Pats Move to 4-0, Lose Wilfork
After sliding into a 3-0 record, the New England Patriots came into Atlanta on Sunday night to face their first real test of the season.
Patriots quarterback Tom Brady answered, and threw for two touchdowns and 316 yards—his best outing of the season—en route to a 30-23 New England victory over the Falcons. He completed 20 of his 31 passes.
New England’s offense looked in-sync for the first time all season, in particular when LeGarrette Blount ran for a 47-yard score and wide receiver Kenbrell Thompkins made a diving catch for an 18-yard touchdown pass. The Patriots also rushed for 132 yards on the night.
Julian Edelman—who some may argue has been the Patriots’ MVP so far—also had a productive game, catching seven passes good for 118 yards.
Patriots’ tight end Matthew Mulligan hauled in the first touchdown of the game, which came on a 1-yard bullet throw from Brady.
Former Boston College quarterback Matt Ryan led his Falcons in a late-game rally when his team was trailing 30-13, but Atlanta’s attempt to tie the game in the game’s final minute was thwarted by Patriots’ cornerback Aquib Talib, breaking up a Ryan pass intended for wide receiver Roddy White.
Veteran tight end Tony Gonzalez caught both of Matt Ryan’s touchdown passes on the night. Ryan was 34/54 for 421 yards, including an interception to Talib.
The biggest story of the game, however, may be New England defensive tackle, Vince Wilfork. Undoubtedly the captain of the defense, Wilfork suffered a reported torn Achilles tendon and is expected to miss the rest of the season.
This is another huge blow for the Patriots, as they have already been missing Rob Gronkowski, Danny Amendola, Stevan Ridley, among others, for various games.
Regardless of the injuries New England has had to endure this season, they are enjoying their first 4-0 start since the 2007 season when the team finished the regular season 16-0.
The Patriots will take their perfect record into Cincinnati next Sunday to face former TCU quarterback Andy Dalton and the 2-2 Bengals.