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Five Things to Watch This Week - Week 16 (Game 15)

The Patriots play their fifteenth game of the season at Gillette against the Miami Dolphins on Saturday December 24th at 1:00 PM.

Yay!  Saturday football.

Don't look now, but the Pats are on track to have the number one seed in the AFC.

Really.

With that defense.

Really.


Aaron Hernandez makes it rain against the Broncos.
Dear Santa - I want a pass rush for Patriots this year for Christmas in these last few games.  Please?  What's that?  We lost Andre Carter last week?  Oh... OK.

Here's five guys in the secondary I'll be hoping can pick things up a bit in the next few weeks:

1) Patrick Chung - Will Chung be back this week?  Maybe! 

2) Devin McCourty - Is he getting slightly less terrible as the year goes on?  Kinda.  Not a great sophomore year for #32.

3) Kyle Arrington - Also questionable.  I see a lot of "questionables" on the injury report this week.  Outlook not good.

4) James Ihedigbo - I think he got hurt six times last week.  Dude, just stay down.

5) Ma…

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

The Patriots play their fourteenth game of the season against the Denver Tebows Broncos at Invesco Field at Mile High on Sunday December 18th at 4:15 PM.

Aaaaand we're back to 4:15 games this week.  Crap.

Also... There's only three regular season games left.  Crap crap.


Who had their sexual assault charges dropped this week?  THIS GUY!

Anyone watch any ESPN this week?  I'll recap for you:

Tebow.  Tebow Tebow. Tebow Tebow Tebow Tebow Tebow Tebow.

Tebow Tebow?

Tebow Tebow Tebow Tebow Tebow Tebow Tebow Tebow Tebow Tebow Tebow Tebow Tebow Tebow Tebow Tebow.

How do you contain Tebow?  He's too fast for a lineman to catch him.  He's too big for a defensive back to take him down.  If I'm the defensive coordinator for the Patriots this week, I want linebackers taking up space and making tackles.  Linebackers everywhere.  Put 5 or 6 of them out there at a time (note to self - do we even have 6 healthy linebackers at this point?).

Here's five guys from the linebacking…

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

The Patriots play their thirteenth game of the season against the Washington Redskins at FedEx Field on Sunday December 11th at 1:00 PM.

Oh wow... That field looks like crap.

I predicted a complete and total blow-out last week... and I was way off.  I can't handle watching this defense give up 500 yards every week. From now on, I'm going to turn the channel when the Pats don't have the ball.  Maybe I'll watch a movie or something.



Here's five guys on offense I'm going to be watching this week:

1) Tom Brady - Brady is going to have to play out of his mind for us to do anything in the playoffs.

2) Benjarvus Green-Ellis - It's December.  Time to start giving BJGE the rock.

3) Stevan Ridley - Still loving this kid.  4.8 yards per carry.

4) Chad Ochocinco - Up to 12 catches on the year now.  Or, you know, about one game's worth of balls for Wes Welker.

5) Matthew Slater - And let's go with Matthew Slater.  Sure. Why not?


Also, Mike Shanahan is not so goo…

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

The Patriots play their twelfth game of the season against BYE the Indianapolis Colts at Gillette on Sunday December 4th at 1:00 PM.

Finally!  A 1 o'clock game!  This pleases me.  Hopefully I can watch the whole game without having to get off the couch.  That's pretty much all I want in my life these days... a little uninterrupted couch time.


Vince Young is not so good.
There's been some great battles between the Pats and Colts over the last decade... But this one isn't even going to be close.  Belichick is going to unleash the dogs with bees in their mouths.  He rarely misses an opportunity to rub an old rival's nose in it while they're down (see Pats vs. Redskins 10/28/07).

He's five unsung heroes of the Patriots 2011 season I'll be watching this week:

1) Aaron Hernandez - Quietly having an excellent season.  He's not getting in the end zone as much as Gronk (who is?), but he's been playing pretty darn well.  He's already caught as many bal…

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

The Patriots play their eleventh game of the season against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field on Sunday November 27th at 4:15 PM.

Sorry about the delay.  We were off having another kid.  So far the Patriots are 2 and 0 since Kid #2 got here.  He actually slept on my tummy while we watched the Pats - Jets game in the hospital.  THAT'S GREAT NAPPING.


