So how can we tell if this young Pats team is learning anything? Simple, let’s look at the then and now.
Tom Brady Then: Went 19 for 24 in passing attempts and racked up 153 yards against Miami. Though it was the special teams that stole the show and gave Brady his 150th win. Brady only turned in one touchdown in a Pats route.
Tom Brady Now: Brady’s completion went down and his one touchdown was overshadowed by two big interceptions. But Brady brought it together in the 4th quarter on an eight play drive that ended with a catch by old friend Deion Branch that helped send the game into overtime after a late game field goal.
Lesson Learned: Brady still does have that magic 4th quarter touch of old, having old budding Deion Branch helps with that as well but in the end the Pats lucked out and will have to learn that they can’t depend on Brady to carry them every week.
Aaron Hernandez Then: Was left out of the game plan against the Dolphins making only five catches for 29 yards without a TD though the rookie has still been proving himself to be one of the steals of the draft with his 301 yards and 22 catches this season.
Aaron Hernandez Now: He had one less reception than his last game but made the most out of the four he still made, gaining 61 yards. Despite the decent day Hernandez made some key drops in OT that led to punts. Considering that it is sudden death OT those drops could have possibly costs the Patriots the win.
Lesson Learned: Hernandez is still starting to make a strong case for rookie of the year but a rookie is still a rookie and made some key mistakes in key drives. Lucky for him the Ravens couldn’t convert in OT either allowing the Pats to squeak by.
Deion Branch Then: Was rotting away in Seattle gaining only 10 yards on one catch in his last game for the Seahawks.
Deion Branch Now: Branch was resurrected Sunday at Gillette Stadium. His 98 yards on nine catches was his biggest of the season and his one touchdown was a key 4th quarter conversion that helped sent the Pats into extra frames.
Lesson Learned: He may not be Randy Moss but Branch helped spread the field like Moss and his big gains speaks volumes about the value of chemistry between himself and Brady. Look for more good things from this old Friend.