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

"The Price is Right" with…

"The Price is Right" with WEEI.com's Chris Price, 11-26-14

We find out what Chris Price was right and wrong about when he made a few predictions before the Lions game. Also, we hear some new ones regarding Sunday's game against the Green Bay Packers.

It Is What It Is Cast: What Patriots need to do to leave Lambeau with win

WEEI.com's Mike Petraglia and Chris Price preview Sunday's Patriots-Packers game, one that many are calling a possible Super Bowl preview.

MMQB's Peter King with Dale and Holley

We get our weekly NFL update with SI/MMQB's Peter King. Peter talks AFC East, first round byes, Jonas Gray/LeGarrette Blount and much more.

We Hate Dwayne Wade - Mar…

We Hate Dwayne Wade - Marcus Smart injury 11-12-14

How have the Celtics looked after a couple weeks? Could they be a playoff team? These questions and more...

WHDW - Greg Dickerson Joins the Show to talk Celtics

Sam and Ben talk with Greg Dickerson about how fun this year's Celtics team is to watch as well Jeff Green trade ideas.

Kyle Draper, Comcast Sports New England, Celtics will compete for a playoff spot this season

Kyle Draper joins Danny Picard to talk about the Celtics chances this season in the Eastern Conference, last Wednesday's home opener blowout against the Nets, and Rajon Rondo's future in Boston

Pablo Sandoval, newest Re…

Pablo Sandoval, newest Red Sox third baseman, talks about landing in Boston, 11-25-14

The Red Sox trotted out their newest FA acquisition Tuesday afternoon, third baseman, Pablo Sandoval. The Kung Fu Panda then joined MFB to talk about his conversations with (former) Giant teammate, Jake Peavy, about playing Boston. He also stressed that this move was the next big challenge in his life, and addressed some concerns about his defense, stating that he is focused on being at the hot corner for the duration of his contract.

Buster Olney on MFB: "Sandoval decided, apparently, with two equal offers he wanted to go to Boston," 11-24-14

Buster Olney of ESPN joined MFB to talk about all the free agent news surrounding the Red Sox over the past 24 hours

Brian MacPherson, Providence Journal

Red Sox beat writer Brian MacPherson joins Danny Picard to talk about the Red Sox going after Jon Lester and other free agents.

Andy Brickley, NESN, talk…

Andy Brickley, NESN, talks about the Bruins struggling offense, 11-26-14

Andy Brickley joined the show to talk about David Pastrnak's first game, the offensive struggles, and Milan Lucic playing with the Swedes.

NESN's Jack Edwards with Dale and Holley

Dale and Michael get Jack Edwards' 'state of the B' report and talk about the win over the Blues at the Garden on Tuesday.

Andy Brickley, NESN, talks about the Bruins 2-0 win over St. Louis, 11-19-14

Andy Brickley joined the show and touched on last night's convincing win over a good team, Matt Bartkowski needing a wake up call, and the NHL review process.

Mike Reiss, ESPN Boston, …

Mike Reiss, ESPN Boston, talks Patriots vs. Packers, 11-28-14

Special Teamer Don Jones was waived in a surprising move, Chandler Jones practiced and the Patriots gear up for what could be their most difficult battle left in Green Bay.

Chris Forsberg, ESPN Boston, "This young core has to learn how to win,"11-28-14

Celtics columnist, Chris Forsberg, joined Butch and Gordon Edes to talk about the young core of players, Brad Stevens' need to win, and the tough November schedule that the Celtics struggled through.

The worst Lou Holtz impersonation of all time

BC football sideline reporter Scott Mutryn with the worst impersonation of all time.

"The Price is Right" with…

"The Price is Right" with WEEI.com's Chris Price, 11-26-14

We find out what Chris Price was right and wrong about when he made a few predictions before the Lions game. Also, we hear some new ones regarding Sunday's game against the Green Bay Packers.

Andy Brickley, NESN, talks about the Bruins struggling offense, 11-26-14

Andy Brickley joined the show to talk about David Pastrnak's first game, the offensive struggles, and Milan Lucic playing with the Swedes.

Three For All - Rick Pitino "We played 4 white guys and an Egyptian," 11-26-14

Rick Pitino had some curious comments after a blowout victory. Richard Sherman takes on the NFL Media policies. Christian talks about a pill for farts.

Peter King: Pats in drive…

Peter King: Pats in driver's seat for home field in the AFC

We get our weekly NFL update with SI/MMQB's Peter King. Peter talks AFC East, first round byes, Jonas Gray/LeGarrette Blount and much more.

Dale and Holley's Four at Four - MLB Hall of Fame Ballot Edition - 11-25-14

Dale and Michael give their four selections for the MLB Hall of Fame... this year's finalists were announced today.

Scrimmage scuffle: testiness at Bruins practice might have been overblown (with DJ Bean!)

Dale and Michael talk Bruins and discuss the supposed practice scuffle between Tuukka Rask and Soderberg, and DJ Bean dials us up to give his thoughts.

Freakin' Out - Mikey Song

Freakin' Out - Mikey Song

Mikey remixes Billy Joel "Movin Out" in honor of the Patriots playing the Green Bay Packers

Brandon Alisoglu gives us an analysis of the Lions

Brandon covers the NFL, particularly the Detroit Lions for Bleacher Report. He gives us his thoughts on this Sunday's game and how the Lions stack up against the Patriots.

Cold, Hard Football Talk

Mikey, Villani, Lenny and Kerry Byrne are talking Patriots-Lions and how the team this year stacks up to Patriots teams of the past.

D&C Breaking Balls: Media…

D&C Breaking Balls: Media tweet beefs on evolution 11-24-14

The guys previewed the upcoming Packers Patriots game and discussed the media's latest tweet beef.

UnSportsManLike Podcast - 30 for 30 Ideas 11-21-14

Jerry Thornton's first podcast explores sports stories that would make for interesting 30 for 30 documentaries.

College Puckcast with Andy Merritt and Merrimack coach Mark Dennehy

Andy Merritt of the New England Hockey Journal joined WEEI.com’s Scott McLaughlin to talk about the play of Vermont and Providence, as well as other happenings around Hockey East. Merrimack coach Mark Dennehy also joined the show to talk about his team’s good start, his freshman class and how he uses possession stats.

Ben Cherington on the Sox…

Ben Cherington on the Sox off-season moves 11-26-14

Ben Cherington joined us to discuss the Sox off-season moves.

More from this show

Headlines, Headlines, Hea…

Peter King: Pats in drive…

Peter King: Pats in driver's seat for home field in the AFC

We get our weekly NFL update with SI/MMQB's Peter King. Peter talks AFC East, first round byes, Jonas Gray/LeGarrette Blount and much more.

More from this show

John Dennis likes the Pac…

PETA's Ashley Byrne on a …

PETA's Ashley Byrne on a Vegan Thanksgiving 11-26-14

Ashley Byrne of PETA joined the show on the proper way to celebrate Thanksgiving.

More from this show

Weei Writers