November 9, 2008

JUST DECALS ON HELMETS:

As Patriots' wins pile up, so does trust in Cassel (Albert Breer, 11/09/08, Sporting News)

Five things we learned from the New England Patriots' 20-10 win over the Buffalo Bills in the AFC East showdown:

1. Pats can count on Cassel

It's hard to believe how far Matt Cassel -- the backup-to-the-stars turned Patriots starter -- has come. The Patriots' offense clearly isn't what it was last year. No one expected it to be, not with Tom Brady chained to a rehab program.

But Cassel is triggering an offense good enough to reach 6-3. On Sunday, he won without three of the four running backs who started the season on the active roster. And a lot of it is because of Cassel -- not despite him.

Here is how the Patriots trust Cassel: They came out in '11' personnel (1 RB, 1 TE, 3 WR) on 18-of-33 first-half snaps, and in '10' personnel (1 RB, 0 TE, 4 WR) on six first-half occasions. And the play-calling disparity was 21 passes to 12 runs in the first half, during which the game plan is most clear.

Cassel completed 23-of-34 passes for 234 yards against Buffalo with no touchdowns or interceptions.

Posted by Orrin Judd at November 9, 2008 6:59 PM
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