Originally posted on Football Nation  |  Last updated 9/9/12

There was not a single player on either side that won or lost this game. The Patriots' offense, led, of course, by Tom Terrific, looked a lot like the typical Bill Bellichick machine for the majority of today's game.

Despite a slow start, Brady and company showed their usual poise in moving the ball down the field and scoring points on the Tennessee Titans' defense.

And that brings us right to the zero of the game. The Tennessee defense just couldn't match up with Brady and his bevy of choices at receiver. For yet another year, two of the top tight ends in the league will create matchup trouble for defensive backfields and linebackers all across the country.

The Titans' D had no answer for TEs and not much better luck with the wideouts. Brandon Lloyd may not be Randy Moss Jr. just yet, but he is certainly the deep threat that Ocho-you-know who was supposed to be.

Add in a 100+ yard performance from Stevan Ridley and the Titans' defense just couldn't handle the Patriots' offense.

But the real hero of the game was the Patriot defense. We expect Brady to be, well, Brady, but after the next to worst place finish last season, the only direction the defense could go was up. And they did just that today.

I have just two words for you: Jones and Hightower. Yep, I'm talking about the Patriots' dynamic duo and first round draft picks. I'm talking about a strip sack- fumble recovery- bounce into the end zone thrill that Patriot fans hope to see a lot more of as each game comes and goes. I have a lot of reason to believe that we ain't seen nothin' yet!

So even though Tom was terrific and Jake Locker was, well, a rookie, it was defense that made this game.

The Patriots have a unit that showed an ability to make plays and keep the opposition from scoring much and the Titans showed they have a lot of work to do to give their young quarterback a fighting chance. I'm looking this season for a New England team that reverses their fortunes in close games, while setting themselves up for a fourth Lombardi trophy.



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