posted at 10/13/2009 1:02 AM EDT
I watched the Dolphins-Jets game and I realized that I was at the very least watching two teams who knew who they were.
Jets - aggressive defense, aggressive coaching decisions (fake punt TWICE), outspoken, running offense with selective passing, try to help the new franchise QB develop
Dolphins - Wildcat, QB doesn't make mistakes, two RB's and some seriously legit run blocking
I watch the Patriots and I'm still wondering who they are. Things I've seen:
-They're forcing fumbles at a surprising rate. They forced three yesterday and had a fourth blown dead
-They deflect passes a lot...
-... but they don't come up with interceptions (1)
-Their offense has two Pro-Bowl receivers...
-...decent pass-blocking 97% of the time...
-...no running game...
-...and a future Hall of Fame QB who is still recovering
I'm not really sure who the Patriots are. 2001 was about "bend, don't break" and rallying around Bledsoe's injury. 2003 was about proving that they were legitimate and not a fluke. 2004 was about defending their title and protecting their house (remember the Homeland Defense T-Shirts, anyone?).
This team is about... not rushing the passer, yet still defending a lot of pass plays and tipping the passes, then not coming up with interceptions... about laying the wood on Eddie Royal, then getting a taunting penalty immediately thereafter... yet still coming up with big 3rd-and-short stops and forcing fumbles
When the carousel stops and this team decides on something, I hope it's "PHYSICAL DEFENSE," not "enigmas/underachievers"