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Showing posts from 2010

Five Things to Watch This Week (and Next Week) - Weeks 16 and 17 (Games 15 and 16)

The Patriots play their fifteenth regular season game on the road at The Ralph on Sunday December 26th at 1:00 PM and their final regular season game at home on Sunday January 2nd at 1:00 PM.

Another great week of Patriots football... Just like I called it!

Actually, the Packers played a really good game and exploited our weaknesses.  We were short on d-line help, and they went after that.  That was one of the better coaching jobs we've faced all year.

But let's stay positive.  We're moving on.  We did just put up 31 points on the "best scoring defense" in football.  So there's that.

1) Devin McCourty  - McCourty for defensive rookie of the year.  He's a big part of the reason why the defense has been as good as it is.  And he should be even better next year.

2) Dan Connolly - Can we make him the permanent kick-off return guy?  That was awesome. 

3) Jerod Mayo - 181 tackles so far?  He's a beast.

4) Wes Welker - 83 catches on the year.  Not bad for a…

Five Things to Watch This Week - Week 15 (Game 14)

The Patriots play their fourteenth regular season game against the Packers at Gillette on Sunday, December 19th at 8:20 PM.

I apologize.  I was waaay off last week.  I predicted the Pats would win 20 to 14.  I really thought the elements would be more of a factor.  I thought the Bears would, you know, show up.  I'm very happy to report that I was wrong on all accounts.

Six weeks ago I was talking with my buddy KC Masterpiece trying to figure out what was wrong with Brady (mechanics?  head not in the game?  bad haircut?).  The Pats had just got theyselves blowed out at Cleveland.    Things have turned out OK since then, huh?.  They've beaten the absolute iron of the NFL.  And they're not just winning.  They're CRUSHING teams. 

How will the Patriots ever score with Randy Moss?!  Yeah, that one somehow worked out OK, too.

You know what?  I'm calling my shot right now.  I don't think they're going to lose again this year.  Not the way they're playi…

Five Things to Watch This Week - Week 14 (Game 13)

The Patriots play their thirteenth regular season game on the road at Soldier Field on Sunday December 12th at 4:15 PM.

Hey!  Wake up, readers!  There's another game this week.  Between all the Red Sox hysteria and afterglow from the Jets victory, it's a little too easy to forget that the Pats have to play again this Sunday.

Ho hum.  Another AFC Offensive Player of the Week award for #12.  Tom Brady has been getting an awful lot of love from me lately, so we'll give him a break this week.  If he's not the league MVP, I'll be super pissed.  This week I'll let Dan Wetzel make the case for me.

According to the Football Outsiders guys, the 2010 Patriots are so good offensively:

     (T)hey are now close to surpassing their 2007 selves for the title of "greatest offense in DVOA history" 

(Don't worry... "DVOA" isn't a dirty porn thing or anything like that...)

OK.  Enough about the offense.  Let's give the defense some love this …

Five Things to Watch This Week - Week 13 (Game 12)

The Patriots play their twelfth regular season game at Gillette on Monday, December 6th at 8:30 PM.

In honor of the Patriots playing on Monday Night Football this week, we've brought in special guest columnist Jon Gruden.

Thanks Pat!  Doesn't it seem like we've been waiting for this game FOR-EV-ERRR?  I know I've been looking forward to it.  I woke up at 4:00 AM this morning, I'm so excited for this game.  My wife made me go downstairs.  I like to pop in my DVD of "The Incredibles" when I get this excited.  It helps calm me down.  I really like that Syndrome guy.

Here's five things I'll be watching for this week.

1) Tom Brady - You want to talk about a guy having an MVP caliber season?  WATCH THIS GUY RIGHT HERE.  The Patriots are only going to go as far as Number 12 takes them, and right now his back is looking pretty strong.  Can he pick up the blitz and get rid of the ball against the best defenses in the NFL?  YOU BET HE CAN!

2) Wes Welker - T…

Five Things to Watch This Week - Week 12 (Game 11)

The Patriots play their eleventh regular season game on the road against the Detroit Lions on Thursday November 25th at 12:30 PM.

I'm feeling pretty thankful this year.  We're 8 and 2.  How are we 8 and 2?!  Holy crap.  I'll take it.

