After the first quarter of the season and a bye week, the Patriots are back into action versus the team that ended their 2009 playoff run, the Baltimore Ravens.
There have been many changes since then and also in the past two weeks. So here are the key Patriots Acts for this week:
Act 1: Brady, Brady, Brady
How can Brady manage the game with Moss gone and Deion Branch back in NE? Where Brady goes there goes the offense and (with the defense still trying to find itself) the game.
Act 2: Will there be offensive balance between pass versus the run?
So far this year the Pats offense has been pretty balanced. You would think without Moss they maybe even more balanced without the deep threat. But with no real deep threat, we could see the old dink ‘n dunk quick short route passes to keep the Ravens defensive secondary backing up.
Act 3: Defensive pressure
Joe Flacco could not even tie his shoes before the playoff game last season. Today he arrives as an inconsistent starter having more picks than touchdowns. Can the Pats defense put pressure on him and force some turnovers? Big Vince needs to have a big game whether inside or outside.
Act 4: Secondary concern
James Sanders is out today, which leaves Meriweather (knee injury last week) and Chung starting and not much else to back them up (McGowan being on IR). So what was once a deep talented safety group is dependent on Jarrad Page…
The other concern is at corner. Will Arrington get the nod over Darius Butler? Young talent and not much experience at safety tonight, hopefully the Pats front seven can stop the run and put pressure, but the corners will be exposed for a couple of big plays. Either passing or not making the tackles on the run plays.
Act 5: Special teams
Both teams are really good on special teams. The Pats NEED a good day on special teams as this may be the difference maker today!
IN BILL WE TRUST!!