Key Thoughts on Patriots Victory over Raiders

The New England Patriots contained Randy Moss, Kerry Collins and LaMont Jordan to cruise to a ten-point victory on opening night of the 2005 NFL season. Boxscore and Insider key thoughts on the game.

PHOTO: New England Patriots defensive back Eugene Wilson (26) breaks up a pass intended for Oakland Raiders wide receiver Randy Moss (18) during the first quarter in Foxborough, Mass. Thursday, Sept. 8, 2005. At right is Patriots' Asante Samuel. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

Key Thoughts on Patriots 30-20 Victory over Raiders
By Patriots Insider Staff

The New England Patriots defeated the Oakland Raiders 30-20



Key Thoughts:

OL Nick Kaczur: spent a good deal of time on the field tonight during key drives. OT Tom Ashworth who started the game wasn't injured and appeared to rotate in and out with the rookie through the game, with Ashworth in the lineup on the final possession. Kaczur looked solid in the passing game, and had a few plays he would have liked back. It appears he's in the teams plans to start at some point during the season.

WR Deion Branch: Continues to get wide open in spots on the field that should normally be covered. His touchdown score was a classic example of how Branch can find the endzone when he should have been covered. Branch was a yard short of a 100-yard evening, going 7 for 99 with 1 TD.

QB Tom Brady: Appears to be one with his offense. Brady connected with 8 different receivers throughout the night without showing any signs of poor decision-making or poor throws. Whatever Brady's shoulder injury is, it didn't appear to affect his velocity. Brady's night ended with 24 completions on 38 attempts for 306 yards. 2 touchdowns and a 105.8 passer rating.

K Adam Vinatieri and P Josh Miller: For the first time in as far as we can recall, the Patriots had both an extra-point and a punt blocked in the same game.

WR Tim Dwight: Speed kills, and Dwight proved that our belief that he could get the job done on return duty was well founded. His 27-yarder in the first quarter was close to breaking a big gainer, one of the primary reasons the team picked him up in the offseason. His touchdown catch was well executed and showcased good hands on the reception.

The Roy Williams Rule: Do the referees know this rule is supposed to be enforced? There were at a three on-camera tackles by a defender riding the ball carrier down by the back of the shoulder pads The new rule is supposed to be enforced to prevent injury, yet not one of these incidents was caught by the officials

TE Ben Watson: That was a catch. Late in the half when the Patriots desperately needed a first down to continue their drive, Ben Watson appeared to catch a Tom Brady pass that was thrown behind him. He did catch it, but it was ruled incomplete.

DB Tyrone Poole: Blown coverage or a bad play? Poole was beat in coverage during a a 73-yard TD to Randy Moss because Poole failed to judge the proper time to leap in one-one-one coverage. Part of that play was Harrison's fault for not arriving sooner and leaving Poole along in man coverage. It was interesting to see Chad Scott on Moss later in the game.

DB Asante Samuel: Nice jump to crush the Raiders hopes of turning the situation into a one-score game. Moss grabbed Samuel in the air causing the dB to land flat on his back when they came down. Samuel broke up the 2-point conversion attempt keeping the score 30-20 Patriots. It wouldn't be a surprise if Samuel were a more than a little sore over the weekend.

Missing Coordinators: From the adjustments the team was able to make during the game, it left little doubt the Patriots will miss their offensive and defensive coordinators, but they won't be handicapped without them. Carrying a 3-point lead into the second half with little ground game, no pressure on the Raiders QB Kerry Collins and a penchant for making mistakes at inopportune times, the Patriots made the adjustments necessary to reverse all three while cruising to a 30-14 lead.

A Recap of the game will be forthcoming.

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