Last week was great.  I've still got a buzz from that win.  Sweet, sweet Manning tears.

Here's five things I'm thankful for this year:

1)  Tom Brady - The Best Quarterback we've ever had.

2)  Bill Belichick - The Best Coach we've ever had.  Maybe the best coach ever.  You think I'm being a little generous in my praise?  Brady and Belichick are 119 and 36 together.  Bill Walsh and Joe Montana were 114 and 44.  So... yeah... They're really THAT good.

3)  A Surprisingly Frisky Running Game - I've been on board the BenJarvus Green-Ellis train as long as I can remember.  And I can't tell you how many times I shouted "Woodhead!" last week (some of them were even while watching the game).  That TD immedia…

Five Things to Watch This Week - Week 11 (Game 10)

The Patriots play their tenth regular season game at Gillette against the Indianapolis Colts Sunday November 21st at 4:15 PM.

"Hey Dad!  What was it like watching Tom Brady?"

"He was awesome.  Just awesome.  Smart.  Accurate.  He was so cool and steady in the big games.  He was a joy to watch."

Football is a team sport.  It's more than just about the quarterbacks.  Blah blah blah.

C'mon...  We all know the story here is Brady vs. Manning.  Honestly, are you ever going to tell your kids about the time you saw Pierre Woods make three special teams tackles in a game?  (Oh hey... Welcome back, Pierre Woods.  Didn't see you over there...)

This is as good as it gets.  Two of the top 5 QBs of all time facing off.  It's Magic vs. Larry.  Marino vs. Montana.  Me vs. a pecan pie on Thanksgiving.

These games tend to be pretty memorable.  You can tell your kids (or your cats...  or your cat's kids...) you saw two of the very best in their primes.


Five Things to Watch This Week - Week 10 (Game 9)

The Patriots play their ninth regular season game on the road against the Pittsburgh Steelers Sunday, November 14th at 8:20 PM

We're doomed.  DOOMED! 

I was afraid last week would be a trap game.  Even Admiral Ackbar couldn't have saved us.

Now we're going to Pittsburgh.  Then we've got the Colts next week.

Before you know it, we're going to be looking at 6 - 4.


Here's five things I'll be watching for this week.

1) Tom Brady - How bad is the foot?  Bad?  Or bad bad?  We're not going to be able to run on the Steelers, so we're going to have to air it out.  If I'm the offensive coordinator, I bring back the game plan from this 2006 gem vs. the Vikings

2) Shayne Graham - Gostkowski has been quietly excellent over the last few years.  Not only on field goals, but on kickoffs, too.  I don't think anyone is expecting too much from Shayne Graham.  He just has to come in and not suck.

3) Run Defense - Peyton Hillis KILLED us last week.  I do…

Pats vs. Browns

Five Things to Watch This Week - Week 9 (Game 8)

The Patriots play their eighth regular season game on the road against the Cleveland Browns Sunday, November 7th at 1:00 PM

Seemingly easy game this week with a game against a much tougher opponent next week?  It's the dreaded "trap game".

Quick -- name the Browns starting QB.  The correct answer?  Colt McCoy.  He actually started the season third on the depth chart (behind the immortal Jake Delhomme ).  He's completed 32 passes for his career.  Brady has completed over 2800.  So, you know, advantage Patriots.

Last week, I predicted "Brad Childress will do something kinda dumb".  Little did I know we were about to kick off a whole week of dumb Childress moments.  High comedy.  My condolences to my buddy Viking Dave on another lost season.

Here's five things I'll be watching for this week.

1) BenJarvus Green-Ellis -  BJGE had a hell of a week last week (17 carries for 112 yards, two TDs).  Did I have him on the bench for my fantasy team?  Yes.  Yes I…

Five Things to Watch This Week - Week 8 (Game 7)

The Patriots play their seventh regular season game at Gillette against the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday, October 31st at 4:15 PM.

No column last week. I was home Friday with a sick toddler. It threw off my whole writing routine. Sorry if you spent your whole week looking forward to my Friday musings.

/sad game show sound

Let's get right back on that horse. Here's five things I'll be watching for this week.

