The New England Patriots had their first BIG win of the season beating the Ravens at home after the bye week. Then before you could flip the page to see the next scheduled game, the NFL scene changed dramatically to player safety and helmet-to-helmet hits.
The Patriots own safety Brandon Meriweather was fined and partially benched for a flagrant launch hitting TE Todd Heap and putting him out of action with a stinger for a a portion of the game.
The Patriots back to work on Wednesday this week, chose to ingore the Ravens game and everything not associated with the San Diego Chargers.
The issues from the last game and comments from Ray Lewis and Terrell Suggs as well the hoopla over Meriweather created enough media buzz, which helped Coach Belichick push the team to focus for this week. Let’s hoped the team listened. Here are the Patriot Acts for week 6:
Act 1: Brady, Brady, Brady
Yes, again where Brady goes there goes the offense. Last week the defense and special teams helped the offense for the first time this season. Brady needed help as the offense sputtered in the first half and it only did marginally in the second half and if it wasn’t for Branch the offense was non-existent in the last part of the game and would have lost.
Act 2: The Open Receiver
The Pats go against the top defense in the league…. Branch is back and still looks to be on the same page as Brady and this week should be better. Welker and Edelmann are inching closer to full health. Tate may get a chance to actually have a pass on target to him this week. This should be a big week from all the tight ends and Woody we might even see the Law Firm catching passes.
Act 3: The Ground Game
It may be the most interesting challenge to date for the Law Firm. BenJarvis Green-Ellis has been a north-south runner so far this season and that should continue today. But he will need to few good early runs or break one open to keep the Chargers defense honest and not play 5-6 defense backs in shore up the box to cover route runners. Woody may be shifty, but this game may need more bulk and power than speed.
Act 4: Defensive Consistency
The Patriots defense have had two decent games playing against Miami and Baltimore and are improving as they play. This is great news for Patriots fans. The next challenge in San Diego is going against the best passing quarterback the face so far this season in Philip Rivers. Rivers has been using the deep ball and although he does not have a slew of top receivers he has been playing well and could take advantage of the young Patriot cornerbacks.
The front seven of the Patriots should be able to handle the run, but if they are not able to get pressure on Rivers, then expect a few big plays.
Act 5: Special, Special Teams
Special teams has contributed to a few wins this year for the Patriots. This week, they play the worst team giving up most special team points and costing them game leaving them with a 2-4 record when the lead the league in offense and defense. This could be the key area for the Patriots this week.
Let’s look for another TEAM win this week. Pats 24 – Chargers 21.
IN BILL WE TRUST!!