Filly Files: Patriots Dominating
by Michelle Vitagliano, Fan Commentator
Just when I thought I was all caught up on sleep after the World Series ended, the New England Patriots had an 8:30 PM kickoff on Sunday night. Fortunately, they made losing sleep worth my while as they crushed the Buffalo Bills, who looked more like a Pop Warner team than a professional one.
The Pats, now 8-1, beat the Bills for the second time this year in a 29-6 victory and are now two games ahead of the New York Jets (6-3) in the AFC East. They have won 23 of their last 24 games, and are tied with the Pittsburgh Steelers for the best record in the AFC.
It's hard to imagine that there were days, not so long ago, when the Pats ended seasons with only a few wins and getting tickets for a game was as easy as finding an Italian restaurant in the North End. But those days are long gone and on Sunday night, in front of another sellout crowd and televised by ESPN, the Pats played an almost flawless game of football.
Prior to the start of the game, members of the Boston Red Sox organization, along with that shiny World Series trophy, made a special appearance at Gillette. Theo Epstein, Terry Francona, John Henry, Larry Lucchino, Johnny Damon and bloody-sock Curt Shilling, dressed in a Tom Brady jersey, gave fans another reminder of what a great sports town Boston really is. It's sort of surreal to cheer for your World Champion baseball team in a football stadium and then watch your Super Bowl champions just minutes later. I love it!
While the list of injured players doesn't seem to be getting any smaller from game to game (Deion Branch, Matt Chatham, Ty Law and Tyrone Poole), the Pats are still making things happen with they guys they have. And speaking of injured players, the crowd was silenced after Teddy Bruschi went down in the 4th quarter with what could have been a horrific knee injury. Watching the replay on screen made my stomach turn but watching him get up and walk away from it was a hell of a relief! I don't know how he managed to get up but he's fine and that's all that matters.
The defense had three interceptions on Sunday including one by Troy Brown who ran the ball for 17 yards and Bruschi for 29 yards. Corey Dillon ran for 151 yards and Adam Vinatieri made all 5 field goals.
I hate to see it happen to a former Patriot and one I really liked when he played for us, but Drew Bledsoe got sacked twice, both times by Tully Banta-Cain, and only went 8 for 19 yards in passes. Banta-Cain also had an interception. Not bad numbers for a guy I hadn't really paid much attention to prior to Sunday's game.
And since we're talking replays, I'm still unclear why, after the second play of the game, the Bills were allowed to challenge the first play and repeat first down. Here's a new rule - how about giving the refs a limited amount of time to review a play! However, I was able to entertain myself while waiting with a game of "find the floating camera." I highly recommend it. You only need one other player and the first one to find the camera that hangs from two strings and floats over the field wins. Unfortunately, you won't be able to play until the next home game on the 28th. In the meantime, the Pats face 3-6 Kansas City on Monday night at 9:00.
Good luck boys! Knock 'em dead!
Michelle Vitagliano, passionate Boston sports fan that she is, can be found in the insiders forums. Her weekly fan commentary can be found here on the Patriots Insider site, or you can search for her articles on the Insiders by searching for "Michelle Vitagliano". If you're a local, you can find her mostly around the Boston scene on game night, hanging out with her friends.
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