New England Patriots/shoot out
Will this Sundays game against the 49ers be a shoot out or a conservative game?
I apologize for the great delay in answering your question. Preparation for and the holidays got to me...
Anyways, I have a two-part answer for this question. The first part being what I would have answered heading into the game and the second part being what I know now.
First, I would have told you that this game was going to be a big defensive battle, and my expected score was 28-14 heading into the game with the first half being very little scoring by both teams, with the Patriots going into halftime up 7-0. The Pats would've picked it up in the second half and ended up winning by two scores.
Now, what really happened. It completely surprised me how utterly inept the Patriots offense was during the first half of that game. Aldon Smith ended up completely taking over that game. He disrupted almost every play in the first half. The other disappointing portion of that game was the receiving corps. When Brady COULD get off a good pass, the receivers were dropping nearly every ball that came their way. The defensive secondary also got really beat up that game and played like they were earlier in the year against Seattle.
I was pleased with how the Patriots battled back in the game and also with Brandon Lloyd finally showing up into a game and making plays instead of just falling down as he catches a pass. The Patriots aren't usually used to playing from behind, so I feel that even though they lost the game, that it was a good thing heading into the playoffs. It will be interesting to see how the playoffs go, especially with a likely first round game against the Bengals, who have been a hot and solid team this season.
Let me know if there's anything else I can do for you. Thank you!