Thursday, September 15, 2011
Week 2 Hope and Concern: Patriots
By James Walker
The New England Patriots (1-0) will look to improve to 2-0 Sunday in a high-profile matchup against the San Diego Chargers (1-0). Here are New England's biggest reasons for hope and concern in Week 2:
Reason for hope: QB Tom Brady
The NFL's reigning MVP continued on that path with an astounding Week 1 performance against the Miami Dolphins. Brady threw for 517 yards and four touchdowns. If Brady plays this well, New England will be hard to beat. San Diego did a great job defending Minnesota's passing game in Week 1. Vikings quarterback Donovan McNabb was 7 of 15 for 39 yards, one touchdown and one interception. Brady is expected to have more success. New England's receivers (Wes Welker and Deion Branch) and tight ends (Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez) are playing at a high level.
Reason for concern: Secondary
Dolphins quarterback Chad Henne looked like a Pro Bowler last week against New England's defense. He threw for 416 yards and had three total touchdowns (two passing, one rushing) in New England's 38-24 win. It's scary to think what Chargers Pro Bowl quarterback Philip Rivers could do to the Patriots' secondary. This game could be a shootout. I thought New England's front seven played a decent game against Miami. The Dolphins rushed for just 98 yards, and new Patriots defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth made a few nice plays inside.