New England Patriots 33 Oakland Raiders 8
En la semana 11, los New England Patriots aplastaron a los Raiders de Oakland frente a una multitud loca en la Ciudad de México.
Translation: In week 11, the New England Patriots crushed the Oakland Raiders in front of a crazy crowd in Mexico City.
We have come to the point in the season for the Patriots where nearly everything is clicking. Using the word ‘nearly’ is important because the pass rush sucks. It really sucks. However, what the Patriots have been able to do is cover up those flaws by excelling is aspects of the game they were struggling with just a few weeks ago. Fans of the team across the world were pulling their hair out over the struggles of Stephon Gilmore early on (I preferred AJ Bouye personally, but I was happy with Gilmore because Bill Belichick usually knows what he’s doing), now he looks solid.
The way this game played out was essentially written on the walls before the first snap as Tom Brady went up against a secondary that was yet to have an interception this season. It’s Week 11, how crazy is that? The Oakland Raiders’ secondary has been unable to even fluke their way into a pick after a tip or something. Incredible. This obvious flaw on the Raiders was exploited by Brady who went 30/37 for 339 yards at a 9.2 yards per attempt average. He also threw three touchdowns and had a passer rating of 131.9.
Speaking of passer rating, quarterbacks playing against the Patriots’ defence are averaging a passer rating per game of 79.2 over the last four games, which is a vast improvement to how the season began, when the Patriots allowed a string of 300+ yard passers consecutively. Perhaps the most impressive stat the Pats defence is putting up is an ability to limit the most important stat of all, points. In the last four weeks, teams have scored an average of 11 points. Last season, the Patriots led the league in scoring defence and weren’t afraid to give up more yards along the way, knowing that they’d be good enough to get the stops they needed. This formula seems to work for the Patriots. They’re not sack artists who have an edge combo of Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram coming off the edges. They’re not complete ball-hawks like the Jags who have Jalen Ramsey and the aforementioned AJ Bouye picking off and swatting away passes like it’s going out of fashion. The defence isn’t special, they have to grind for every stop they get by making key tackles and trying to remove key targets in important situations.
In a quick summary of the rest of the offence, Brandin Cooks is amazing (6 for 149 yards, TD), he ranks fourth in the league in receiving yards behind Antonio Brown, DeAndre Hopkins and Adam Thielen. Dion Lewis continues to look like is 2015 self, perhaps looking even more elusive than he was before. Sometimes it looks like defenders are scared to attempt a tackle on him with the way he moves. Finally, the offensive line only allowed one sack on Brady, however, if you don’t include super-humans like Khalil Mack, the Patriots O-line didn’t allow a single sack in this game to a normal human being football player.
Next up for the Patriots, it’s a pretty easy stretch to end the season. Five of the next six games are against division rivals the Dolphins, Bills or Jets. The only game left in the season which is remotely scary for the Pats is a trip to Heinz Field in Week 15 to face the number 1 seed Pittsburgh Steelers.
Just wake me up for the divisional round.