Another crazy game! The Patriots looked like they might make it a blow-out and then fumbles and other miscues brought the game into jeopardy against Peyton Manning, but they hung on to win. Someone will have to explain to me BB's obsession with dumb fourth down calls when they play against Peyton. *rolls eyes*
Tommy scored another TD (this is getting to be a regular thing, heh heh) and Stevan Ridley ran for 151 yards. Danny Woodhead was hot, running for a key first down when it was 3rd-and-17. He got 19 yards. :) Brandon Boldin did his share of good running, too, and Shane Vereen got one of the touchdowns. Gronk and his brother Chris were on the same field for this game for the first time ever. Chris plays fullback for the Broncos.
The hurry-up offense was incredible. Tom is running it at a whole other level. People are raving about it. They barely huddled at all during this game. The Broncos defence was getting tired. It was sheer poetry in motion.
The offense scored a franchise-record 35 first downs in the game and ran a huge number of plays. Peyton Manning was able to threaten late in the game due to the Patriots' mistakes but the Patriots' D came up big, Rob Ninkovitch forcing a fumble (his second of the day) that made us all breathe a little easier.
What's the no-huddle offense? Just what it says: the team doesn't go into the traditional huddle. As soon as a play is over they're running another one. Tom is looking over the defense and calling out the plays (he calls out most of them) and changing the protection or even the play if his pre-snap read gives him something that doesn't match well with their offense. He does this all, making sure all the other 10 guys on his side are in the right places, reading the defense, changing the play if necessary, and snapping the ball while watching the play clock and getting the ball out in seconds after scanning the field and seeing what receiver's open. Yeah, he was a good student at the University of Michigan. :)
Why don't more NFL offenses do this? You need the right quarterback to run it: elite, smart, savvy. Tom takes it a whole new level, according to TV commentator/former QB Phil Simms, but others who run it well are Peyton Manning, Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers. All elite quarterbacks!
Joe Mays of the Denver defense admitted that they were gassed and hadn't expected the no-huddle offense to be that fast. They'd studied it, but it's a whole different thing when you face it on the field.
So, up next week is a trip to Seattle, a tough place to play. The Bills got hammered yesterday and Miami won, so the records are: Pats 3-2, Bills 3-2, Miami 2-3, and the Jets play tonight. It'll take a major upset for them to beat the Texans, considering how awful their offense has looked lately. Their record is currently 2-2, so they could be 3-2 or 2-3 by tomorrow morning.
People are calling the offense for the Pats the Warp Speed Offense! ;)