Patriots vs. Cardinals Key Players

It was business as usual for the Patriots in Week 1 and they should have little trouble notching another win this weekend at home against the Arizona Cardinals.

New England went into Nashville and pounded the Tennessee Titans 34-13 at LP Field in Week 1.

Tom Brady was 23-of-31 for 236 yards and two touchdowns, while Stevan Ridley showed that he can be a workhorse back by carrying the ball 21 times for 125 yards and a score.

Tight ends Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez each had a touchdown grab and combined for 12 catches and 119 yards in the comfortable win.

Everyone knows about Brady and the high-flying passing game of the Patriots, but it’s the running game and defense that will be key to New England’s Super Bowl aspirations this season.

Ridley had to earn the starting job in the preseason and training camp and did just that. In Week 1 he looked explosive and ran with purpose, and he should get another hefty workload at home versus the Cardinals.

This is why the Patriots deemed it okay to let BenJarvus Green-Ellis head out the door during the offseason. They loved what they saw out of Ridley as a rookie and thought he could take a step up this season. So far so good.

The Patriots, after that whipping of Tennessee, are in an excellent position to go 2-0 before a tough trip to Baltimore in Week 3 to play the Ravens.

It seems likely that New England will be everyone’s play when it comes down to making NFL picks in Week 2, and why not? The Patriots were excellent on both sides of the ball against the Titans and should prove to be too much for the Cardinals on Sunday.

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