BOSTON (CBS) -- The New England Patriots blew out the Jacksonville Jaguars. Nobody got hurt. The end.
... Wait, I have to write more about that game? Come on!
OK, fine. But I won't be happy about it. Watching that game was laborious enough. Spending more time on it seems imprudent. But, well, we've got two weeks here in New England without any football, so we might as well bask in the glory of JAGS WEEK! for one more day while we can.
To the leftovers!
--I knew we were in for one whopper of a football game when on the first play from scrimmage, Blake Bortles threw a pass that could have been easily intercepted by two different Patriots.
And we're off!
--Tom Brady, of course, became the fourth player in history to throw 400 touchdowns. That's pretty cool, right? I mean, Peyton Manning has way more, at 535, and Brett Favre (508) has a healthy lead over Dan Marino (420) and Brady.
But let's compare the postseason touchdown-to-interception ratio of those players, shall we?
Marino: 32 TDs, 24 INTs (1.33 ratio)
Favre: 44 TDs, 30 INTs (1.47 ratio)
Manning: 38 TDs, 24 INTs (1.58 ratio)
Brady: 53 TDs, 26 INTs (2.04 ratio)
Heck, here's their regular-season TD-to-INT ratio, for good measure.
Favre: 508-336 (1.51 ratio)
Marino: 420-252 (1.67 ratio)
Manning: 535-237 (2.26 ratio)
Brady: 401-143 (2.80 ratio)
Who would you rather have throwing passes for your team?
--Last week, both Bill Belichick and Tom Brady said that a lot of Jacksonville's defensive schemes were similar to Seattle's. I suppose the connection is that Jags head coach Gus Bradley ran the Seahawks defense from 2009-12. But, well, that was a long time ago, and the Jaguars ... are slightly lacking in talent when compared to the Seahawks.
So it was humorous to see the Seattle-like defense "cover" Rob Gronkowski on the Patriots' third offensive snap of the game.
Yes, they left an entire quadrant of the field unoccupied, but credit to all those Jags for keeping a close eye on Gronkowski, thereby limiting him to just a 43-yard catch-and-run.
I just don't understand this. It happens much too often. He is the biggest, most impactful player on the field. You literally could not miss him if you tried. And yet ... there's nobody in his zip code on the Patriots' third play.
If I were Gus Bradley I would have stopped the game to make my entire defense run a lap. Then I'd probably retire because there's no way I'm getting paid enough money to run the Jacksonville Jaguars.
--On the touchdown run by Dion Lewis that ended that opening drive, Gronkowski essentially blocked two people. He blocked Paul Posluszny the old-fashioned way, and he blocked Telvin Smith just by virtue of being humongous and strong and not giving up an inch when locked up with the linebacker.
Such a rare creature, that Gronkowski fellow is.
--Gronkowski got called for two offensive pass interference penalties on passes that went to other receivers. Both calls were atrocious. On the first one, he merely ran a comeback route. On the second, he fought to get the linebackers' hands off his shoulder pads.
Ultimately these calls were inconsequential to the game and to the world at large. We're all going to die some day, right? Nevertheless, the official who threw those flags (back judge Rich Martinez, I believe) ought to be locked in a basement and kept from contacting his family for 11 months. It's only fair.
--It just wouldn't be a Patriots game without Julian Edelman ending up like this at least once:
--I hope Sports Illustrated's Michael Rosenberg wasn't paying attention when Rich Gannon explained that the play clock at Gillette Stadium is much higher than many other stadiums. If he was, then I smell another 10,000-word investigative breakdown of all the cheating ways of the cheating Patriots. We know they have a secret TV in the parking lot that Belichick uses to cheat (even though he can't see it from the Patriots sideline and it's a low-definition, delayed TV broadcast), so it's no surprise that the play clock is basically hidden from view.
--Danny Amendola, man. He's pretty good. No, really! He is.
He showed some pretty sweet hands to catch this ball that looked destined to hit the turf:
And he did a great job of getting open and letting Brady know about it on touchdown No. 400. He may not be the star that many people wanted after the team moved on from Wes Welker, but he's a solid contributor. On a team where the WR depth is razor thin, that's much needed.
--Amendola was also part of a play that I found most impressive for all 11 Patriots on the field. It came with 7:10 left in the game, on a third-and-10 from the Jaguars' 23-yard line. The Patriots led 44-10, and the game was well decided. You almost wouldn't blame the Patriots for letting up, for going about 75 percent in an effort to not get hurt, and settling for a field goal.
