Speaking of catches, yesterday served as a reminder of just how complex a task it is to run an effective, efficient passing offense when the receivers and the quarterback aren't in the same playbook, let alone on the same page.
If Brady was just slightly more accurate on a couple of passes -- the overthrow to Julian Edelman at the goal line, most obviously -- the Patriots might have had a 21-3 lead at the break, and you can be pretty sure Jets fans would have quietly abandoned their four-letter-word spelling bee and put away their air horns long before the game had ended.
But it can't and shouldn't all be placed on the quarterback. While Joey Galloway had his moments -- with better timing/knowledge/luck, he might have had two touchdown receptions -- he also is yet to shake his habit of looking over the wrong shoulder or being ever-so-slightly out of position. I never thought a player as statistically accomplished as Galloway would make us appreciate the subtle talents Jabar Gaffney, but there you go.
As for Edelman, it's already obvious that the Patriots found a gem in the seventh round of this year's draft. He is electric when he has room in the open field, he mirrors Welker by running low to the ground and making himself hard to see and hit, and his performance yesterday was remarkable given that he was in the early Saturdays of his senior year as Kent State's quarterback at this time last season.
But if not for assistant coach Randy Moss -- if we didn't understand before why teammates rave about his intelligence, we do now -- Edelman would probably still be standing on the Meadowlands turf, staring blankly at the puzzling football hieroglyphics documented on his wrist band. Yes, it was obvious that the Patriots were thrown for a loop when Welker couldn't go.
Edelman's a work in progress, and the same applies to the offense as a whole. While the starry-eyed suggestions that this offense could more prolific than the record-shattering crew in 2007 have already been punctured two games into the season, we are confident in this:
Brady will get better, more comfortable in the pocket and with his personnel, and when -- not if, when -- that happens, the offense will keep the scoreboard operators busy again.
The Patriots meet the Jets again Nov. 22.
Let Rex, Rhodes and the Jets enjoy their day of glory now. Because I suspect we'll like the team we see two months from now a heck of a lot more than the one we witnessed yesterday.
About Touching All The Bases
Irreverence and insight from Chad Finn, a Globe/Boston.com sports writer and media columnist. A winner of several national and regional writing awards, he is the founder and sole contributor to the TATB blog, which launched in December 2004. Yes, he realizes how lucky he is.