The most up-to-date content on the planet
this just in
 RSS
WEEI » This Just In » Blount, Talib help Pats hold on against Falcons
Sun, 09/29/2013 - 11:02pm  

Blount, Talib help Pats hold on against Falcons

The Patriots burst out to a 30-13 lead and held on down the stretch to come away with a 30-23 win over the Falcons Sunday night in Atlanta.

The late flurry from the Falcons might overshadow a superior defensive effort for the first three-plus quarters from New England, which managed to hold Matt Ryan, Julio Jones and Roddy White in check for most of the night. Their work helped the Patriots build a 17-point second half lead, but New England had to sweat it out down the stretch. However, when Aqib Talib knocked away a pass for White in the end zone with less than a minute to go, the victory was secure.

On the other side of the ball, Tom Brady went 20-for-31 for 316 yards and two touchdowns. Meanwhile, Matt Ryan was 34-for-54 for 421 yards with two touchdowns and one pick.

New England moved to 4-0 with the win, the third time the Patriots have started a season with four straight wins out of the gate under Bill Belichick. The other two years — 2004 and 2007 — ended with New England making a trip to the Super Bowl.

Here are a few quick notes on the game:

WHAT WENT RIGHT

• The Patriots were able to contain Jones most of the night, thanks almost entirely to the work of Talib. It was exclusive, but Talib played a sizable role in leaving one of the league’s best receivers completely ineffective through much of the evening. Jones had two catches for six yards in the first half, and Talib came away with his fourth pick of the year on a ball midway through the fourth quarter. Jones ended up with 13 catches for 108 yards — with 49 of them coming on a great play late in the fourth quarter — but wasn’t much of a factor throughout the evening.

• The New England running game was tremendous, as the Patriots were able to consistently move the chains and get good yardage throughout the first half. On New England’s first touchdown drive of the night — a series that encompassed the end of the first quarter and start of the second quarter — 10 of the 12 plays were runs, with Stevan Ridley and Brandon Bolden picking up some good, between-the-tackles yardage on the 75-yard drive. (The series ended with a pass from Brady to Matthew Mulligan to give the Patriots a 7-3 lead — the first touchdown pass to a tight end this season for New England.) New England was able to keep that going in the second half when LeGarrette Blount tacked on a 46-yard touchdown run at the start of the fourth quarter to give the Patriots a 10-point lead. Blount had 64 rushing yards and Ridley added 53.

• The offensive highlight of the night came in the second quarter on a Brady pass to Kenbrell Thompkins that went for 49 yards down the sideline, a heave from Brady that saw Thompkins go up and fight for the ball against the Atlanta defenders who were in coverage. It was the longest pass play of the season for the Patriots, besting the 39-yard touchdown pass to Aaron Dobson in Week 2 against the Jets. That series ended with a 48-yard field goal from Stephen Gostkowski that made it 10-3 with 2:57 remaining in the first half. All in all, while Dobson saw his night cut short with a neck injury — more on that later — Thompkins had a big night, finishing with 11 catches for 127 yards and a touchdown in the win.

WHAT WENT WRONG

• While the Patriots — and Talib — did an excellent job shutting down Jones, they weren’t so lucky when it came to slowing down Tony Gonzalez. The veteran tight end had seven catches in the early going, including the second-quarter touchdown grab that tied the game at 10 just before the half. He finished the night with 14 catches for 149 yards and two touchdowns. He’s no longer the week-to-week offensive threat he once was, but Gonzalez proved that he can still bring it with the best of them when his quarterback needs his help.

• New England made a point of playing three complete games over their first three contests, shutting out their opponents in the fourth quarter over all three of their first three games. The Patriots were sluggish on offense and defense in the final frame against the Falcons, as Brady fumbled a key fourth-down snap and the defense yielded 13 fourth-quarter points. Not the sort of way you want to finish.

• The Patriots suffered a serious injury when defensive lineman Vince Wilfork was carted off in the first quarter after he went down with a right ankle injury. New England went with Joe Vellano in his place for much of the rest of the evening. If the All-Pro is out for any extended stretch, it would be a big blow to a New England defense that is led by the veteran Wilfork. The Patriots also lost running back Brandon Bolden with a knee injury in the first half, but he returned for the second half. And New England lost Dobson late in the third quarter when he got cracked in the end zone when diving for a ball that would have been a touchdown — the rookie receiver appeared to get hit, and left the field for the locker room shortly after the play went down. (It was later announced that he was questionable to return.)




Audio On Demand

It Is What It Is - Addres…

It Is What It Is - Addressing the off-season needs

Chris Price and Mike Petraglia discuss the top priorities for the Patriots as the off-season begins. Who do they need to pursue in free agency, who do they need to keep, and what areas of the roster do they need to address?

The final segment of NFL Sunday for the season -- SUPER BOWL PREDICTIONS -- 2-7-16

Picard and Price give their predictions for SB50 later today.

NFL Sunday with Danny Picard and Chris Price -- The NFL announced the 2016 Hall of Fame class last night -- 2-7-16

Danny and Price react to the HOF class that was announced last night. They get into the names and legacies, especially a questionable one in Tony Dungy.

Evan Turner and CSNNE’s…

Evan Turner and CSNNE’s Kyle Draper join the WEEI Celtics Podcast - 2/11/16

Boston Celtics stud Evan Turner joins the WEEI Celtics Podcast to reflect on the Celtics hot streak going into the All-Star break. Turner discussed how much he values being in a great situation in Boston and tries to get inside the life of Brad Stevens. First, Sam Packard and Jared Weiss chopped it up with Kyle Draper, covering the Celtics thrilling classic against Paul Pierce and the Los Angeles Clippers and broke down potential trade scenarios ahead of the deadline.

