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Five Things to Watch This Week - Week 17

The Patriots play their sixteenth and final regular season game on the road against Houston on Sunday January 3rd at Reliant Stadium.

Convincing win last week.  Just in time to get my hopes up for the playoffs.  Are we healthy?  Are we a dominant team?  Are we a second-tier team?  I have no idea.  But I like our coach.  And I like our QB.  So I guess we'll take that and roll the dice.

League rankings: Points scored - 7th.  Points allowed - 4th.  Huh... That sounds like a pretty good team actually.  I'm not saying they'll win it all, but they still could be dangerous.

Do I like idea of having to go to San Diego AND Indy?  Absolutely not.  But neither one of them is unbeatable.

Unfortunately, this game against the Texans this week barely matters.  Here's what I'll be watching for this week:


Brian Hoyer -  Let's give Tom a break this week.

Sammy Morris -  Heck of a week last week.  Let's see if he can build a little momentum for the playoffs.  Obviously, Laure…

Ups and Downs - Week 16

Up

Tom Brady

Sammy Morris

Brandon Meriweather

Wes Welker

Randy Moss


Down

The Mannings!  Sweet, sweet Manning tears.  I love it.




Five Things to Watch This Week - Week 16

By Patty O'Tool


The Patriots play their fifteenth regular season game at home against the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday December 27th at 1:00 PM at Gillette Stadium.  A win here and we own the AFC East.

Anyone else sad about football season being almost over already?  Where does the time go?


Here's what I'll be watching for this week:

Tom Brady - He's still hurting.  Shoulder, finger and ribs.  And I'm sure the cold isn't helping the knee.  This doesn't bode well for January.

Ben Watson - Will we see him this week?  Maybe!

Fred Taylor - He's been a great interview as team spokesman this year.  I hope he comes back next year.  What?  When are we going to see him on the field?  He's supposed to PLAY, too?  Oh.

Vince Wilfork - Speaking of "players I hope come back next year", if I'm Vince's agent (and I've been lobbying hard, but he doesn't seem to return my calls), I sit down at the negotiating table and show the Patriots th…

Week 15 Wrap-Up

by Just a Guy on a Couch


I'm just a guy on a couch but . . .

 . . . if not for the complete ineptitude of the Buffalo Bills, the Pats lose this game.  Stupid offsides penalties, defensive pass interference, dropped passes by open receivers and a BIIIIIG offsides on the successful onsides kick.

 . . . more poor tackling by the Patriots defense means a quick exit from the playoffs on the horizon.  I'm beginning to think these guys sweat mayonnaise or Vaseline or something.

 . . . I know Buffalo ranks dead last in the NFL in run defense but still, it's nice to see Maroney running like he has.  Bad run D or not, he was putting a ton of effort into his runs.

 . . . Mike Wright showed up to play today, and it's a good thing.  Sacks, QB pressures, and making tackles 15 yards down field.

 . . . nice adjustment by Pees after Buffalo's first drive.  Having the defensive front out of their stances really seemed to be effective in forcing a young quarterback to make last seco…

Five Things to Watch This Week - Week 15

By Patty O'Tool



The Patriots play their fourteenth regular season game on the road against the Buffalo Bills on Sunday December 20th at 1:00 PM at Ralph Wilson Stadium.

Brady is hurt.  The offense is struggling (that was one of the worst 10 point wins I can ever remember seeing last week).  The d-line is banged up (if Wilfork can't go this week, we're boned...  they're going to run all over us).  Not good times.

Here's what I'll be watching for this week:


Wes Welker - Easily the team MVP this year.  Note to Bill - please take him off punt returns.  He takes enough hits already.

Laurence Maroney - Don't look know, but he's been somewhat productive the last few weeks.  Still...  For a guy his size, I'd like to see him actually break a tackle once in a while.  His yards after contact isn't good.

Sebastian Vollmer - Last week they had him switching between left tackle and right tackle.  Eff that.  Stick him on the left side and let Matt Light cry ab…

Week 14 Wrap-Up

by Just a Guy on a Couch

I'm just a guy on a couch but.....

