Happy victory Monday everyone! We're back and it feels great to be back on this side of the equation. The New England Patriots won a very tough game in Philadelphia 17-10. Although the score isn't exactly what we all thought, a win is still a win. So now we have to ask the obvious questions. Who stepped up big time in this game? Who had a dud game that we have pick on? Well, look no further than here as we discuss three ups and three downs from the Pats and Eagles game.
Up: Jake Bailey
Jake Bailey better get Special Teams Player of the Week. That's how good of a game Bailey had for the Patriots yesterday. In a game where field possession was crucial, Bailey stepped up big in the punting game. Bailey had eight punts on the night and had six of them land inside the 20 yard line. There was something special about Bailey that made the Patriots comfortable with parting ways with long-time punter Ryan Allen. He's showing us week in and week out why he's the punter of the Patriots future.
Down: Marshall Newhouse
I say it week in and week out, but I'm going to say it again. The Patriots need to cut Marshall Newhouse. He looks HORRIBLE every game. This clip defines Newhouse's tenure in New England thus far.
Oh boy, is that tough to watch or is it just me? Newhouse gets blown away and Brady feels the pressure right away. Isaiah Wynn, get back soon please? We need you!
Up: Julian Edelman
Edelman was very close to being in the down category of this article. He was dropping passes he usually catches with ease. It just looked like Edelman wasn't himself all night. Then, this happened.
Edelman threw the only touchdown pass for the Patriots last night. Credit to Josh McDaniels for the play call as it was one of the better ones on the night. It's nice to have a wide receiver that can also be involved in a trick play where he can throw the ball. Even when Edelman was having trouble catching the ball, he still finds a way to contribute to the offense. So for the go-ahead and eventual game-winning touchdown, Edelman gets a pass and squeaks into the up category.
Down: Sony Michel
Sony Michel has not been himself this season. With a rotating offensive line, it certainly hasn't helped his case. Sure, he had a big 12 yard run late in the fourth quarter to keep the clock moving. But other than that, he wasn't effective at all against a very strong Eagles run defense. He finished the game with 10 carries for 33 yards. If this Patriots offense wants to stop sputtering, then Michel needs to get going in the last six games of the season.
Up: N'Keal Harry
We finally got to see N'Keal Harry in an actual game. He finished with three receptions for 18 yards. It wasn't a huge game, but it's a step in the right direction. Harry is a big target that can help Brady and this offense. We'll see if Brady will develop more trust with Harry as the season continues onward. But, this game was a great start for Harry.
Down: Tom Brady
It's weird to say, but Tom Brady didn't look great yesterday. He was off even on some of his screen passes. Sure, Brady is getting rushed a lot more this season. But when he has time, he hasn't been completing passes he's made with ease in the past. He had the most incompletions in a half for his career, with 14 in the first half. Brady acknowledged that the offense needs to step up and it all starts with him.
It was ugly, but it's a win. The Patriots are now 9-1 coming home to Foxborough to take on the Dallas Cowboys. Take care of business at home against Dallas and you're 10-1. Split against Houston and Kansas City. Win out against Cincinnati, Buffalo, and Miami while hoping Baltimore loses another game this season; then you get the one seed. The plan is now in place, it's time to execute. We're on to Dallas.