There was lots of fog in tonight’s game and some sluggishness on offense for the New England Patriots. But those two elements became unimportant to the Patriots as soon as the early portion of the second quarter arrived. The Patriots used a stifling defense and multiple offensive weapons to turn back the Atlanta Falcons 23-7 at Gillette Stadium.
Tonight’s game was a rematch of Super Bowl LI which was played nine months ago. That game also saw some offensive sluggishness by the Patriots, but unlike that game, the Patriots (5-2) actually woke up earlier and the Falcons (3-3) paid for it.
Patriots running back JAMES WHITE was effective in this game but he wasn’t as damaging as he was in Super Bowl LI. He had nine touches (5 catches and 4 rushing carries) for 47 yards and 1 score (receiving tonight).
Meanwhile, quarterback TOM BRADY was efficient tonight as he went 21 of 29 for 249 yards and 2 scores. He distributed his passes to seven different receivers, with BRANDIN COOKS providing the most excitement (he was the only receiver to score a touchdown tonight) and the most yards (71 yards on 4 catches).
The Pats scored the first points of the game, when Brady tossed the ball to Cooks on a motion-sweep play that the receiver took into the end zone for an 11-yard score. With 12:26 left in the second quarter, the Pats had themselves a 7-0 lead.
The Patriots took a 17-o lead when Brady found White over the middle for a 2-yard scoring pass. With just 21 seconds left in the first half, New England was in charge.
Late in the game, the Falcons finally got on the scoreboard when receiver JULIO JONES (9 catches for 99 yards and 1 score), leapt into the air and beat Pats cornerback MALCOLM BUTLER for a 1-yard score near the back of the end zone. With 4:09 left in the game the score went to 23-7.
That scoring play by Jones ending up being the last scoring of the game, as this game ended with each team providing solid defensive stands.
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