. . . I just finished watching the post-game festivities and why did Bill and Tom seem happy after that?  Once again, TONS of missed opportunities by both the defense (dropped int's at least twice) and the offense (please hold the ball.  it's rather important).

. . . where has Randy Moss been?  I hate to sound like Mike Felger but seriously, where is this guy?  I had really been hesitant to feel like he's not in the game but, he's not in the game.  At all.  At least he added some spice and flair by adding the fumble to his expanding repertoire of ineptitude (not finishing routes, shoddy blocking, not watching the weather channel).

. . . first Chad Henne and then who the hell was that again . . . uhhhh . . dude man?  Whatever the hell his name was, he backs up Jake DelHomme.  He's fucking terrible.  Can this team realistically pull out a win in a one-and-done playoff aginast a PASSABLE quarterback?

. .…

Five Things to Watch This Week - Week 14

The Patriots play their thirteenth regular season game at home (!) against the Carolina Panthers on Sunday December 13th at 1:00 PM at Gillette Stadium.


Oh man...  I picked a hell of a year to start a Patriots blog... I feel like I'm chronicling the Fall of the Roman Empire.

The offense looks stale.  The defense went from "young and fast" to "inexperienced".

And a big part of the problem is... (gulp)... Brady.  He looks too predictable out there at times.  Welker is making him better at this point.


Here's what I think is going on:


  - Some of the creativity is gone from the offense.  Bill O'Brien is no Josh McDaniels

  - Nobody is stepping up after Welker and Moss.  Sam Aiken is nice special teamer / 4th or 5th receiver, but they could actually use a Gaffney or a Stallworth.

  - Brady has got a baby on the way (UPDATE - he just had a boy).  Don't laugh.  He looked like crap last time he had a kid coming. 

(Tom - please note: with the use of modern…

Five Things to Watch This Week - Week 13

By Patty O'Tool

The Patriots play their twelfth regular season game on the road against the Miami Dolphins on Sunday December 6th at 1:00 PM at Joe Robbie StadiumPro Player ParkPro Player StadiumDolphins Stadium Land Shark Stadium.  (Really?  "Land Shark Stadium"?)

"Hey Bill... It’s... uh ... it’s Pat.  I need you to do me a huge favor.  Can you please... uh... take your name off your phone...?  My wife went through my phone and... uh... may be calling you."

Has my love for Bill Belichick diminished?  No.  Not even a little.  But there are times when we've looked downright sloppy this season.  Monday night sucked.  Hard.  My apologies to my football buddies out of market who only get to watch the Pats when they're on nationally.

But you know what?  It's going to be OK.  We're not nearly as bad as we looked last week.  They've got a pillowy soft schedule coming up.  They're going to go 12 - 4 (11 - 5 at worst).  And there's nobody in…

Five Things to Watch This Week - Week 12

By Patty O'Tool

The Patriots play their eleventh regular season game on the road against the New Orleans Saints on Monday November 30th at 8:30 PM. 

Tom Brady - Can he get the delay of game penalties on the road under control?  That's been a glaring negative this season.  But still... Write him down for "Comeback Player of the Year". 

Randy Moss - Last week was a Welker week.  They'll probably get the ball to Randy a bit more this week.  (On a personal note, I've lived in the same town as Randy for two years now.  And I still haven't bumped into him at Target yet.  What the hell?  I'm starting to suspect he doesn't spend much time here in the offseason...)

Pat's O-line - The regulars are pretty banged up.  Brady is going to need some time.  The game might come down to how many starters we can get out there (and I'm counting Vollmer as a starter at this point... I'd much rather see him out there than Light.)

Pat's Secondary - This…

Ups and Downs - Week 11

Down

Punt Team - Nice blocking there guys.

Mark Sanchez - Ha ha!  (/Nelson)

Up

Wes Welker - Put him on the 2006 Patriots and we win that Super Bowl, too (Damn you, Reche Caldwell!)

Vince Wilfork - He just owns the middle of the field.  It's really tough to find guys like that.