Jazz hands!
Have you seen the schedule the rest of the year?  Oh man, that's soft.  Lots of lousy teams and backup quarterbacks.  We're going to win 12 or 13 games.  And, of course, none of it matters if we go one and out again in the playoffs.  *deep breath - composes self*  Moving on...

He's five guys I'll watching closely this week:

1) Tom Brady - Brady has been getting off to sloooow starts the last few weeks.  He's looked great in the second half, but lousy at the beginning of these games.  I hope he's not hurt.

2) Rob Gronkowski - GRONK HANG ON TO BALL EVEN WHILE FALL ON HEAD.  GRONK NO DROP…

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

The Patriots play their eighth (is that really how you spell "8th"?  Something doesn't look right...) game of the season against the New York Giants at Gillette Stadium on Sunday November 6th at 4:15 PM.

Rough week last week, Guys.  After the game I put on my Belichick pajamas, crawled into bed and cried myself to sleep.

I felt a little better when I woke up Monday morning.  We're still 5 and 2.  All is not lost.

This doesn't look like a Super Bowl defense, but nobody else out there really scares me right now.  Nobody is running away with the AFC at this point. 

I guess what I'm trying to say is that things are still wide open.  It's only November.


I know, Bill.  I couldn't watch, either.
Did Chad Ochocinco have a catch last week?

NO. 


There's been a number of disappointments on this team this year.  Here's five guys I'm hoping to see do something on the field this week:

1) Chad Ochocinco - My expectations were low when we traded for Chad…

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

The Patriots play their seventh game of the season against the Steelers at Heinz Field on Sunday October 30th at 4:15 PM.

Impressive win over the Cowboys two weeks ago.  I didn't think they had a chance of pulling that one out.

I also listed 5 guys (mmm... Five Guys... ) who had a chance of picking off Romo in that game.  And the correct answer was... Kyle Arrington.  Nailed it.

NEW FEATURE -- Did Chad Ochocinco have a catch last week?

NO.

Chad Ochocinco with one of his many, many catches this season.
Here's five things I'll be watching for this week:

1) Tom Brady - Brady has traditionally shredded the Pittsburgh defense.  They don't mix things up much.  If you do the same thing over and over again, #12 will kill you.

2) Rob Gronkowski - Even on the bye week, Gronk totally scored.  I've got him on my fantasy football team.  I should get points for that, no?

3) New England Pass Defense - Let's be optimists here and list them as "improving".  Stay positive…

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

The Patriots play their sixth game of the season against the Cowboys at Gillette Stadium on Sunday October 16th at 4:15 PM.

First - I would be remiss without mentioning BenJarvus Green-Ellis.  He had a hell of a game last week.


What's going on in this picture?  Why is Brady 11 feet tall?
Second - Was the defense better last week?  Or were the Jets just lousy?  Either way, I'll take it.  Holding the Jets to 3 for 11 on third down?  Niiiice.

Third - These 4:15 games are killing me.  My kid usually naps from 12:30 to 3:00-ish on the weekends.  If it's a 1:00 o'clock game, I can get 2/3rds of that game in without also having to tend to parenting duties.  By 4:15, he's up and wants to watch "Scooby Doo" and "Phineas and Ferb".  "Sorry Buddy... Daddy gets to watch his show right now."

Here's five guys I think could pick off Tony Romo this week:

1) Devin McCourty - He's leading the team in tackles.  He looked somewhat better last week.…

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

The Patriots play their fifth game of the season against the Jets at Gillette Stadium on Sunday October 9th at 4:15 PM.

I don't know how to put this, but...  the defense... is not good.  After all this talk about improved quarterback pressure, revamped defensive lines and 3 - 4 vs. 4 - 3, we still can't get off the field when we have to.  This doesn't have the look of a team that looks like it's built to go deep into the playoffs right now.  I keep reminding myself that it's early.  There's still time. 

The only bright spot the last few weeks was the emergence of Stevan Ridley.  Hot damn, he's fast.  I can't ever remember the Pats having a burner like that in the backfield.

Moving on to this week - I'm not as worried about the Jets as I was at the beginning of the year.  Sanchez seems to have taken a step back. 

(Now watch him throw for 425 yards this week.  Ugh.)


Cover up that ball.
Let's take a look at the leaders of the franchise.  Here'…

Five Things to Watch This Week - Week 3 (Game 3)

The Patriots play their third game of the season on the road at The Ralph on Sunday September 25th at 1:00 PM

First up - It's the 10 year anniversary Mo Lewis taking out Drew Bledsoe. 

