Friday, October 28, 2011

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?


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, people.

4) Pittsburgh Pass Defense - Statiscally pretty good.  But so far they've played such offensive juggernauts as Seattle, Indianapolis, Arizona and Jacksonville.  I'm not too worried.

5) Kyle Arrington - I listed Kyle as "inconsistent" before the last game.  Then he went and had 11 tackles and a pick.  Hopefully he's about to get hot. 

Also... I love the KSK guys's take on Roethlisberger.  I assume this is what he actually sounds like in real life:


My prediction: Pats 35, Steelers 24

Stay hydrated, my friends.


This year, we're going to have regular contributions from Fake Bill Belichick for your reading pleasure.  Here's this week's selection from Fake Bill Belichick's "Tales From a Life in Football":

I'm out with Romeo again the night before a game in Atlanta.  He says he knows a place to hang out about 15 miles outside of town.

We go rent this giant Chrysler and head down the highway.  You could have fit like 20 people in this thing.  It was huge.

We finally get out there... and it's just this... shack.  In a field.  In the middle of nowhere.

Romeo gets out of the car and goes bang, bang, bang on the door.

"Knock a little louder" I tell him.

And it turns out...  Nobody was there that night.  They must have been closed.  We ended up just going back to the hotel and getting blitzed. 

Unfortunately, I can't seem to remember what they called the place...  But I'll never forget that tin roof.

True story.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

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.  And he saved a touchdown on that long kick-off return by McKnight.  But the INTs just haven't been there yet this year.

2) Kyle Arrington - Inconsistent in coverage.  Has been good on the corner blitzes.

3) Ras-I Dowling - Has he been hurt?  Or are they just bringing him along slowly?  Probably both.

4) Leigh Bodden - He's been somewhat limited with a groin injury [ed. note - ow].  This will most likely be his last year with the team if he can't stay healthy.

5) Vince Wilfork - The honorary 5th corner.  I can't wait to watch him find the endzone someday.  Is there anything better than a 350 pound man running with the football?  I say no.

My prediction: Pats 31, Cowboys 27

Stay hydrated, my friends.


This year, we're going to have regular contributions from Fake Bill Belichick for your reading pleasure.  Here's this week's selection from Fake Bill Belichick's "Tales From a Life in Football":

So it's the summer of '84.  I'm a rising star on the Giants coaching staff.  And I'm sitting at a table in the back of the bar with Romeo Crennel knocking back a few beers.  You know.  Blowing off a little steam before training camp starts.

And there's this dude with the craziest hair I've ever seen hanging on to every word at the next table.  He comes over and starts asking all these questions. 

Now, I've had a few.  So I'm opening up a bit more than usual.  And I can tell this guy had no idea who I was and had never watched a football game in his life.

"So your boss is a real ball buster, huh?"

"Yeah, he's a world class prick."

And suddenly, wouldn't you know it, Parcells busts in the room and comes over to our table.

"Hey boys!  What are you drinking?  I'll buy the next round."

"We're drinking Heinekens, Coach."

"Heineken? Fuck that foreign shit! Pabst Blue Ribbon is what you'll drink tonight!"

Dude with the Weird Hair is horrified and quickly picks up on the fact that this is the guy we've been talking about.  Then he made the mistake of making eye contact with Bill.

"Don't you fucking look at me!" Parcells shoots back.

Anyway, it turns out Dude with the Weird Hair was David Lynch.  For all I know, that encounter gave him the idea for the Frank Booth character in Blue Velvet.

True story.

(And remind me to tell you about the weekend I spent in Nantucket with Isabella Rossellini.  Let's just say I've rewatched the game tape of that one a few times.)

Friday, October 7, 2011

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's five things I'll be watching for this week:

1) Tom Brady - That 4 INT game at Buffalo was UGLY.  There's no way we're good enough to win games like that.  Some semblance of a running game would only help him down the stretch.

2) Vince Wilfork - Vince is an INTERCEPTION MACHINE.  I say we move him to safety.  Or maybe even mix him in a bit at tight end with hands like that.

3) Wes Welker - He's on track to catch roughly 2300 balls this year.  He's also finding the endzone a lot more this year.  I like it.  They better resign him after this season. ***shakes fist at sky***

4) Jerod Mayo - He's going to be out how long?  A month?  Yikes.  This defense can't afford to get any worse.

5) Logan Mankins - I'm glad he's locked up long term.  He's a difference maker, even if he's good for 4 or 5 unsportsmanlike conduct penalties a year. 

YouTube Video of the Week: Holy crap, that's the best fake punt return play I've ever seen.

My prediction: Pats 34, Jets 21

Stay hydrated, my friends.


This year, we're going to have regular contributions from Fake Bill Belichick for your reading pleasure.  Here's this week's selection from Fake Bill Belichick's "Tales From a Life in Football":

By 1977, I was with the Detroit Lions.  (Lots of good stuff coming out of Detroit at the time... Bob Seger, Ted Nugent, Grand Funk Railroad).    They had me on special teams, receivers, tight ends.  A little bit of everything.  And we sucked.

Remember, this was Detroit in the 70s.  It was pretty bad.  Some of the guys that were trying out for the team were from the area.  If they didn't make the team, they'd be back on the assembly line putting dashboards in Chevy Impalas the next day.

I had to cut one of these guys the second day of training camp.  He just sucked.  I tried to put it to him gently, but it didn't go over well.  Instead of handing me his playbook, he throws it against the wall and walks out.

I head out to the parking lot that night... And he's actually waiting for me by my car.  He sees me coming and he pulls a knife on me.  "You wanna cut me, Coach?  I'll show you what it feels like to get cut."

I assess the situation.  You know, mentally "pause the tape" so to speak.  And I realize he's holding the knife way out to the side like a total amatuer.  Now keep in mind that, at this point, I'm only a few years away from my college lacrosse days.  I'm still pretty quick on my feet.  So I turn my shoulder, lean in to him and drive him back six feet into a concrete post.  Ended up breaking two of his ribs.

Anyway, I gave him $20 out of my wallet and a ride to the emergency room.

True story.