Jerome Solomon of the Boston Globe writes that during the preseason and throughout training camp the Patriots passing attack was riddled with inconsistency. Poor pass routes, bad throws, and miscommunications were more prevalent than perfect execution. However, when the when the lights came on for the regular season the Patriots' passing attack was once again efficient, and at times spectacular in a 30-20 win over the Raiders. "We have a lot of weapons on offense," Pats tight end Benjamin Watson said. "There are a lot of places to spread the ball around, so it might be one guy's quarter to catch the ball or it might be one guy's game to catch the ball. Then the next week it could be someone totally different. That's one of our strengths."
The Patriots travel to Charlotte, N.C. this week to face off against the Carolina Panthers in a Week Two inter-conference battle. The Patriots and Panthers will play for the first time since their classic encounter in Super Bowl XXXVIII and for just the third time ever in regular-season play. It was reported earlier this week that the Panthers will be without defensive tackle Kris Jenkins who will be sidelined for the rest of the season due to a torn ACL. Jerome Solomon of the Boston Globe, Tom Curran of the Providence Journal, Karen Guregian of the Boston Herald all offer a preview of the upcoming game and explore the various storylines that may play into the game.
Glen Farley of The Enterprise offers a story on Patriots tight end Benjamin Watson who was impressive in the season opener against the Raiders with 2 catches for 55 yards. "It was great," Watson said of his opening-night experience at Gillette Stadium. "That's what we go to practice for all those days. Just to go out there in front of all those fans, in front of your family and play football."
Karen Guregian of the Boston Herald writes that late in the first quarter of last Thursday night's season opener with the Raiders, Tom Brady was talking rather heatedly with Corey Dillon on the sideline after the Patriots' first touchdown. To some, it was a sign the star quarterback and running back were feuding. To others, like former Patriots quarterback Steve Grogan, it was a sign of something completely different. To him, it stood more as another defining moment in the maturation of Brady as a team leader.
*USA Today's* "Inside Slant" discusses the Patriots ability to to use multiple defensive fronts during game time. Early in the season opener against the Raiders, the Pats 3-4 defense was struggling, so they switched up to the 4-3 defense mid-game. "I think it threw them off," said defensive tackle Vince Wilfork, whose interception created by fellow lineman Jarvis Green's blind side hit on Collins, proved to be the game's turning point. "That was an adjustment on the sideline. We thought we could be effective with it."
Tom Curran of the Providence Journal offers his daily sports blog with Patriots notes and commentary.
Mike Reiss of the Boston Globe offers his daily sports blog with Patriots notes.