Tully Banta-Cain - Sure he's "just a guy", but Belichick knows how to use him properly.

Leigh Bodden - The secondary is a lot better this year.

Mark LeVoir - He absolutely leveled a guy on a screen block.  Holy crap.  Any time you've got a lineman on a DB, bet on the lineman.


Overall Record: 7 - 3.

Uniform Record: Pat Patriot 3 - 1. Flying Elvis 4 - 2.

Five Things to Watch This Week - Week 11

By Patty O'Tool

The Patriots play their tenth regular season game at home against the New York Jets on Sunday November 22nd at 4:15 PM.  It gets dark at like 4:30 here now, so this will feel like a night game.

I'm back.  I've been on the road the last two weeks.  Did I miss anything good?

Here's what I'll be watching for this week:


Jerod Mayo - He's awesome.  I like him.

Randy Moss - Best receiver ever?  Best receiver ever.

Sebastian Vollmer- He's been really, really good.  Matt Light should be nervous.

Mark Sanchez - How does he like the hot dogs at Gillette?  How do they compare to Oakland's dogs?

Rex Ryan - I'll be yelling "Boo effin' hoo" at the TV every time they cut to him (On a personal note, he looks just like my uncle Mark after a 3 day bender.  It's kinda scary.)


I'll be honest, I'm a little concerned about the Jets this week... They're hungry... They're desper-  Nah, I'm just kidding.  They suck.  We …

Ups and Downs - Week 7

By Patty O'Tool

Downs

Again... No downs last week.  Unless you want to count me.  Because the bye-week sucks.


Ups

Brandon Meriweather - He's looking like a stud, isn't he?  They brought him along slowly.  He was a first round pick in '07.  And now it's all paying off.  Good stuff.

Wes Welker - Consistently awesome.  We totally stole him from Miami.

Tully Banta-Cain - Is he a role player?  Sure.  But the Patriots seem to know how to use him much better than San Francisco did.

Myron Pryor - Did anyone else see #91 flying around out there?  He was all over the place.


Overall Record: 5 - 2.

Uniform Record: Pat Patriot 3 - 1. Flying Elvis 2 - 1.

Five Things to Watch This Week - Week 7

By Patty O'Tool


The Patriots play their seventh regular season game on the road against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday October 25th at 1:00 PM. I think the game is in England or something. I can't really find any information to confirm . I will celebrate this tidbit by watching the game with a Guinness. (and at some point I'll get around to making my own fish and chips. But that just seems like a ton of work and is likely to make the house smell for a whole week. (Wanna sound British next time you're at a party? Just put "innit?" at the end of every sentence. Works every time.))

Tom Brady - My god, he looked good last week. Can he keep that up? No, of course not. But I'd expect to see at least 3 TDs this week.

Adalius Thomas - Mr. Thomas, last week was your wakeup call. Want to be a Patriot next year? Start showing us something.

The Field - The turf at Wembley Stadium should get a work out this week. Soccer players usually weigh 120 pounds. …

Ups and Downs - Week 6

By Patty O'Tool


Downs

Ummm... Nobody, really. Who is going to complain after a 59 - 0 ass whupin'? OK, fine then... Adalius Thomas.


Ups

Tom Brady - Brady to Moss was workin'. That flea flicker was downright orgasmic.

Offensive Line - Brady looked pretty clean all day. Plenty of time back there. Plus Sebastian Vollmer looked good. Matt Light might be done after this year.

Defense - Maybe younger and faster is a good thing. Kerry Collins looked JaMarcus Russell-esque out there going 2 of 14 for -7 yards. Ouch.

Overall Record: 4 - 2.

Uniform Record: Pat Patriot 2 - 1. Flying Elvis 2 - 1.

Five Things to Watch This Week - Week 6

By Patty O'Tool

The Patriots play their sixth regular season game at home against the Tennessee Titans on Sunday October 18th at 4:15 PM.


1) Tom Brady - I sense a little redemption coming this week. Plus he looks much more comfortable at home lately.

