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New England Patriots Season Highlights

Photo courtesy of FOX Sports

Photo courtesy of FOX Sports

Charlotte Hatcher

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Ever since the frustrating Deflategate scandal in January of 2015, loyal Patriot fans have sported car magnets, t-shirts,  and the occasional “Free Brady” poster. Fans’ favorite quarter back sat for the first four league games due to last year’s scandal. Patriots fans have waited in anguish to see how the team will do without their star quarterback.

 

In week one against the Arizona Cardinals, Jimmy Garoppolo filled some big shoes. Even with Gronkowski out with a hamstring injury, Garoppolo completed 24 of 33 passes for 264 yards and a touchdown. Tight end Martellus Bennett also stepped up to the plate, helping the Pats come out on top with a 23-21 victory. No Brady? No Gronk? No problem.

 

The second week against the Miami Dolphins was a different story. Garoppolo was dominating Miami’s defense when he took a hit from linebacker Kiko Alonso in the second half. Follow up information confirmed that he had a sprained the AC joint in his shoulder and couldn’t continue to play. Last resort Jacoby Brissett barely held onto the lead in the remainder of the second half, finishing what Garoppolo started with a 31-24 win. The difference between second string and third string Patriot quarterbacks was evident; Garoppolo completed 18 of 27 passes for 234 yards and 3 touchdowns, while Brissett completed 6 of 9 passes for 92 yards. Some claim that Brissett was working behind a conservative game plan, but most are just holding out patiently for Brady’s return.

 

The game plan for week three against the Houston Texans was unorthodox to say the least. Brissett completed 11 of 19 passes for only 103 yards, but opening the first quarter with a 27-yard touchdown run was nothing short of impressive. This was the longest Patriot’s quarterback run since Grogan against the Jets in 1976. Brissett consistently ran the ball throughout the game, racking up 48 yards against Houston at the end of the day. Overall the team was unforgiving, with the Texans unable to run a play in Patriot territory until the last two minutes of the third quarter. Houston never even had a chance, losing 27-0. With only one more week until Brady was back, some said Deflategate was “losing air”.

 

Unfortunately, week 4 wasn’t as successful as the previous three. Reality finally caught up to the Patriots. With Garoppolo still out due to his sprained AC joint, Brissett was forced to play with an injured thumb. Belichick’s typical offensive tactics sputtered out and died, only gaining a total of 277 yards the entire game, with a final losing score of 16-0. The Buffalo Bills responded with a 12 play 65 yard drive that eventually turned into a 7 yard touchdown pass from Tyrod Taylor to LeSean McCoy. Both defensive lines teetered out towards the end of the game, but this was irrelevant due to the Bill’s aggressive and overpowering offense.

The intensity was palpable all over New England going into week 5. Everyone’s favorite QB was back and better than ever, throwing 406 yards and three touchdowns. Brady threw passes to seven different receivers flawlessly, while the Cleveland Browns suffered injuries to both first and second string quarterbacks. The success the Patriots have had without their star players may come in handy for postseason play this year. Victory once again for the Patriots, with a final score of 33-13.

 

Week six resulted in a New England win, beating the Cincinnati Bengals 35-17. Starting with a 46- yard field goal. The Bengals then pulled ahead but after a safety by Hightower and reversed the momentum. Touchdowns by Gronkowski, Blount and two by running back James White soon followed securing a Pats win. This victory pulled them to the top of the AFC East Division. They now have the best record in the American Football conference out of all sixteen teams.

 

Week seven saw a match between The Pats and the Steelers with a Pats victory with a final score of  27-16 leaving the Pats still in the lead of the American Football conference.
The Buffalo Bills are bracing for a tough game against the Pats going into week 8. All of New England’s injured players are back on track and hyped up for the game. Look for the game on CBS at 1pm eastern time on October 30th. Let’s go Pats!!!

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New England Patriots Season Highlights