New England Patriots steamroll the Raiders in Mexico City

MEXICO CITY, MEXICO - NOVEMBER 19: Stephen Gostkowski
MEXICO CITY, MEXICO - NOVEMBER 19: Stephen Gostkowski /

When the New England Patriots schedule came out, the game in Mexico City looked like it would be one of their toughest matchups. It was quite the opposite though.

Tom Brady started the game 12 for 12 passing for the New England Patriots and Stephen Gostkowski just couldn’t miss. The Oakland Raiders had no chance on Sunday afternoon in Mexico City.

The Patriots flat out dominated their game against the Raiders in Estadio Azteca. Tom Brady continued his MVP candidacy while spreading the ball to nearly every other player on the field. He was flawless. The offense looked almost perfect, but the Patriots defense stole the show. Oakland looked flustered on offense and coming off of their bye week it proves how much better New England played.

New England’s 33-8 win is just another check in the box for a team aiming to make another Super Bowl run. Right now, it looks like they’ll be playing in February no matter what.

Brady’s excellence

Tom Brady started 12 for 12 passing on the day before attempting a deep bomb on his 13th pass. He missed Brandin Cooks on that one, but on their next drive and with his next attempt Bardy found Cooks for a 52-yard gain. The pair also hooked up on a 60+ play in the second half that went for a touchdown.

The touchdown to Cooks was TB12’s third of the day, with his first going to Dion Lewis and Danny Amendola. The one to Amendola was particularly impressive because you could see all of the line of scrimmage adjustments Brady made. He audibled for Amendola to run a route along the back of the end zone, and he bought time before firing a bullet.

Brady ended up with 30 completions on 37 passes for 339 yards and 3 touchdowns. He leads the NFL in yards (3,146) by over 300 and is second in touchdowns (22). He is the odds-on favorite to win another NFL MVP Award.

Going, going, Gostkowski

Stephen Gostkowski was perfect for the New England Patriots on Sunday. As per usual, he was 3 for 3 on extra points following Brady touchdowns, but his field goals were where he impressed. Gostkowski’s first attempt came on the final play of the first half, from 62-yards. He hit the ball perfectly, and it looked like the field goal would have been good from 70+.

SG3 added three more field goals on the day, with each becoming 11-yards easier. He hit from 51, then 40, and finally 29. In the process, Gostkowski moved into the top 20 all-time scoring list in NFL history. His 15 points in the game give him a career total of 1,603. Gostkowski is on the heels of Cleveland kicker Lou Groza, and will likely pass many more names in the future. The only other active players on the list are Phil Dawson (1,751), Sebastian Janikowski (1,799) and Adam Vinatieri (2,447).

Defensive stand

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New England’s defense allowed 17 points or less for the sixth game in a row. That stretch includes games against Matt Ryan, Phillip Rivers, and now Derek Carr. The cornerbacks were terrific all day long. Malcolm Butler shut down Amari Cooper, for the most part, and Stephon Gilmore swarmed whoever he lined up against.

The D also came up with a turnover in the game early in the first half. Jonathan Jones was all over his man, forcing an incompletion, and the deflection went right into the hands of safety Duron Harmon.

Patrick Chung was the team’s leading tackler with 8 solos, followed by Gilmore and Jones with 5 each. In the 4th quarter, Trey Flowers and Kyle Van Noy combined for a Derek Carr sack. While the pressure wasn’t there on Carr all day, the coverage from the secondary was outstanding, allowing for a season-best 8 points allowed.

The next order of business

Next up, the New England Patriots will take on the Miami Dolphins at home. They’re entering an interesting stretch as 5 of the remaining 6 games come against AFC East opponents. The only non-division game will be on the road in Pittsburgh.

Next: Patriots 10 best games of the last 10 seasons

Miami is just 4-6 after losing to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 30-20 on Sunday. Matt Moore may be leading them when they come to Foxboro, as Jay Cutler was knocked out of the game as well. The Patriots should have no problems handling a bottom-tier team at home after a successful road trip.