The New England Patriots are back to their winning ways. After a roller coaster start, the team has climbed to first place of the AFC East and nobody has been able to stop them. The offense played well when the Patriots beat the New York Jets 27-25 on Oct. 16. My favorite play of that game was the blocked field goal kick at the end of the game by Chris Jones. If it wasn’t blocked, the Patriots would have lost 28-27.
The Pats also looked good in their 37-22 win against the Buffalo Bills Oct. 12. Brady threw for 361 yards and 4 touchdowns. But one bad thing that happened was the Patriots lost top rusher Stevan Ridley and starting linebacker Jerod Mayo to injuries. On Oct. 5, the Pats absolutely drubbed the Cincinnati Bengals 43-17.
The three-win streak was a welcome relief after a roller coaster start to the season. The Pats suffered a humiliating opening day defeat 33-20 at the hands of the Miami Dolphins, but came back to beat the Minnesota Vikings 30-7 on Sept. 14. Then, their 16-9 win against the Oakland Raiders on Sept. 21 was mediocre at best. The offense looked sluggish and Tom Brady threw for just 221 yards with a pass completion rate of 65 percent. Julian Edelman caught 10 passes while Rob Gronkowski got the only passing touchdown of the game.
Their Sept. 29 performance on Monday Night Football was dismal. The Pats suffered their second worst loss of the Brady-Belicheck era, losing 41-14 to the Kansas City Chiefs. The offensive line was awful and the defense was pitiful; they couldn’t manage the run or the passing game. For a team that very rarely has turnovers, the Patriots had three to the Chiefs’ zero. They even had to bring in backup QB Jimmy Grapalo. Though he was 6 for 7 with 70 yards passing and a touchdown, it was too little, too late.
Now on a three-game winning streak that has brought their record to 5-2, the Patriots can again think about the possibility of postseason play. They face the 3-4 Chicago Bears on Sunday.