What a difference a week makes, the mass hysteria and talk of a top five draft pick has been replaced by fresh optimism and hope with fans asking themselves can we make the playoffs?
The schedule on paper is very promising but lets not get ahead of ourselves as we need to dispose of the old enemy during turkey day with the eyes of the nation on us, no pressure then.
The Patriots edged the first meeting of the season between the two 29-26 in overtime in a hard fought contest during which the better team lost. I expect tonight's contest to be another close contest.
The Patriots find themselves without Rob Gronkowski, reason for hope? yes, but it doesn't make the task in hand any easier as Aaron Hernandez returns to action. Expect LaRon Landry to shadow Hernandez throughout the contest in what's set to be one of the matchups of the game. Landry's speed and physicality could prove too much for a player returning from injury. Another intriguing matchup in 'The Gronk's' absence will see Brandon Lloyd against Antonio Cromartie. Lloyds hardly set the league alight this season, but expect Brady too target Lloyd more than usual throughout the course of the game.
We know what Tom Brady has to offer and the threat that he carries, with this in mind all eyes fall on Mark Sanchez. After an impressive performance against the Rams, Sanchez needs a similar game managing performance, and taking care of the football will be a key factor against he Patriots strip sack defense. There is some good news for Sanchez as the Patriots do find themselves without the influential defensive end Chandler Jones. Another notable absentee is that of Logan Mankins. Given the form that Mo Wilkerson has been displaying over the course of his last 3-4 games the opportunity too add some interior pressure to Brady could prove to be another vital key too victory.
Happy Thanksgiving to you all.