BOSTON (CBS) — The Pats had a trial run without Rob Gronkowski on Sunday, and so far so good. It’s not like the Rams were that much of a challenge, but New England had to get out there and execute.
Here are your gold stars and penalty flags from Sunday’s 26-10 win:
– Tom Brady gets a gold star. We could write 201 articles about Brady getting his record-setting win, but just think of it this way: Tom Brady broke the record and it’s not like he’s limping into retirement. He’s at the top of his game and he’s still the best quarterback in the league.
Tom Brady is the greatest quarterback to play the game and he still has more to prove. If you don’t believe me, just ask him.
– Stephen Gostkowski gets a gold star. For as much as the team and the fan base has been worried about him, it was good to see Gostkowski nail his field goals and point-after attempts against the Rams. They were long and they were right down the middle. Afterwards, he mentioned how he never lost confidence and moving from hash mark to hash mark is part of his tinkering. Hopefully he’s found his sweet spot and can get back to being the reliable kicker the Pats have always had.
– Kyle Van Noy and Jabaal Sheard get gold stars. The Pats defense has been under the microscope. Trading away Chandler Jones in the offseason and then Jamie Collins at the bye week has done that. So the question was, who is going to step up?? The Pats acquired Van Noy from Detroit and since he’s gotten on the field, he’s slowly started to make a difference. A sack here and then against the Rams, an interception. Van Noy is settling in and making the most of his opportunities. As for Sheard, the Pats sat him and since coming back, he’s played better. The pressure in the pocket, the tipped passes — all of that was missing before in Sheard’s game and now it’s back. Let’s hope is stays. Sheard is a difference-maker when he’s engaged.
– Martellus Bennett gets a penalty flag. I know I’m nitpicking and I also know that Bennett is nursing an ankle injury, but he had problems on Sunday. A couple of holding penalties that stopped drives and, at times, he just look disinterested. That’s not the Martellus many of us are used to seeing, but that’s just an observation. Hopefully, it doesn’t continue.
– Cyrus Jones gets a penalty flag. I just don’t know what the Pats can do here. They need him to bring back kicks but he can’t stop fumbling the ball. This time it cost the team. They ended up putting Danny Amendola back there after they relieved Cyrus of those duties and Danny got hurt. Why is he fumbling the ball so much??? I know the Pats have worked with him and they had to feel that he’s gotten better to put him back in the game and back on kicks. I would be surprised to see him back there again. James White, Julian Edelman and D.J. Foster, that job is now your job.
– The Rams get a penalty flag. The Cleveland Browns don’t have much talent and that’s why they don’t win games. With that said, they play hard. The Rams on the other hand have star players in Todd Gurley and Aaron Donald. They are solid on special teams and pretty good on defense, yet they are just terrible. They are one of the worst teams I’ve watched play this season which begs the question, HOW COULD THEY GIVE JEFF FISHER AN EXTENSION? Where do I sign up to do mediocre work and get rewarded millions for that?
Los Angeles is a good sports market and they will love their football, but only if the team shows up to play. They have no chance of that as long as Jeff Fisher is the coach.