2) Junior Seau - We'll probably actually see him on the field this week. I set the over/under at 15 snaps, with a 2 late hit penalty teaser.

3) Randy Moss - He's due for a big week. I'll mark him down for 2 TDs. Did you see his INT at the end of the first half last week? The Moss is made of awesomeness.

4) Third WR - Oh, won't someone please emerge as the third option after Moss and Welker? Is Donte' Stallworth free? No? He isn't? Oh well.

5) Sammy Morris - He's as good a third WR as we've got right now. He should be on the field quite a bit on Sunday.


My prediction: Pats 38, Titans 10.

Ups and Downs - Week 5

Downs

Tom Brady - Brady kinda stunk. 5 for 14 in the 2nd half. Ugh. If we just play our "B" game, we win that game. Instead, we turned in a "C minus" game.

Pass Rush - Orton did a good job of getting rid of the ball quickly, but his uniform stayed pretty clean all day.


Ups

Benjamin Watson - Catches his 3rd TD. He already has more more than all of last season!

Linebackers - Mayo returns and forces a fumble. Rob Ninkovich and TBC made some nice plays. Good stuff.

Defense - It took 4 and 1/2 quarters for the defense to finally give up 20 points. Our defense has suddenly become a strength. I like it. Again... a little bit more of a pass rush would be nice though.


Losing always hurts. But relax... We're still in first place. We've got two 0 and 5 teams coming up the next two weeks. We'll be fine.


Overall Record: 3 - 2.

Uniform Record: Pat Patriot 1 - 1. Flying Elvis 2 - 1.

Drew Brees - Waaay Underrated

Drew Brees - WR?




http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/gallery/featured/GAL1161258/2/12/index.htm

Five Things to Watch This Week - Week5

By Patty O'Tool

The Patriots play their fifth regular season game on the road against the Denver Broncos on Sunday October 11th at 4:15 PM.

I'm still buzzed from last week's game. Good stuff. But when I broke down the tape of me watching the game, I feel like I could have made a few improvements (what? You don't film yourself watching the game?).

I was watching the game on Tivo, so I didn't haven't to sit through the injuries and challenges. That was good. But I was a little slow on the draw in fast forwarding through the commercials. I promise to do better this week.


1) The Broncos Defense - Are they for real? Or is it just smoke and mirrors? They're 4 and 0, and they've only given up 26 points to date. But they've also done it against such offensive juggernauts as the Browns and the Raiders. The Patriots' offense is slightly better than that. And after us, Denver plays San Diego, Baltimore and Pittsburgh. Yikes. Good luck with all tha…

Ups and Downs - Week 4

by Patty O'Tool

Downs

Laurence Maroney - Seven rushes for 6 yards? Ouch.

Joey Galloway - I think I'll start calling him Joseph Galloway. That has more gravitas.

Ray Lewis - Made about as many plays as Joseph Galloway.


Ups

Tom Brady - Has he been shaking off the rust? Or was that the suck of Joey Galloway rubbing off on him?

The Secondary - Brandon Meriweather is starting to look like a stud. These might be the best corners we've had in years. And McGowan is my new binky. (Plus there was some kind of double safety blitz that resulted in a Flacco sandwich. Awesome.)

D-Line - Anyone miss still Seymour? I told ya. I like seeing Mike Wright and Jarvis Green out there.


What a great game that was. I like it.

Overall Record: 3 - 1.

Uniform Record: Pat Patriot 1 - 0. Flying Elvis 2 - 1.

Ups and Downs - Week 3

By Patty O'Tool


Downs

Joey Galloway - It's a good thing they had a home game yesterday. Brady might have dropped Galloway out of the plane at 30,000 feet. I really, really wish we had kept Greg Lewis instead (seeing Lewis all over Sports Center this morning hasn't helped).

Special Teams - Bluh. We look like C-R-A-P on kick-off coverage.

The Redskins - Oh my Gawd, they suck. Doesn't anyone else see how bad they suck?


Ups

Brady - Was he pissed at the end of the first half or what? I like it. It also looked like he had a ton of time all day.

