Wednesday, December 30, 2009

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, Laurence can't hold on to the ball anymore.

Julian Edelman - I'd really like to see him emerge as the third WR.

Randy Moss - He was killer last week.  Rest him, too.

Mike Wright / Jarvis Green - An acceptable substitute for Richard Seymour, no?.


Instead of pictures of Big Sexy Vince, I will now end every post with this picture.  It makes me happy.



(Tell me that Peyton was on board with coming out in the second half...)


My prediction:


Pats 24, Texans 30

Monday, December 28, 2009

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.




Wednesday, December 23, 2009

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 the opening drive against Buffalo last week.  Think the Bills knew they could run up the middle on them?  Yeah.  That's why we need Vince.

Pat's Secondary - The secondary has been toasted by average QBs lately.  Thankfully, David Garrard has a ways to go to be an average NFL QB.

Bonus item:  Tackling!  Hopefully, the defense practiced some this week.


Do I expect them to go deep in the play-offs?  Of course not.  They'll probably win on Wild Card Weekend (which will be at home).  Then they'll have to go to Indy or San Diego.  And while I don't think either of those teams is unbeatable, I just don't think it'll be the Patriots that beat them.  We don't travel well.


My prediction:


Pats 27, Jags 17

Sunday, December 20, 2009

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 second decisions.

. . . I seem to remember an awful lot of arm tackling and flailing at running backs from Jerod Mayo in this contest that I can't recall seeing in prior games.

 . . . this game was the only evidence you need to illustrate exactly what Vince Wilfork means to this defensive unit.  Remember this pre-season when Ron Brace was looking like Vince Wilfork, Jr?  That was a long time ago.

. . . watching T.O. lose is, in the words of James Lipton, "aaaa deelight".

. . . I saw more "Survivor" during this broadcast than I ever had previously.  People still watch prime-time network television, huh?

Friday, December 18, 2009

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 about it on the bench.  Sea Bass is a stud.  Is it too early to start calling him Sea Bass?  I think I'm going to start calling him that.  And he's already the best German NFL player ever!  Achtung! 

Mike Wright / Jarvis Green (or whoever ends up picking up the slack for Wilfork) - I'd mix it up and go 4 - 3.  Because no one human should have to take up this much space.  (Could I post pictures of Vince Wilfork all day?  YesYes I could...  It just makes me happy.)

Tully Banta-Cain - We'll give him a shout out.  He leads the team in sacks.  Unfortunately, on the 2009 Patriots, that's like saying you're the tallest midget.  The pass rush is soft.  (Pillowy soft, even.)


The weather on Sunday is going to be bad.  Ever been to Orchard Park in December?  A-W-F-U-L.  (It's only slightly better the rest of the year...)

I'm going low on this one.

My prediction:

Pats 14, Bills 10

Sunday, December 13, 2009

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?

. . . can we finally admit that the old Pat Patriots uniforms are WAY superior to the Flying Elvis?

Friday, December 11, 2009

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 birth control techniques, you can chose WHEN you have your kid.  Please don't have any more kids during the season.  Plus December babies have it rough.  He'll be almost a year older than everyone else once he's finally able to start school.)


As my buddy JT put it...

Balls.


Here's five things to watch this Sunday other than the Patriots (because if they're not going to show up, why should we?)


- "The Dark Knight" (HBO) - Holy hell... they show that movie ALL THE TIME.

- "Pump Up the Volume" (CW) - Oh Samantha Mathis... Too bad you never did anything else this memorable in your career...  (Note: not really worth watching edited.)

- "Caddyshack: The Inside Story" (Biography) - This totally sounds like something I'd get sucked into.  "The making of the 1980 comedy classic Caddyshack is chronicled. Included: the reminiscences of the actors, producers and director Harold Ramis."

- "Star Trek" (2009)  JJ Abrams did a phenomenal job with this one.  Go rent it.

- Turn the TV off and go spend time with your kids.  Oh man, do they grow up really fast (you just missed another amazing moment right there while you were reading this stupidness...).




My prediction: Pats 27, Carolina 10


(And Happy Hanukkah to my Jewish friend out there.)

Friday, December 4, 2009

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 Stadium Pro Player Park Pro Player Stadium Dolphins 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 the AFC that really scares me.

Remember when Miami almost signed Drew Brees and ended up going with Culpepper instead?  Hilarious.  Aren't you glad we don't have to face him twice a year?

See, look at that... You feel better already, don't you?


Offensive Live - Remember last week when I said I'd rather see Vollmer out there over Matt Light?  Nothing I saw last week convinced me I was wrong on that one.

Sam Aiken / Ben Watson - If defenses are going to double Welker AND Moss, one of these guys has to step up.  And how tremendous is Randy's beard right now?  Wow.  It would take me 4 years to grow that.

Randy Moss - I'm telling you, he's due for a big game (but I thought that last week, too).  You can't keep that beard out of the end zone for too much longer.

Laurence Maroney - He actually had a good first half last week.  He seems to do better later in the season.  But holy hell... HOLD ON TO THE BALL, LAURENCE.

Defense - Thankfully, Chad Henne is no Drew Brees.  The defense should look much better this week.


My prediction: Pats 27, Miami 17

Ups and Downs - Week 12

Down

Everyone.

Bluh.


Overall Record: 7 - 4.

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