New England Patriots: Super Bowl or not; ghosts of Houston haunt Atlanta

ATLANTA, GEORGIA - NOVEMBER 18: Matt Ryan #2 of the Atlanta Falcons is sacked by Matt Judon #9 of the New England Patriots in the second quarter at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on November 18, 2021 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
ATLANTA, GEORGIA - NOVEMBER 18: Matt Ryan #2 of the Atlanta Falcons is sacked by Matt Judon #9 of the New England Patriots in the second quarter at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on November 18, 2021 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /
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It wasn’t the Super Bowl, but the New England Patriots played physically sound football and haunted the Falcons in a gritty victory. 

28-3, the Comeback, the partial Lunar Ecplise lasting three hours and 28 minutes, all jokes for the New England Patriots to use against the Atlanta Falcons.

Though Thursday Night Football didn’t have the same appeal as Super Bowl LI, New England won the game and didn’t need overtime to do it. A gritty 25-0 win moves Bill Belichick’s boys to 7-4 on the season, equaling their entire win total from a year ago with six games left in the season.

A true testament to the defense as they held Atlanta’s Matt Ryan to a mere 153 yards on 19-28 passing with zero touchdowns and two picks; oh, and need we mention the four sacks, including one by Matthew Judon, who now has over ten sacks on the season? Sounds like a good investment indeed.

Additionally, Kyle Van Noy had a pick-six late in the game off Josh Rosen, and Feliepe Franks dished out another interception to Adrian Phillips.

On a night where Mac Jones‘ passing yards were largely pedestrian, just 206 yards on 22-26 passing and an interception, the former Alabama quarterback did throw a touchdown pass to Nelson Agholor while allowing the running game of Rhamondre Stevenson (69 yards rushing) and Damien Harris (56 yards) to pave the way. Though he was sacked three times, Jones’ leadership was on perfect display.

Additionally, Nick Folk, a longtime veteran, seems to have rebounded from the clank against Tom Brady‘s bunch, knocking down over half the team’s points (13) against Atlanta. It looks like age is just a number.

The New England Patriots may not win with style, but all victories count for the same result.

Throughout the entire game, New England found themself in a battle for the line of scrimmage as Atlanta, at least defensively, showed that they did have some fight. Offensively, Ryan and co. just had no answer for Belichick’s troops, especially Judon.

Moreover, although not as dominant as they were against Cleveland, New England’s offense showed that they could still win with different methods. Last year and the sluggish start to this season just continues to look like an aberration. Since their loss to the Buccaneers, New England has looked like a completely different team.

With an AFC powerhouse in the Titans up next on the schedule, it will prove to be another chess match with former Patriot Mike Vrabel once again returning to Foxborough. The last time he was there, he sent Brady out of the city and down to Tampa. With the division title fresh on their minds, we can expect New England to come out determined.

Beating Atlanta is good, and being 5-0 on the road in 2021 is not bad, but seven wins don’t amount to anything, at least not yet. A lot of football is left to be played, but the Foxborough Faithful delivered a frightening sight for the Falcons, and there is the chance that the best is yet to come.