Who needs a pretty boy quarterback and state-of-the-art passing attack?
Long live power football!
New England could learn to love this kind of offense. Load up the left side of the line and run the ball behind Matt Light and Logan Mankins, and obliterate the Broncos. It's especially sweet to win this way on a day Laurence Maroney was declared done for the year with a shoulder injury.
In just one half, Sammy Morris ran for a career-high 138 yards and a touchdown as the same bunch that got embarassed last week at San Diego took it to Denver. When Morris went down with a knee injury, BenJarvus Green-Ellis, activated from the practice squad to replace Maroney, added 65 more yards and a touchdown. The Pats rang up 257 rushing yards, like they used to do in the '80s when the offense consisted of Craig James left and Tony Collins right.
If only Matt Cassel could overcome his habit of holding the ball too long. He went down six times tonight, but although he hasn't acquired Tom Brady's pocket presence and feel for when to just unload the damned ball, he still completed 18 of 24 passes for 185 yards and three touchdowns, two to Randy Moss, no longer MIA.
And the defense finally showed up (although seeing Rodney Harrison carted off with a right knee injury in the fourth quarter is major cause for concern). It forced five Denver turnovers, and after two promising first-quarter drives ended in fumbles, the Broncos didn't get a sniff until the game had been put away.
Sure, this does not mean the good 'ol days of 2007 are back. But for one night, anyway, they kicked arse and took names again. The playoffs seem doable again.