It wasn’t the type of game the Arizona Cardinals expected on Sunday night. Oh sure, they knew the Patriots, the model of stability, would be good, but they didn’t expect the type of game they got in Glendale.
That was obvious when the Patriots were more prepared and executed at a higher level for most of the game.
However, one thing that would be a surprise to everyone was how much more physical the Patriots played.
Not that the Patriots are a soft team, in fact they pride themselves on their continued physical style of football, but more who was delivering the physicality.
Instead of being up front, it was LeGarrette Blount, not surprising, and Julian Edelman who were making the Arizona Cardinals defenders pay the price.
We all remember Blount literally dragging six defenders into the endzone, but it was Edelman picking on the Arizona Cardinals big hitter, Deone Bucannon that set the tone for what the Patriots were going to do on Sunday.
LRT: Gonna guess this was the hit that earned Edelman his fine. https://t.co/5yiEYUjM2P— Zack Cox (@ZackCoxNESN) September 15, 2016
Well, it cost Edelman personally, as his hard hits that were not flagged, were deemed dirty by the NFL and he was subsequently fined, $26k.
This was the other time Edelman teed up Bucannon. Right slot, pass to other side. 1:10 1Q. Not as bad as other play pic.twitter.com/TklsMs66Ca— Greg A. Bedard (@GregABedard) September 15, 2016
Maybe it wasn’t the right way, but the Patriots sent a message early in the game, they were not afraid of the much healthier and highly favored Arizona Cardinals, and Edelman was the one that brought the fight.
It set the tone for the game and the Patriots win, even if it did skate the lines of legal.