NEW ENGLAND (3-0) at ATLANTA (1-2)
8:30 p.m. EDT, NBC
Keys to Victory:
– The Patriots offensive line needs to win the battle against the Georgia Dome.
The Patriots have 17 total penalties (13 accepted, 4 declined), the most frequent is false start (5). The false start penalties can and will hurt New England in a noisy Georgia Dome so the OL will need to decrease those. New England will need a sound silent count and not let the noise bother them, and they need good offensive play to quiet the hometown fans. In the dome, it will be a challenge for the line to not jump the gun several times, and it is the worse when it is on 3rd and short.
– Rookies to the rescue.
Rob Gronkowski and Danny Amendola will sit out another game and this time they are missing a big game. The rookies need to step up again and rescue the offense. The redzone offense needs to be much better because New England will need touchdowns to win not field goals so the rookies need to help out their QB. Dobson and Thompkins both played better against the Bucs but Atlanta is a different animal and not a good time to slip into old habits. For the Patriots to be successful, they need either Dobson or Thompkins to step up with Edelman tomorrow night.
– Slow down Atlanta’s offense.
The Patriots defense will have their hands full tomorrow night against a high scoring Falcons team. The Patriots defense has a chance to shut up the haters and prove their worth to this team this season. They have done an excellent job so far, but they have faced two rookie quarterbacks and a QB who was just benched. Ryan is a good QB with great weapons and New England’s secondary will be put to the test. Can they stop Jones, Gonzalez, Snelling, and a limited White? We shall see. Tomorrow night we’ll find out how much improved this secondary is. If they want a W then they better be improved by a lot.