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Grogan's Grade: Week 1
With Former Patriot & Legend Steve Grogan on the Morning Buzz
New England vs. Buffalo

PatsFans.com is proud to welcome former New England Patriots quarterback Steve Grogan back for the eighth straight season. Grogan played in 149 games with the Patriots from 1975-1990, and was named to the Patriots Hall of Fame in 1995. Steve will join us each week to provide his insight on the progress of the Patriots during the 2008 football season.

MB: So, we comeback we eek out the win, something we call winning ugly. I was glad I didnít go to the game because I might have been, and this would be my bad, one of those fans that headed for the exit with 5 minutes left and 13 points behind and look what happened.

SG: Yes, you just never know whatís going to happen in the last few minutes and the Patriots stole one from Buffalo last night. It was a game that was a little sloppy in the first half. I thought the Patriots dominated, for the most part, the entire game and just couldnít get into the end zone. Then when all things looked bad, they came up with a huge play and Brady takes them down and wins.

MB: When you look at how the game played out, how much of a factor is it Tom Brady, 53 weeks, not playing, getting into a real game situation, establishing his rhythm and feeling confident in the pocket? How much would you attribute to that?

SG: I think he looked a little shaky early. He didnít look real comfortable early, but it isnít just him. Gostowski missed a field goal and he just doesnít miss from that range. Randy Moss dropped balls, they all kind of looked out of sync in the first quarter and as the game worn on it was like, okay this is how we play the game, this is what weíre supposed to be doing and fortunately the defense was keeping them in the game until that time.

MB: The offensive line though was getting to Bradys almost every time and Schoebal had his number for some reason.

SG: Matt Light was sure having a hard time keeping him off of Brady, but they ran the ball pretty well in the first quarter which was encouraging, but then they got away from the run altogether in the next three quarters but, Matt Light struggled

MB: The story going into the game was everyone was worried about the Patís defense, but honestly last night I thought the defense played very well. They only gave up 17 points, and one of the touchdowns was Bradyís fault.

SG: Exactly, that kid made a great interception on Brady to score. The defense, everybody thought the front seven were probably going to be okay, the secondary was a little shaky but when Mayo left that really put them in a bind. They had Tedy Bruschi down in the end zone on television that they would have liked to have suit up and play probably but the secondary actually played pretty well in the pass coverage so I think thatís encouraging.

MB: I think like you said too as the game went on not only did Brady get into his rhythm but so did Moss and Welker wh I think dropped their first to passes that I think were pretty much right there, in the hands.

SG: You donít see them do that very often, and they both wind up with I think 12 catches in the game which is ncredible.

MB: As much as were favored going into this game, how much of this is the Buffalo Bills coming up and answering the challenge? You have to give them credit, they made a few mistakes late in the game but they played some good ball last night.

SG: The Bills have some good young player and I think anytime you go into a game a everybody expects you to walk over the other team, I think you have a tendency to let down a little bit (saying) okay this is going to be not that difficult. On the other side the Bills are playing their Super Bowl, theyíre going up against a team that no one thinks they have a chance against and they seemed to rise to the occasion and play better than they may in the coming weeks.

MB: Do you think that the poor play early on is due to Brady not playing for a year, itís the first game of the season or do you think this is going to indicative of the way the Patriots will play this year.

SG: Sitting there watching I was trying to figure out why they were playing so badly and personally I think that this offense, these guys really didnít play that much over the course of preseason. When you donít get a lot of time in preseason the first game is going to be a little shaky and you saw that after they got the butterflies out and the rhythms came back that they started playing the way that theyíre capable of playing.

MB: So what are Grogan's Grades for this week?

SG: I'd give the offense a C+. They got off to a Slow start, but thankfully it was a fast finish. I thought the pass protection was not good for most of the game. The running game was good early on, but non-existant in the 2nd half. One thing I will say is that it was definitely good to see Ben Watson contribute the way he is capable of.

I'd give the defense a B-. I thought they played well in spurts, but they didn't show any consistancy. They gave up 40% of the 3rd down conversions to an offense that had 3 rookies on the offensive line.

For special teams I'd give them a B. I probably would have given them an A for good kickoff returns and forcing the fumble that lead to the win, but Goskowski missing the field goal brought the grade down.

So overall they get a B-. I definitely feel they'll need a better and more consistant effort this week against the Jets..

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