*pauses for moment of silence*

Just think about how differently things might have gone if Brady never made it on the field that season.  Scary.  Don't get me wrong... I love Drew.  And I appreciate that without Parcells, Bledsoe and Kraft coming along when they did, the team was probably gone.  But we definitely don't go on that run with Drew under center.  And I think maybe twice in the last ten years I've yelled "GET RID OF THE BALL!" at the TV with Number 12 out there.  With Drew it was 3 - 4 times per quarter.

Pats vs. Chargers.  It's probably for the best that Vince didn't make it to the end zone off the interception last week.  I probably would have broken my hand on the ceiling after jumping off the couch.


Go, Vince, go!
I always thought evaluating draft…

Five Things to Watch This Week - Week 2 (Game 2)

The Patriots play their first home game of the season at Gillette Stadium on Sunday September 18th at 4:15 PM.

HOMEWORK CHECK:  Did everyone watch "Bill Belichick: A Football Life" last night?  Good.  Don't forget to watch part 2 next week.


It's a little early, but let's take a look at the 2011 draft picks.  Here's five things I'll be watching for this week:

1) Nate Solder - I thought he played great on Monday night.  Beast-like, even.  I assumed this was going to be a "draft him now and play him later" kinda thing with this guy, but it looks like he's ready now. 

2) Ras-I Dowling - I recently suggested "Ras-I" to my wife a possible baby name.  And surprisingly, she was against it.

3) Marcus Cannon - Don't expect to see him this year, but he should be great when he comes back from... *checks medical report*... non-Hodgkin lymphoma.  Yikes.  Look for this guy NEXT year.  (These are the kinds of things you can do when you're…

Five Things to Watch This Week - Week 1 (Game 1)

The Patriots play their first regular season game at Joe Robbie StadiumPro Player ParkPro Player StadiumDolphins StadiumLand Shark Stadium Sun Life Stadium against the Miami Dolphins on Monday, September 12th at 7:00 PM.

Just a reminder... The Dolphins could have had Drew Brees and chose Daunte Culpepper instead.

*** long pause ***

Bwah ha ha ha ha ha!

That story kills me.

I love 7:00 PM Monday Night Football.  All Monday night games should start this early (Suck it, West Coasties!).



(Albert approves of the earlier Monday night start time)

There's a whole bunch of new faces this year.  Let's start with the new guys.  Here's five things I'll be watching for this week:

1) Chad Ochocinco - I'll be honest with you... I'm not feeling great about what I've seen in the preseason so far.  He looked lost at times.  Could he end up thriving in this offense?  Maybe.  But I'm afraid this could be another Joey Gaolloway situation. 

2) Albert Haynesworth - Look, h…

Hey Hey Hey!

Welcome back!

After a full off-season of "When is my team going to make a big move?", Adam Schefter tweets:

"Filed to ESPN: Washington traded DT Albert Haynesworth to the New England Patriots for a fifth-round pick in 2013. "

My first reaction was... WHA?!

Not a great guy, sure.

But here's the thing though... What if this actually works out?  What if he shows up and plays?

A fifth round pick in 2013 isn't much to give up.  And d-line is already a source of strength for the Patriots.  So if he acts up, he's gone.

I'm sure conditioning is going to be a problem.  I can't imagine he kept himself in great shape during the lockout.

Belichick is totally in the "Eff you, I'm Keith Hernandez" zone.

Plus this trade gives me the excuse to run this video all season:



Five Things to Watch This Week - Divisional Playoff Round

The Patriots play their first playoff game against the Jets at Gillette on Sunday, January 16th at 4:30 PM.

I'm so ready for this game.  This is the playoffs, people (PLAYOFFS?!).  Let's all act like we've been here before.

Did anyone actually watch the Jets - Colts game last week?  The Jets may have won, but Mark Sanchez looked GAWD AWFUL.  How deep can you really go in the playoffs with a guy like that?

But you know what does scare me just a little?  The Jets running game.  We are thin thin thin along the defensive line.  If I was Rex Ryan... I would be into feet.  But I would also steal the Week 15 game plan from the Green Bay Packers and run the ball 120 times.  They came into Foxboro and ran the ball all over us.

The other item from this week that everyone is flipping out about is Antonio Cromartie is blasting Tom Brady.  Really?  This is news?  This is the same guy that can't remember all his kids' names (unless one of his daughters is actually named "Da…