Well, not the juggernaut of weeks past, but we got the win!
The game was a nail-biter and nothing like the past several weeks of steamrolling, but first, let us celebrate the O-Lineman! ;)
Offensive lineman Dan Connelly was on special teams for kick-off coverage. He ended up with the ball on a squib kick and started running! Now, the amusement comes from seeing a guy easily 300-plus pounds as he rumbles down the football field, stunning the Packers and his fellow Patriots! He kept going, the Patriots helping him out with blocks, and he even stiff-armed a Packer! LOL! He was brought down 4 yards short of the end zone, but he’d rumbled for 71 yards! That was the longest return for an offensive lineman in NFL history!
The Patriots were laughing and congratulating Dan, who has done yeoman work this season, admirably filling in for hold-out Logan Mankins for 8 weeks and now filling in for Stephen Neal, who’s done for the season.
Not only was this a wonderful run, it set up a touchdown just before the first half, allowing the Patriots to bring the score to 17-14 (they were the 14). That was big, because the team was not playing up to their potential on either side of the ball.
Later in the second half, DB Kyle Arrington made an interception and broke FIVE tackles to get to the end zone! Granted, the Packers’ tackling was poor, but he never stopped and got the TD!
The Patriots held the ball for only 19 minutes against the Packers’ 41, but Tom and Company managed to put up 24 points (minus the defensive TD).
Plenty to correct this week! Just because starter Aaron Rodgers wasn’t playing, the younger members of the Pats took rookie back-up Matt Flynn for granted, and Flynn had a great game. He did show his inexperience at the end when he couldn’t get a play off and the clock ticked down to zero, skewering the Packers’ chances for a possible winning score.
Lots of work to do! But it’s Tom’s 27th straight win at home in the regular season, and he broke a record for most passes without an INT. Let’s hope they don’t take the Buffalo Bills lightly next week up in Orchard Park!