Patriots: 34 Titans: 13 - Week 1 Recap

What it means:

The Patriots settled down after the rowdy crowd had Tennessee going early, as they controlled the pace throughout the game. New England extended their NFL leading streak to 9 consecutive opening game victories with the 34-13 beat down of the Titans.

Brady to Lloyd begins:

Tom Brady and Brandon Lloyd seemed to be on the same page after missing on a deep connection in the first quarter that would have resulted in a touchdown. Lloyd had 5 receptions in the game for 69 yards. These two will need to work on their chemistry in the upcoming weeks, but considering Lloyd only had one reception from a Brady thrown ball in the pre-season, this is a good start. Whether Lloyd will be a consistent deep threat for Brady has yet to be confirmed, but we will get a good feel of that possibility in the next few weeks.

Rookie Impact on Defense:

The Patriots made it clear in the draft that improving their defense was the sole priority. Well, they probably didn’t expect the impact to arrive so quickly. Their top two draft picks of Chandler Jones and Don’t’a Hightower combined on forced fumble and return for a touchdown in the second quarter. If this is a sign of things to come, than opposing teams will have to start basing their offensive game plans around this dynamic duo.

Offense efficient:

The offense was very efficient from the end of the first quarter on. Brady was 23 for 31 passing, for 236 yards, and he did a great job of spreading the ball around as well. Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez continued to be the best tight end duo this league has ever seen, having a combined 12 catches for 119 yards and 2 touchdowns. These two will clearly be the focus for the offense this year, and if they keep this up at a consisten pace, Wes Welker’s time as a Patriot may be over after this season.

Run defense impressive:

The Titans leading rusher for today’s game was Jake Locker. No, Chris Johnson wasn’t hurt, he was simply held to 4 yards rushing on the day due to a suffocating defensive effort by the Patriots. It was clear that the Patriots main focus was to take Johnson out of the game, and they did just that. The all-pro running back had 11 carries and more often than not he was taken down in the backfield. This was a very impressive sign from a defense that couldn’t do anything right last season.

Ridley makes statement:

Stevan Ridley was easily the player of the game for the Pats today. The second year back ran for 125 yards on 21 carries, adding a touchdown late in the third quarter that

essentially locked up the win for New England. Ridley didn’t give up on a single play throughout the game, as he consistently ran hard and avoided tackles. This is a great sign for a team that is trying to fill the shoes of their reliable RB Benjarvis Green-Ellis.

Up next:

The Pats return to New England for their home opener on Sunday, September 16th, against the Arizona Cardinals (1 p.m. ET).

Back to the New England Patriots Newsfeed