1) Coaching - Did anyone think we'd be 5 and 1 at this point?  With this team?  I love love love me some Belichick. There's no one I'd rather have as a coach (and yes... I'm one of the people who consistently defends his need to go for it on forth down. Sometimes a little "Eff You" attitude is a good thing in football. Look at the way the Ravens totally turtled down the stretch against the Pats in Week 6). Look around the league. There's maybe 4 or 5 good coaches. That's it. We're not exactly living in a Golden Age of Gre…

Five Things to Watch This Week - Week 6 (Game 5)

The Patriots play their fifth regular season game at Gillette against the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday, October 17th at 1:00 PM.

We're back! I hate hate hate that bye week. I didn't know what to do with myself. I had to go run a 5K just to feel useful.

On a personal note, I pulled my name off the Patriots season ticket waiting list last week. My name came up -- I finally would have gotten tickets next year. Eleven years I wanted on that list. But... I just don't have the free time I did when I was a younger man. I can't give up 10 Sundays a year out of my life.

Watching the NFL on a high def TV is now such a good experience, it almost doesn't make sense to go to the games in person anymore. Watching the game at home means cheap beer and instant access to the bathroom. My couch is warm and dry. And I don't have to give up a whole day away from my family.

But still... I'm a little sad about the whole thing.

Here's five things I'll be watching …
"I felt a great disturbance in Patriot Nation, as if millions of voices cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced. I fear something terrible has happened..."

Five Things to Watch This Week - Week 4

The Patriots play their forth regular season game at Joe Robbie Stadium Pro Player Park Pro Player Stadium Dolphin Stadium Dolphins Stadium Land Shark Stadium Sun Life Stadium against the Miami Dolphins on Monday October 4th at 8:30 PM.

Our defense is... bad. Even I can't fool myself into thinking it's going to be OK anymore. The offense is going to need to up 35 points a week if we're going to have a chance. We're officially the Colts now.

Here's five things I'll be watching for this week.

1) BenJarvus Green-Ellis - Maroney is gone. Fred Taylor hasn't practiced all week. Is this the week Law Firm becomes a star?

2) Randy Moss - He's still awesome. Go watch this in case you missed it last week. (The ref actually has pretty good coverage over the top...)

3) Tom Brady - One more win gives him 100 for his career. That's awesome.

4) Aaron Hernandez / Rob Gronkowski - Apparently the Dolphins have trouble covering Tight Ends. We have two great young T…

Ups and Downs - Week 3


Aaron Hernandez - Again... I love this kid. I expect big things.

O-Line - Much better this week. Brady had all day back there.

BenJarvus Green-Ellis - 16 carries for 98 yards. Can we just give him the starting job already?

Patrick Chung - Actually looked pretty good at times, but that may just be because of how much the rest of the secondary sucked.


The Defense - My math may be off a bit, but I think they gave up 900 yards to the Bills on Sunday. Last week it was Sanchez. This week it was Fitzpatrick. We have a way of making bad QBs look really good.

Bring on the Dolphins.

Five Things to Watch This Week - Week 3

The Patriots play their third regular season game at Gillette against the Bills of Ontario and Western New York on Sunday, September 26th at 1:00 PM.

Last Sunday afternoon, about an hour before kickoff, I somehow ended up with toddler poop all over the sleeve of my Patriots t-shirt. I don't normally believe in signs... But that couldn't have been a good one.

Week 2 was ugly (Even Brett Favre thinks Tom Brady had a bad week this week...). But you know what? It's just one game.

Also, I lost out on my "Which team will have the first player arrested?" pool. I had the Bengals. Oh well. There's still a chance I can win for "total arrests for the season".

Here's five things I'll be watching for this week.

1) Sammy Morris - Sammy can run. Sammy can catch. What we know he has a problem with is picking up the blitz (e.g., Bernard Pollard) (well, that and staying healthy for a whole season). If he's going to step up and be the third down bac…

Ups and Downs - Week 2


The Moss.

Best. WR. Ever.


Everyone else!

Bring on the Bills.

Five Things to Watch This Week - Week 2

The Patriots play their second regular season game at the "New Meadowlands" (giggle giggle) against the New York Jets on Sunday, September 19th at 4:15 PM.

