Believe it or not, on Sept. 29 – when the New England Patriots were embarrassed by the Kansas City Chiefs, 41-14, on Monday Night Football – there were actually people calling for Tom Brady to be benched.
Well, the Patriots have since won six straight games – by an average of 19.2 points per game.
“We’re trying to just keep it consistent and really take it day by day, game by game,” Patriots safety Patrick Chung said on Ferrall on the Bench. “We’re working hard, and hopefully everything works out for the best.”
Things certainly worked out for the best this past weekend on Sunday Night Football, as the Patriots dismantled the Colts in Indianapolis, 42-20, with Jonas Gray rushing for 199 yards and four touchdowns. The win gave New England (8-2) the best record in the AFC.
“A little sore, a little sore,” Chung said of his body after most games. “But when you get a win, it feels a little better. When you get that loss, your body hurts a little more. So it hasn’t been that (much) of a problem right now.”
The Patriots out-gained the Colts by almost 200 yards (503-322) and limited them to 19 rushing yards on 16 carries (1.2 yards per carry).
“Everything worked out for the best that day,” Chung said. “We played a complete game. It’s in the past now. Now we’re on to another team, Detroit – a very explosive (team) with a lot of good players, so we got to kind of get ready for them because they’re good.”
The Patriots host the Lions (7-3) this Sunday in Foxboro at 1 p.m. ET. The Lions are coming off of a tough 14-6 loss to the Cardinals in Arizona, but they still rank in the top five in the league against the run (68.8 yards per game allowed) and the pass (221.5). The rush defense, in fact, is No. 1 in football.
The offense, meanwhile, is explosive. Matthew Stafford has completed 61.2 percent of his passes for 2,679 yards, 13 touchdowns and nine interceptions. His top targets are Calvin Johnson and Golden Tate, who have combined for 102 receptions for 1,470 yards and six touchdowns.
Chung had nothing but praise for Stafford.
“He’s good, man,” he said. “He’s got a strong arm, too. He has a lot of weapons out there to get the ball to and he can run a little bit. He can scramble to make plays and extend plays, so we got to keep him bottled up a little bit. We’ll see what we can do. He’s a great player. He makes good throws. He’s going to have some good plays out there. We just got to try to limit that.”
Chung, 27, was born in Kingston, Jamaica. He left the island when he was 10, went to high school in California, played at Oregon and now plays for one of the best franchises in professional sports.
“It’s all worked out,” Chung said.
While Chung plays with a great quarterback in the NFL, he roots for a great quarterback at his alma mater, as Marcus Mariota has the Ducks in the thick of the national-title race.
“He’s an animal,” Chung said. “It’s very exciting to watch. You never know what’s going to happen because they’re a very explosive team. I’m glad they’re doing good.”