Paul Flannery of SB Nation joins Mut to talk Celtics, 2-10-16

Trailing a big win by the Celtics over the Clippers, Paul Flannery of SB Nation calls in to talk everything Celtics.

Danny Picard reacts to the Celtics last second win over the Cavaliers

Danny had just hit the air as it looked like the Celtics would drop a close game to the Cleveland Cavaliers, ride along as Danny goes on the emotional roller coaster of the final 7.5 seconds of the game

Barstool Sports' Jared Ca…

Barstool Sports' Jared Carrabis joins Mut, 2-11-16

Jared Carrabis joins Mut Mutnansky to discuss concerns surrounding the Red Sox heading into Spring Training.

Bradfo Show: Curious case of Matt Barnes

Red Sox reliever Matt Barnes joins Rob Bradford to discuss why he's now a relief pitcher, how important it is that he throws harder than most, lessons he learned from last season, and why his love for two very different restaurants in Cracker Barrel and Twin Peaks

Hot Stove Show 02-09-16

This week the guys are joined by Ian Browne of MLB.com, they talk about Clay Buchholz and the impending opening of spring training

#Bruins Postgame Podcast …

#Bruins Postgame Podcast - B's start road trip 2-0 with 4-2 win over Minnesota

Ken Laird and DJ Bean discuss the Bruins' Saturday win over Minnesota, sans Patrice Bergeron, with yet another goal from Brad Marchand

#Bruins Postgame Podcast - Response Night as the B's rebound with 6-2 win in Winnipeg

Ken Laird and DJ Bean discuss Boston's 6-2 in Winnipeg on Thursday night, an answer night after losing 9-2 at home to LA on Tuesday

#Bruins Postgame Podcast - Milan Lucic and his Kings light up the B's for 9 goals at the Garden

Ken Laird & DJ Bean discuss the LA Kings 9-2 win at TD Garden on Tuesday as former Bruin Milan Lucic was one of 9 different players to score during a 57-shot night for the Kings

Robert Kraft wanted home …

Robert Kraft wanted home field advantage 2-12-16

Robert Kraft on WCVB.

Headlines, Headlines, Headlines: Democratic Debate 2-12-16

The top stories of the day as recounted by Kirk Minihane.

Kirk on the OMF podcast 2-12-16

The top stories of the day as recounted by Minihane.

Mike Francesca is livid w…

Mike Francesca is livid with ESPN's Top 100 Baskeball players list, 2-12-16

A caller to Mike Francesca duped The Pope into thinking that Oscar Robinson was #29 on the list (he was actually #11) which prompted Mike to go insane.

Chicago Bears will no re-sign Matt Forte, 2-12-16

Patriot fans, as expected, begin to connect the dots in hopes of bringing the talented RB to Foxboro.

Lou discusses his heated exchange with Kirk during the crossover, 2-12-16

Lou did the crossover at 9:55 on Friday, which led to a fiery exchange between himself and Kirk Minihane. Lou tells the story and opines on the situation.

Talking Bruins with ESPN'…

Talking Bruins with ESPN's John Buccigross

Dale, Michael and Jerry check in with our good friend John Buccigross and talk some NHL hockey.

Freestyle Friday - B's, C's, Pats and Sox on the table 02-12-16

Dale, Michael and Jerry open up the floodgates on a freestyle friday and talk about whatever you want.

Should the Patriots go after free-agent RB Matt Forte?

Dale, Michael and Jerry discuss how good a fit former Bear Matt Forte would be in this Patriots offense.

Fridays get weird

Fridays get weird

Mikey, Mut, Lenny, and Lucy are talking Patriots, Red Sox, Presidents and a whole lot more.

Do you want to see Matt Forte on the Patriots?

Mikey and Mut are talking about free agent running back Matt Forte, and whether he would be a good fit for the Patriots.

Barstool Sports' Jared Carrabis joins Mut, 2-11-16

Jared Carrabis joins Mut Mutnansky to discuss concerns surrounding the Red Sox heading into Spring Training

#Bruins Postgame Podcast …

#Bruins Postgame Podcast - B's start road trip 2-0 with 4-2 win over Minnesota

Ken Laird and DJ Bean discuss the Bruins' Saturday win over Minnesota, sans Patrice Bergeron, with yet another goal from Brad Marchand

The Broad Cast with Lucy Burdge

Kate Scott, of KNBR in San Francisco, joins Lucy to discuss women in sports radio, the Super Bowl, and how great it is to talk about sports for a living.

#Bruins Postgame Podcast - Response Night as the B's rebound with 6-2 win in Winnipeg

Ken Laird and DJ Bean discuss Boston's 6-2 in Winnipeg on Thursday night, an answer night after losing 9-2 at home to LA on Tuesday

Ep. 1: David Portnoy

Ep. 1: David Portnoy

In this debut episode, WEEI's Minihane talks to Barstool Sports founder David Portnoy about selling his stake in Barstool to The Chernin Group, moving operations to New York City, future content plans and his most controversial moments.

More from this show

Kirk on the OMF podcast 2…

Kirk on the OMF podcast 2-12-16

The top stories of the day as recounted by Minihane.

More from this show

OMF responds to the attac…

OMF responds to the attacks from John, Gerry and Kirk, 2-12-16

The morning show and midday show have been trading barbs for a day and half now. Glenn, Lou and Christian respond to a particularly heated, Kirk Minihane.

More from this show

Robert Kraft wanted home …

Glenn addresses comments …

Glenn addresses comments from Dave Portnoy on Kirk's podcast, 2-12-16

Podcastgate was still alive on Friday, and after listening to Kirk's podcast with Barstool Sports found Dave Portnoy, Glenn wanted to address some of the accusations levied against him.

More from this show

Weei Writers