Fred Taylor - Wow, he looked really good. I don't know how many more miles are left on those tires, but I like what I saw yesterday. And it's amazing how much better the play-action works when there is actually the threat of a running game.

Defense - I've been right about the D. They're good. Not great. But good. Granted, a huge part of that has been that they haven't had to spend that much time on the field. …

Five Things to Watch This Week - Week 3

By Patty O'Tool

The Patriots play their third regular season game at home against the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday September 27th at 1:00 PM.

So far, my predictions have not been so hot. But like some unholy combination of Skip Bayless and Stephen A. Smith, I'm just gonna keep talkin', ONLY LOUDER. If my predictions have been off, that's YOUR FAULT.


1) Defense - The defense has been surprisingly decent so far. Who would have guessed? Their biggest challenge to date comes this week.

2) Penalties - I think there were 4 "Delay of Game" penalties last week. Wha? Huh? I don't think I've ever seen that with Brady at the helm. I'm guessing they spent some time on that in practice this week.

3) The Game Plan - Where was the screen game last week? I would have called twelve straight screens to Kevin Faulk, but that's just me. Not a big fan of the play calling so far this year. Hopefully, they'll get back to the ground game this week. The Atlant…

Ups and Downs - Week 2

By Patty O'Tool

Downs

Joey Galloway - Either Brady is overthrowing him, or he's running the wrong route on every single play.

Tom Brady - He doesn't look right. ugh. This could be a long season.

Me - I'm hurtin'. That one sucked. Moving on...


Ups

Julian Edelman - Played OK. Not great, but OK.

Defense - I thought the defense played well (Wilhite especially). The fact that defense isn't the glaring weakness we thought it was going to be has been a pleasant surprise so far.


Uniform Record: Pat Patriot 1 - 0. Flying Elvis 0 - 1.

Five Things to Watch This Week

By Patty O'Tool

The Patriots play their second regular season game at the New York Jets on Sunday September 20th at 1:00 PM. I will be watching Sunday Services at the Church of the Immaculate Hoodie from the comfort of my couch (Have you gone to HD yet? You'll never leave the house again...)


1) Rex Ryan - Is he nuts or what? But at least we know he has a pulse (unlike, say, Dick Jauron). I like getting your team fired up and all... But what if they go out there and lose? Like Butthead says, "You can talk the talk, but you have to... uh... like... walk, too." (Plus there's this in case you missed. Tremendous, but not in any way safe for work.)

2) Tom Brady - The rust should be off this week. It was against the Jets in '07 that we first saw that "Brady to Moss" was going to be something special. I expect Tom to kick some ass. Plus, you can tell he's pissed about all the "embarrass the Patriots" talk that has been coming from the…

Ups and Downs - Week 1

By Patty O'Tool


Down

Tom Brady (0:00 - 55:00) - Shaking the rust off? Feeling out the new knee? Where's the Tom Brady I knew and loved from 2007? The footwork doesn't look like what we're used to seeing out of Brady. Like he's trying to get it there all with his arm.

Bill O'Brien (QB Coach / Unofficial Offensive Coordinator) - Dude, you've got the keys to one of the best offensive machines ever assembled. Act like you know what you're doing.

Joey Galloway - I think I saw him out there last night, but I'm not really sure.


Up

Tom Brady (55:00 - 60:00) - There he is!

Pierre Woods - Way to be in the right place at the right time to force that fumble. And kudos to Meriweather for standing McKelvin up until help could arrive. Way to play smart football, guys.

Ben Watson - He made a couple of great grabs. Unfortunately, those two TDs will probably be his total for the year.



It was a win, but it sure wasn't pretty. Either the Pats aren't as good as …

Five Things to Watch This Week

By Patty O'Tool

The Patriots play their first regular season game at home against the Buffalo Bills on Monday September 14th at 7:00 PM.

What a great first weekend of NFL Football. Hopefully, you got to watch a game or two. Good times. (Except for the Redskins. Watching Jason Campbell makes me hate football.)

