The New England Patriots easily defeated the Oakland Raiders Sunday afternoon by the final score of 33-8. The game took place at Azteca Stadium in Mexico City as a part of the NFL’s continuing focus on spreading the influence of American football to countries outside of the U.S.
The offense was explosive as always, and the defense continued to lock down opponents. Here is what we learned:
Defense is not a liability anymore
After the first few games of the season, the Patriots defense was arguably the worst in the entire NFL, giving up just over 30 points per game. However, ever since their 2-2 start, the Patriots have allowed just 14 points per game, with the greatest amount of points given up being 17.
Stephon Gilmore is back, which certainly helps, but even with key injuries to the defense, the Patriots have been able to clean up their act from the beginning of the season and get back to their signature “bend but don’t break” style of defense that has worked for years.
At this point, there is little to worry about regarding the Patriots defense, and if they can continue to play the way they have been, then the Patriots will have no problem booking their ticket to the Super Bowl.
Brady continues case for MVP
Patriots quarterback Tom Brady already has two MVP awards under his belt (2007,2010), and, at 40 years old, he has been making an excellent case to win his third MVP award this season.
In Sunday’s game, Brady finished with 30/37 receptions, 339 yards, three touchdowns, and zero interceptions. So far this season, Brady leads the league with 3,146 yards, 22 touchdowns, and just two interceptions. There is still plenty of football left to play, but Brady has shown no signs of slowing down in his old age.
Even when the defense was struggling, Brady was still able to produce wins for the team, and now it seems that with Brady at the helm, the Patriots offense is all but unstoppable.
Gostkowski sets record
One cool story that came out of this game was Patriots kicker Stephen Gostkowski setting a franchise and personal record with a 62-yard field goal to close out the first half, and put the Patriots up 17-0. This game also placed Gostkowski in the top 20 of the NFL’s all-time scoring list.
Gostowski’s previous career high was 58 yards. While the high altitude certainly helped this attempt, it was a great moment for the longtime Patriots kicker, as almost the entire team congratulated him as they went into the locker room for halftime.
So far this season, Gostkowski is 22/25 on field goal attempts, and 25/26 on extra points attempts.
Looking ahead to next week, the Patriots will be back home in Foxborough, taking on a division rival in the Miami Dolphins.
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