Feelin' pretty good about Week 1, but I'm trying to keep myself on an even keel. It's just one game. But it's much better than starting with a loss.

HOWEVER... We did manage to clear up the roster spot that Laurence Maroney was taking up. We even got a 4th rounder for him! (I've been unable to confirm the rumor that "Dancing with the Stars" offered a conditional 5th round pick for him.)

You can look at this development two ways:

1) We're giving up on a guy that never really lived up to his 1st round pick status

2) We just got a 4th round pick for the 4th or 5th guy on the depth chart at RB.

I'm just happy we got something for him. I was somewhat surprised he was still on the roster after the preseason.

Here's five things I'll be watching for this week.

1) Short Pas…

Ups and Downs - Week 1



Nothing like a week 1 ass-whuppin' to make me feel good about football again.

And the defense looked much better than I expected.

Now, it was just one game. But... Damn. I'd much rather win like that than be on the other end of that beating.


No one, really.

Bring on the Jets.

Five Things to Watch This Week - Week 1

The Patriots play their first regular season game at home against the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday, September 12th. 1:00 PM start time. Don't be late. (I'm parenting solo all day Saturday, so I better get a serious stretch of uninterrupted couch time on Sunday.)

Sweet, glorious NFL football. It's back. No more preseason. These games count. How did last year's season end? Oh yeah!

Honestly guys, I don't know what to make of this year's Pats. They could go 10 and 6 or 6 and 10. The offense looks really good. The defense looks... ahhh... not quite as good (cue Sad Don Draper face). How deep a playoff run can you go on with a top 5 offense and a bottom 5 defense? Maybe some of young guys will actually turn out to be players. If not, it's going to be a long season.

The good news is that we play the Bills twice. It's like that free 200 points they give you on the SATs.

Also, I promise not to bitch about Laurence Maroney this year. If he's not …

SB Wrap-Up

And then there's this:

“I think they’re going to be so far ahead that people are going to say, ‘Oh, ho-hum, [Manning] played a good game, they won by two scores, the Colts won their second championship,’ ’’ Dungy told The New York Times. “He is going to have those rings Sunday night. I don’t think it’s going to be close.

Great job, Tony.

If the Pats went to the Super Bowl after Belichick left the team, everyone would be killing him.

But nobody ever says a negative word about Dungy.

Complete bullshit.

Season Wrap-up 2009

Still not over last Sunday's loss.  To paraphrase the great philosopher Emmitt Smith, "We just got debacle'd".

Julian Edelman and Kevin Faulk showed up.  That's about it.

Here's what I'd like to see this offseason:

  - Get "tougher" on defense (both physically and mentally).  And a pass rush would be nice.

  - Resign Vince Wilfork.  Let Matt Light go.

  - New offensive coordinator. Bill O'Brien just isn't getting the job done.  There's no creativity there.  I could have called a better game last Sunday.  Even Brady didn't seem comfortable with the plays being called most of the season.

  - I'm guessing Welker will be out next season.  I'd like to see them draft at least 2 WRs.

The good news?  We have 4 of the top 53 picks in the next draft.

(The bad news is that we'll probably be trading those for picks in 2013...)

Five Things to Watch This Week - Playoff Edition

Playoff Football!  Playoff Football!  Playoff Football!

It's Wild Card Weekend.  The Patriots host the Baltimore Ravens Sunday January 10th at Gillette Stadium at 1:00 PM.  Thanks for coming along for the ride with me this season.

I'll save the negative comments for next week.  I just don't see us losing a home playoff game (Unless Baltimore brings Avon Barksdale and Stringer Bell) (Anyone else think Avon looks like Kevin Faulk?).

Just THREE things to watch this week.  We'll keep it simple.

Running Game - Here's the gameplan I'd like to see:  run, run, run, play-action deep to The Moss.  Boom.  Hopefully, we'll see a lot of Taylor, Faulk and Morris (and maybe some Maroney).  Baltimore's secondary is it's weakness.  Let's set 'em up then kill 'em.

D-Line - If Vince Wilfork and Ty Warren play, we're in good shape.  If not, we're boned.

Stephen Gostkowski - Will the game come down to Gostkowki's big leg?  Maybe!

My Prediction: