Sunday, September 21, 2014

'Ugly win better than a pretty loss' for Patriots


The New England Patriots were supposed to blow out the Oakland Raiders with relative ease.

There was no ease Sunday afternoon.

New England's home-opener was a little tougher than expected, though the Patriots were able to fight off a pesky Raiders squad en route to a 16-9 win.

"Sometimes you got to grind them out," Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman said, via the AP. "An ugly win is better than a pretty loss."

A grind it was. It took a Vince Wilfork interception--yes, you read that right--to cap off the victory. The Raiders were in the red zone with under a minute to go, primed to knot up the score, before a deflected Derek Carr pass wound up in the hands of the big defensive tackle.

Prior to that play, the Patriots struggled--particularly on offense. Despite converting on half of his third downs, quarterback Tom Brady connected on 24 of 37 passes for 234 yards and a score in the game, with the lone touchdown reception going to tight end Rob Gronkowski.

"We did just enough to get the victory," Gronkowski said. "Sometimes it's frustrating, but what we did today is not always going to get the job done."

Carr completed 21 of 34 passes.

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