In a single half, New England scored on Offense, Defense, and Special Teams.
Posts tagged Aaron Hernandez.
Tom Brady Touchdown Appreciation Post!
Ties for most touchdowns in a postseason game.
26-34 for 363 yards and six touchdowns!
And a punt going for over 40 yards!
(Which was also the longest of the game!)
The win that got away for both Ryan Brothers.
Week Six in Foxborough, Massachusetts was host to another team with a Ryan Brother. Rob Ryan, Defense Coordinator of the Dallas Cowboys, and the twin brother of Rex Ryan, the Jets Head Couch. Who New England had defeated just the week before. But onto the match-up itself, the Dallas Cowboys vs. the New England Patriots! A game many had been anticipating for weeks now! Many wondered if Dallas would imploded on itself, as they had been doing in previous weeks. Or would they redeemed themselves? Others wondered if New England would win 20 consecutive games at home. As well as break the record for most consecutive wins of 30 points or more. The game we had been waiting for had started off interesting.
One word can sum up the first quarter. Which was turnover, turnover, turnover, turnover. A pair of turnovers for each team. All four in impressive manner. The first, an interception for Dallas Cowboys Q.B., Tony Romo. Next, an interception for New England Patriots Q.B., Tom Brady. (Which I, as I’m sure most New England fans would agree, am still not used to seeing Brady throw interceptions.) Next, a fumble by New England Patriots Returner, Matthew Slater in a kickoff. And finally, a fumble by Cowboys R.B., Tashard Choice. The First quarter was held to a total of only six points from both teams. A field goal each. Both defenses played fair and respectable. But with New England showing improvement these last few weeks and the Cowboys having Rob Ryan as Defensive Coordinator, it wasn’t a surprise either way.
The first touchdown of the game came at around seven minutes into the second quarter by New England. With a combination of amazing receptions (and yards after the catch) by Aaron Hernandez. Ending with a touchdown reception by, of course, Wes Welker. At first, officials ruled the ball just shy of one yard of the end zone. But after a Belichick challenge, which he RARELY loses, the play was overruled. Giving the Patriots a 13 point lead against the Cowboys. But Dallas responded right back with their own combination of rushes and an amazing juke by Dez Bryant. As well as a smart move by Dallas to kill the clock all the way down to 33 seconds. You don’t leave Tom Brady any time. He’ll find a way to extend it, exploit a tired defense, and execute another possible touchdown. In between all this, I had left to get a drink, taking only ten seconds at the most, and returned to Jason Witten celebrating a touchdown. The first half ended with the Cowboys obviously having the momentum.
New England’s first possession in the second half had started poorly, going three and out. Forced to punt. But the New England Defense wasn’t ready to have Romo believe his offense would have an easy time. Vince Wilfork sent that very message by nearly getting his third interception this season, deflecting one of Romo’s passes, and almost catching it himself. Now, third and long, New England needed to stop Dallas’ offense there. But the Cowboys converted the third down. The next following plays included mistakes and long receptions. The Patriots gave the Cowboys an easy five yards, by being penalized for having twelve men on the field. (Very Un-Patriotlike.) And Romo was clearly having the better start in the second half. Dallas seemed to respond from their ending touchdown of the first half with a possible beginning touchdown of the second half. But with a Romo sack by Andre Carter at the goal line, New England prevented a touchdown. Forcing Dallas to end a great drive with just a field goal. But now, the game was tied with 5:50 left in the third. Almost a full ten minute drive! I had never noticed how well the Cowboys knew how to kill the clock. The following Patriots possession was no better. Being forced to punt after a couple of plays. But Dallas shot itself in the foot with a Running into the Kicker penalty. Anthony Spencer running into Zoltan Mesko. 5 yard penalty, first down, New England’s ball once more. A lucky break. But Dallas kept redeeming themselves. Just two plays after the punt flag, Aaron Hernandez was stripped of the football. Dallas recovered the fumble. New England’s first fumble loss, all season long. And just as the second quarter ended, the third did as well, with Dallas still having the momentum. And it hurt the Patriots, as they entered the final quarter.
Usually, these posts consist of nothing but Patriot plays. But today, New England wasn’t the one who wanted the win more, it was clear. And points weren’t the talk of the game, it was individual plays. New England wasn’t doing much compared to Dallas. Sure, they had great plays. But they were overlooked by now three turnovers. Plays that ended in dropped balls and loss of yards in a rush attempts. But Dallas seemed to have kept getting penalized at the perfect time for the Patriots! Already being charged 77 yards for 10 penalties. Compared to New England’s 35 yards for 5 penalties. And New England took to mimicking the Cowboys’ strategy, KILL THE CLOCK! They needed a lengthy touchdown drive! More importantly, the need simply a touchdown. But if they did both successfully, Dallas would regret killing the time away as fast as did. The game had passed by so fast! Already a little over ten minutes left! But I love games like that! They keep you alert, awake, any play can be the game changer! As I had experienced earlier with the Witten Touchdown.
But then, New England, 3rd & 9, 10:36 to go, and Brady completed to Deion Branch! First down! The following play, another amazing Brady throw to Rob Gronkowski, his seventh reception of the game! 13-13, still a tied game, Brady looked for a receiver, threw, only to be intercepted by Sean Lee… His second in the game. New England’s fourth turnover… With 5:13 left, Dallas took the lead with a field goal. 16-13.
But Tom Brady was ready to come back for his 32nd fourth quarter game-winning drive! Brady’s last home loss was back in November 12, 2006. And he wasn’t ready to loss a streak, instead of creating a new one. By then, it was obvious that the Patriots weren’t going to beat the 14 consecutive wins of 30 points or more set by 1999-2000 St. Louis Rams. Now, New England was just looking for the win. 27 seconds left, New England had used their last timeout after a beautiful completion of a Gronkowski reception, a Brady QB sneak, and a Woodhead reception, New England was only four yards away from winning the game! Brady, looked to pass, Welker not open, neither Gronkowski… And then, TOUCHDOWN, AARON HERNANDEZ!! Another amazing game winning drive by Tom “Terrific” Brady!! But still 22 seconds were left on the clock. And by rule, the game wasn’t over until you saw double zeros. Romo took a last chance, threw a Hail Mary, only to be caught by Patrick Chung out of bounds! Game over! The Patriots came back after a short trail and won!
5-1, and with a bye next week, New England will be more than ready when they face the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field, two weeks from tonight! The Patriots pulled off a win last year against the Steelers. And with Pittsburgh having an overall record of 1-7 against Tom Brady, I have a feeling another win will be added to the Patriots for the record! Just one closer to another Super Bowl Win!
LET’S GO NEW ENGLAND!!!