There were some noteworthy items that stuck out in the win. The Pats offensive line looked different with Ted Karras at center for David Andrews who is out for the season with Blood clots in his lungs. TB12 only hit the ground once with TJ Watt being an emphasis in game planning. In the shotgun formation however, there were some high snaps that could have made things difficult for the Patriots, but luckily the Steelers couldn’t take advantage of anything the Pats gave them which wasn’t much.
Phillip Dorsett came out of Foxboro’s witness protection program to haul in a 25 yd pass and a 58-yard bomb, both for touchdowns on a night he set a career high in receiving yards (95). On the 58 yard play, Dorsett was virtually forgotten about and that’s not something opposing teams should do in the future, especially with Antonio Brown waiting in the wings. While we’re talking about wide receivers for the Patriots, Josh Gordon is a force to be reckoned with for opposing defenses. With two defenders trying to stop him, he still hit pay dirt, and even provided some help for Brady in holding TJ Watt back on a couple of plays.
Julian Edelman had 6 catches for 83 yards, and although he didn’t find the end zone he moved up in the Patriots history books. Edelman now sits in 6th place for career receiving yards with the Patriots with 5,473. He sits about 300 yards shy of 5th which is held by Irving Fryer.
The Patriots return to Miami for the first time since the Miami miracle, but this time around after the Dolphins lost by 49, this may be known as the Miami mow down with Antonio Brown most likely seeing some time on the field. The Patriots don’t play a playoff team from last year until the second half of the season. The secret for the first half for New England is simple. Offensive Line health and of course the health of Tom Brady. If everyone is healthy for Sunday’s game the scorched earth tour for the Patriots may see them go for 60!
-John Luck (@jluck_89)