Barstool Sports

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Birds Thru, Pats win 31-28

Since your Uncle Buck was so busy Monday opening and playing with his Columbus Day gifts, UB didn't have a chance to post an update on the Patriots win over the Falcons on Sunday.

Once again it was Tom Brady and Adam Vinatieri to the rescue late in the 4th quarter, after another trend continued in the Patriots defense allowing a tieing score late in the game. It looked like the Pats 4th quarter magic was about to run out when facing second-and-20 at their own 26 and under 4 minutes left. Amazingly they gained 30 yards on a pass interference call with 3:29 remaining. Patrick Pass, replacing the injured Corey Dillon late, broke off a 15-yard gain that set up the 19th game-winning kick of Vinatieri's career. It was Brady's 18th game winning drive since he became a starter in 2001.

The officials were awful on both sides of the ball, missing several holding calls on the Falcons, the worst being an illegal block in the back on a punt whe a Patriots special teamer was blocked into the Falcons kick returner. The call went against the Pats, saying the defender ran into the receiver after the fair catch signal. The refs also botched a Patriots time out right before the half when Mike Vrabel called time, but the official didn't blow the whistle until the ball was snapped, allowing Falcons kicker Michael Koenen two shots at a 58-yard field goal. The second he hit, making it 14-13 Pats at the half. The Falcons also got screwed on a call in the 4th. With a little over 8 minutes left in the game, Falcons QB Matt Schaub scrambled for 5 yards an apparent 1st down (2 photos below) but was called out 4 yards short of the 1st down. Since the whistle was blown the play could not be reviewed. It would have been overturned since it was obvious on replay that he never stepped out.

The Falcons held back on the Patriots and the NFL until the last minute on announcing that Michael Vick was not playing. The Patriots, who had used Doug Flutie all week as a Vick decoy, were forced to deal with Schaub.

Schaub ended up having a big game matching Brady's three TD passes, including a tying score with 3:52 remaining, and throwing for 298 yards. Before the game UB was surprised to hear all the praise Schwab was getting, including comments on ESPN that Schaub was not much of a down grade from Vick. Upon talking to a friend of UB's who happens to be a life long Falcons fan, UB learned that much of the Atlanta media had actually declared that Schaub was the better of the two QBs but that Vick's big play ability and speed were the only things keeping Schaub off the field. UB would have to agree. If Schaub is still a backup next year he may get some interest from other teams as he looked sharp. On the flip side a lot of that may have had to do with the depleted Pats D. Again new Patriots Duane Starks, Monty Beisel and Chad Brown looked lost, failing to make plays and tackles, especially on 3rd downs.

Brady did a great job getting the ball to his tight ends, throwing TD passes to Daniel Graham and Ben Watson. Out of the 10 possible receivers Brady had to throw to on Sunday, he hit 9 of them. Brady went 22-27 for 350 yards and 3 TDs.

Over all the game reminded UB of his days playing Madden on PS2 with Little Tick. UB and LT were normally mismatched at Madden and UB would switch controllers with LT after the half to see if he could comeback and win with LT's team after building up a monster lead. In Sunday's game, the Patriots dominated the 1st quarter scoring 14 points, then the Falcons dominated the 2nd scoring 13. In the 3rd it was the Pats again, scoring 2 more TDs, only to have the Falcons dominate the 4th scoring 2 TDs and a 2-point conversion. In the end it was Brady and Vinatieri stepping up late to do it again.

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