Patriots Week continues here this morning, as we sit down once again with Pats Pulpit to discuss the upcoming Monday Night Football matchup between the Buffalo Bills and the New England Patriots. Obviously, we'll have much more on that matchup throughout the weekend and over the course of the day on Monday.
Yesterday, we discussed with MaPatsFan some possible strategies that Pats coach Bill Belichick might employ to attack Buffalo's inexperienced offense. Today, we'll get his thoughts on the reverse of that argument - what might we see the Pats' offense do to try to attack the Bills' still-developing defense? MaPatsFan's thoughts are after the jump.
Offensively, the Patriots will be looking to see how their aerial assault is coming along, and if Tom Brady still has that 2007 connection with Wes Welker and Randy Moss. Old timer Joey Galloway is a new wrinkle in the receiver ranks; he held on to a roster spot when fellow receiver Greg Lewis was cut, a surprise move to me. If Galloway has gas left in his tank, he'll be another deep threat. Rookie Julian Edelman had a great pre-season, but with backup QB Brian Hoyer; I didn't see much of Edelman with Brady, so I have to reserve judgement to see if there's a connection there. However, if there is a connection, Edelman will work well as a slot receiver. He also took college snaps as a QB and RB, so there could be 'Wildcat' possibilities. I suspect they'd try to beat the defensive backs senseless, and make them choose between two deep threats in Moss and Galloway.
The biggest surprise in the passing game may be a more extensive use of tight ends, particularly FA acquisition Chris Baker. Baker was responsible for two touchdowns in our pre-season matchup against the Eagles. In the past, NE employed TEs for blocking purposes only, but the addition of a good receiving tight end like Baker opens up so many more possibilities.
From a running back perspective, we all know how dangerous Kevin Faulk can be. A third down specialist, he has receivers hands' and a running back's YAC ability. However, BenJarvus Green-Ellis displayed Faulk-like reception abilities in the preseason and, in my opinion, that was one of the many reasons he garnered a roster spot.
Yeah - none of this is really surprising, and clearly it's accurate. What else did you expect? It's Brady's triumphant, heroic return on a national stage, and he happens to be pretty darn good at what he does. So are his receivers. The Pats should be able to run the ball, but why do that when you're trying to prove to the NFL that Brady is back? We'll discuss why Buffalo will need to throw the ball frequently this afternoon, but the Patriots will do it by choice - because they're really good at it, and because they'll want to make a statement.
Aaron Maybin - you're up, son. This is why you're here - to make a good thing or two happen for our side amongst the many good-to-great things that inevitably happen for their side when Brady rips it down the field.