Instead, Brady took a shotgun snap, faked a handoff to Dion Lewis, and fired to his right to Amendola. Meanwhile, Sebastian Vollmer, David Andrews and Shaq Mason came flying out to block, and Aaron Dobson picked up the cornerback. Amendola caught the pass and flew full bore up the field, picking up 12 yards and keeping the drive alive. The execution was perfect.
They'd end up draining 3:26 more off the clock and tacking on another touchdown, but it was that play by all 11 Patriots that provided a good indication of where this team's effort level is at right now.
--"Honey. Honey! Check it out! I'm going to dress up like the pope when I go to the Pats game! Ha! I'm like the Patriots Pope! Hilarious, right?"
"(wife deeply questions her life decisions before letting out an exasperated sigh) Yes, dear, that is wonderful. Have fun at the game."
--Stephen Gostkowski set an NFL record by drilling his 425th consecutive extra point. Respectfully, I'm not all that impressed. And frankly, when Tom Brady twice converted a QB sneak into a first down on two separate third-and-1's for the 1 millionth consecutive time, I found it to be a much more impressive feat.
Someone needs to make a YouTube mashup of every single QB sneak of Brady's career. It would be about 38 minutes long. It would need a good soundtrack. Maybe "Tubthumping" by Chumbawamba could make an appearance. Maybe I'm overthinking this. Let's move on.
--It's generally dumb to draft a kicker in the fourth round. It's definitely dumb to draft a long snapper at all, let alone in the fifth round. But an underrated aspect of the most successful franchise in the NFL is the nearly perfect field goal unit. Gostkowski is rock solid. And while I'd never claim to grade long snaps, Cardona has looked pretty good so far.
Ryan Allen is probably pretty good at punting, too. But he didn't get to play, because, you know, Jacksonville.
--Perhaps this is just my childish wonder, but I found it pretty crazy that Allen Robinson caught this pass here ...
... but came down with it all the way over here ...
I never really understood why the NFL got rid of the push-out rule. I'm not sure what Robinson could have done to come down with this pass in the field of play, with Jordan Richards basically piggybacking the receiver to the boundary. But the league never consults with me before changing the rules, so I guess I'll just have to live the rest of my life in the dark on that one.
--This was the tweet of the game, in my opinion.
--Malcolm Butler gave up another touchdown, his third of the year, but I'll tell you what. I like the way that kid plays. He makes aggressive plays on the pass, often reading the quarterback and breaking off from the receiver in an effort to break up the pass or pick it off. It may cost him sometimes, but he seems to be smart enough to calculate when the risk is worth it.
And frankly, it's a refreshing change of pace from the look of most Patriots corners (non-Darrelle division) over the years who all too often end up with their back to the play, looking utterly confused as they commit an atrocious pass interference penalty along the sidelines on an intermediate pass. It's nice to see somebody with some awareness and some gusto trying to make something happen.
--Hey. Jacksonville. Killer fake punt, you guys. Almost worked.
--Tom Brady heard a lot of people around the country with very loud voices spend the offseason saying he is a cheater and that the slightly underinflated footballs in January provide proof of that behavior.
He has since completed 96 of his 133 passes (72.2 percent) for 1,112 yards, nine touchdowns and zero interceptions. And those touchdown numbers could have been even gaudier if the Patriots didn't have the smarts/decency to let LeGarrette Blount plunge in three times from the 1-yard line.
Brady will never say anything publicly to validate the opinions of those bloviators, but you know that on the inside he is rip-roaring pissed and is on a mission to turn in his very best season. Through three weeks, on pace for 48 touchdowns, he's well on his way.
--As good as Brady has been, the sneaky dangerous part of the Patriots' offense has been the run game. Dion Lewis has been surprisingly dynamite (146 rushing yards, 179 receiving yards, 2 touchdowns), and LeGarrette Blount looked very much like LeGarrette Blount on Sunday (78 yards, 3 TDs).
With a Hall of Fame quarterback, a dynamic tight end, an uncoverable receiver and a high-efficiency pair of running backs, this offense is simply dangerous.
--Though ... making Jimmy Garoppolo take the kneeldowns is kind of hilarious.
--Farewell, JAGS WEEK! You were a great week and I will miss you dearly. We shall see if the bye week presents more of a challenge to the Patriots than you did.
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