A 28-18 victory over the Minnesota Vikings on Halloween Sunday turned out to be a real treat for Patriots fans, as Tom Brady and Bill Belichick were up to their old tricks at Foxborough.
Improving to 6-1 on the season and sitting atop the AFC East (and NFL for that matter), Belichick’s bunch has a reason to feel ghoulishly giddy on Halloween weekend as the Patriots toppled and knocked out Brett Favre’s Vikings on Sunday while sinking the remaining playoff hopes of Randy Moss and his new team.
Moss might as well have dressed up as a Patriot after the game, especially after signaling his desire to still be a Patriot after his impromptu postgame interview where Moss talked about all things Patriots (and himself), and nothing else.
The former New England wideout was held to only one catch for 8-yards and wasn’t a factor in the game except for one 24-yard pass interference call coming against Brandon Merriweather who got tangled up with his former teammate. Moss embraced Brady and many of teammates after the game, including his old head coach.
Brady found Moss’ deep-threat replacement, Brandon Tate, for 65-yard touchdown pass on a broken play in the third quarter, giving the Patriots the lead for good, thanks in large part to a 112-yard, two TD performance from BenJarvus Green-Ellis.
Although New England didn’t dominate the game, the typical bend-but-don’t-break defense held up against the 40-year-old Favre and Adrian Peterson. The old stylistic tricks and schemes of the, hold your breath, old New England defense were in full force on Sunday as the hard-nose, blitzing schema was back at Foxborough for what seems like the first time since 2007.
This was evident with the aggressive playcalling and hard-hitting defense sparked by Brandon Merriweather and Myron Pryor. On a third down play in the New England red zone, Pryor knocked Favre to the ground with a strong helmet to chest hit, which sent Favre out of the game for good with a laceration on his chin.
Memories of the 2001 Super Bowl against Marshall Faulk and the Rams somehow comes to mind.
The New England Patriots now hold the best record in the NFL, and at the halfway point of the 2010 season, things are looking up for the Patriots as fans get a real treat of seeing some tricks of the old, with the players from anew.