Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Patriots Leave Falcons in a Fog

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Patriots Leave Falcons in a Fog

Article excerpt

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. * Tom Brady threw two touchdown passes and the New England Patriots toyed with the Atlanta Falcons sound familiar? 23-7 in a fog-filled Super Bowl rematch Sunday night that wasn't particularly super.

New England scored the final 31 points to win the NFL championship in February. Placards and shirts reading 28-3 were ever-present in and around Gillette Stadium as the Patriots (5-2) scored the first 23 points in this prime-time mismatch. The Falcons (3-3), who led New England by that 25-point margin in the third quarter of the Super Bowl before folding, were outplayed throughout this one.

While Atlanta looked tentative, if not intimidated, Brady and his offense clinically tore apart the Falcons. Mixing runs and passes, New England controlled the clock and field position. And its defense, ranked at the bottom of the entire league through six weeks, stymied the NFL's fifth-ranked offense.

"Every game takes a little different turn and I think we did a great job staying balanced," Brady said after the Patriots gained 162 yards on the ground and 241 in the air. "It was great to hand it off, see those guys rushing the way they did, and the linemen blocking. It was a great win."

Brady threw a shovel pass to Brandin Cooks that traveled perhaps a foot, and the receiver used his speed to get into the left corner of the end zone. The other TD was a 2-yarder to James White, who had three touchdowns, including the winner, in the Super Bowl.

It got so bad for Atlanta that the usually reliable Matt Bryant had a field goal blocked and then put a 36-yarder off the left upright. That Super Bowl losers' malaise folks talk about might have found a home in the ATL this year.

Stephen Gostkowski had no trouble sending field goals of 29, 21 and 38 yards through the fog for New England.

"That fog was pretty crazy," Rob Gronkowski said. …

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