Pats Begin Season
by The Milton Measure on Friday, September 21st, 2012
On Sunday, September 9th, the Patriots won their ninth straight opening game 34-13 over the Tennessee Titans. While the Patriot offense was not consistently in sync, at no point did the Pats lose control of their lead. Quarterback Tom Brady played a strong game, throwing 4 236 yards and 2 touchdowns, ultimately surpassing John Elway in most career touchdowns with a new total of 302.
Other players to look out for this upcoming season include Brandon Lloyd, who caught five passes for a total of 69 yards, and Rob Gronkowski, who received 6 passes for a total of 60 yards and one touchdown. Wes Welker did not play up to the high expectations set for him after his success last season; however, fans hope to see progress from him as the season moves forward.
At many points during the game, the Tom Brady’s prolific passing attack became stagnant, something Patriots fans have not been accustomed to seeing the last few seasons. The true revelation on the offensive side was second year running back Stevan Ridley. Due to fellow running back Shane Vereen’s injury, Ridley was given the brunt of the workload. Though plagued with fumbles last season, he responded wonderfully on Sunday, rushing for 125 yards on 21 carries and a touchdown. Ridley surged through tiny windows and dodged defenders with bursts of speed and nimble feet. After his promising week-one performance, we can expect Ridley to be the primary runner in weeks to come.
The Patriots’ defense also showed great improvement due to a well managed draft and hard work during the off-season. In the second quarter, rookie Chandler Jones forced Tennessee quarterback Jake Locker to fumble, which fellow rookie Dont’a Hightower returned for a touchdown.
After the Pats’s strong performance on opening day New Englanders held high hopes for their team. Sadly, fans were disappointed this week by the Patriots’ 20-18 loss to the Arizona Cardinals. More dishearteningly, tight end Aaron Hernandez, who has been a key part of the Patriots’s double tight end passing attack, is anticipated to be out for a month due to an ankle injury.
Despite their recent loss, we can be optimistic about the Patriots in the games to come. The strength that they showed in the September 9th game cannot be minimized, and fans should remain excited for the season ahead.
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