This week's win was satisfying for a number of reasons...
1. Brady and Beilichick tied the record for the most wins by a QB/Coach tandem with 116. They managed to creep up on Marino and Shula by amassing something in the neighborhood of 35 less losses than the Miami duo. That's over two entire season's worth of losses. Incredible!
2. The regular season home winning streak is kept alive. Teams need to fear Gillette, and they still should.
3. Losing before the bye week is awful. I really didn't want to be annoyed for the next two weeks.
4. And, oh yeah, Bill Belichick just shut down and shut up the Ryan brothers in back-to-back weeks. These two victories almost made up for the fact that I spent about six hours in the past eight days staring at their combined four chins.
Couple more quick thoughts...
This is the second game this season with four Patriots turnovers. Hopefully we've reached the cap on that type of carelessness with the ball for the season. It was extremely un-Patriot-like, and the only reason this game was even close. Still, there's something to be said when the only two nail-biters that this team has played were both four turnover affairs. If this team can just hang onto the ball, there's no reason that they should lose the rest of the regular season.
Big game by the defense. The first two turnovers were deep in the Patriots' own territory, and the D managed to only allow 3 total points. They looked stout against the run, got fairly decent pressure on Romo, and came up with several big plays in the secondary. I'd venture to say that this may have been their finest outing of the year.
The Patriots of the "dynasty" era won game, after game, after game, by coming up with huge plays in huge moments. Rarely in those first two Super Bowl years were the Patriots blowing people out. Ever since the 16-0 season, it seems like the Patriots either blow teams out, or they end up getting burned. We haven't really seen them step up in a big moment in a long time. To be fair, the vast majority of the time, the Pats find themselves with a decent lead late in the game, so the opportunities to come from behind are far less. Still, in the few places where they've had those moments - against Baltimore in the playoffs in '09, against Cleveland and New York in '10, and even in Buffalo a few weeks back, the Patriots haven't risen to the occasion. This was the first time, in a really long time, where they came storming back to win a game. I think it was a big step forward and will hopefully be a launching pad for this team as they go down the stretch of the final 10 games.