FOR THE LOVE OF GAWD, WHY AREN'T ALL MONDAY NIGHT GAMES INVOLVING TWO EAST COAST TEAMS ON AT 7:00 PM? It just makes too much sense. Nobody on the West Coast is going to watch this game anyway. Plus, I'm old. I want to go to bed at a reasonable hour.


1) DE-FENSE (clap clap clap). I'm looking for nothing short of 4 sacks and 2 picks tonight. We should able to build up a big lead and get after Edwards early and often. If we give up more than 14 points to the Bills, I'm going to consider that a disappointment.

2) Pats' Secondary: I expect this group to be much better by the end of the season. Good thing we get to start easy. T.O. or no T.O., it's s…

Seymour Traded to Oakland

The Patriots traded Richard Seymour to Oakland for 2011 first-round pick over the weekend.

My first thought was "Whaaaat?!"

And then I paused and thought about it a bit. And I reached for my special BelichickKool Aid I keep on ice for occasions such as this.

If Belichick thinks Seymour has lost a step, who am I to judge? He's obviously not the same player he was 3 - 4 years ago.

When was the last time you saw Seymour make a play? Jarvis Green and Mike Wright come in off the bench and make plays all the time. Just sayin'.

Does this mean we get to keep Vince Wilfork when his contract is up? Yes? Good. I'm in.

Was Seymour going to leave after this year anyway? Probably.

So is one year of Seymour worth a first round pick two years down the road? I say yes. Plus it's OAKLAND's pick. So you know it will be a top 10 pick.

Five Things to Watch This Week.

By Patty O'Tool

The Patriots play their fourth preseason game at home against the New York Giants on Thursday, September 3rd at 7:30 PM


Oh man, do I hate the Giants. I still wake up thinking about how close we were to 19 and 0. I don't think I'll ever get over that.

Here's five things I'll be watching for on Thursday:

1) Tom Brady. How well does he hold the clipboard on the sideline? Does he hold it with his left hand or his right hand? Will he be in uniform or street clothes? These are the big questions for #12 tonight.

2) Laurence Maroney. OK, kid. I've been apologizing for you for three years now. Show me something.

3) Joey Galloway. I have no emotional attachment to this guy. I could care less if makes the team. He looks like crap out there so far.

4) Linebackers. Bruschi's gone. We're young and fast now. But are we any good?

5) BenJarvus Green-Ellis. This might be the last time we see him a Patriots uniform. If he gets cut, someone is def…

Ups and Downs

I'll be honest... I fell asleep during the 4th quarter of Friday's game. I had a glass of wine and a Benadryl. You might as well have given me a roofie.

Here's my thoughts on what I saw:

Randy Moss - If Brady and Moss had been together for their whole careers, they could have rewritten the record books.

Joey Galloway - Hasn't shown me anything yet. Is he going to make the team?

Kevin O’Connell - After a sub-par performance on Friday, Kevin got the axe. Didn't see that one coming. It sounded like they were grooming him to be "The Guy". Guess it just wasn't taking.

BenJarvus Green-Ellis - They've got to keep him, don't they? He ran the ball for 8 yards a carry on Friday.

Tom Brady - Oh God, please don't be hurt. Can't handle another season without #12.

TedyBruschi - Thanks Tedy. You done good.

Five Things to Watch This Week.

By Patty O'Tool

The Patriots play their third preseason game at Washington on Friday, August 28th at 8:00PM.

The third preseason game is traditionally the "dress rehearsal" game for the regular season. The Football Bloggers Association of America requires you to use the words "dress rehearsal" when talking about the third preseason game.

Here's five things I'll be watching for on Friday:


1) O-Line play. Seeing Brady on his ass last week scared the crap out of me. Yikes. Gotta get better, boys.

2) Benjamin Watson. Is he still on this team? He's got the tools. He's got the talent. I really want him to succeed. But he just hasn't been able put it all together yet for whatever reason. Might be "on the bubble" this year.

3) Run defense. Am I worried? Not really. But we looked a little loose last week

4) Ron Brace. I really want this guy to be a star. Especially with Wilfork and Seymour up after this year. Plus I love guys with …