Good news: On Sunday, the Patriots resembled the team we've grown accustomed to seeing run up the score on opponents. They took it to the Vikings in Minnesota 30-7.
Bad news, if you want to pick nits. It wasn't a flawless performance; against a better outfit New England might have had their work cut out for them, a fact not lost on ageless veteran quarterback Tom Brady.
“I think we have a lot of work to do,” Brady said after the game. “So, it’s good to win. But [we] get back to work tomorrow. I’m happy we won. I wish we could go out there and play like we are capable of. Just the way it is.”
Brady's numbers weren't Brady-tastic, but they didn't need to be; he finished 15 of 22 for 149 yards with a touchdown and no interceptions, but Stevan Ridley gained 101 yards on the ground, welcome news to a unit that looked out of sorts in Miami last week.
"I think we had pretty good control out there,” Brady said of the o-line. “I thought we did a good job in the run game. Took advantage of some opportunities, but we can do a lot better.”
Then there was the defense, which included Chandler Jones returning a blocked kick for a touchdown, and the unit forcing Vikings quarterback Matt Cassel into four interceptions.
"It was a quality win, a great team win,” Brady continued. “A lot of guys contributed. A lot of great plays were made. Hopefully offensively we can do a better job this week. ...
Yeah, [the defense] made a lot of great plays -- big-time plays,” Brady said. “That was what we needed. And hopefully they keep doing it. So we have to start producing when we get it and take advantage of some of the things -- getting the ball in short field and stuff and getting in the end zone.”
The victory was Bill Belichick's 200th in the regular season, a milestone he embraced with about as much enthusiasm as you might expect from the usually stone-faced coach.
“(It) felt good,” Belichick said after the game. “Every win feels good. Felt real good. Proud of the way our team played today. ...
“It means a lot, what it really means is that I have coached a lot of good football players,” the coach continued. “Those are the guys that win the game, players win games in this league. And I’ve been fortunate to have the opportunity to coach a lot of good players. And so that’s really about them winning the games.”