Friday, December 20, 2013

Five Things to Watch This Week - Week 16

The Patriots play their fifteenth game of the year at M&T Bank Stadium against the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday, December 22 at 4:25 PM.*

*ADJUSTED TIME.  PLAN YOUR DRINKING AND EATING ACTIVITIES ACCORDINGLY.

Don't anybody panic or anything... But there's still a very slight chance we miss the playoffs.

This is in sharp contrast to the "inside track at the number one seed" we had a week or so ago.

Gasp!

DEEP BREATHS.



We lost to THIS TEAM last week.


Days of Christmas Power Rankings:

1) Day 9

2) Day 5

3) Day 8

4) Day 6

5) Day 3


Here are five guys on defense who will need to step up this week if the Patriots are going to be beat the Ravens:

1) Chandler Jones - I have nothing but positive things to say about Chandler Jones this season.

2) Dont'a Hightower - I don't really have any positive things to say about Hightower this season.

3) Brandon Spikes - Didn't play last week against Miami, but Spikes has played reasonably well filling in for Mayo in the middle.   Also, has a sex tape.

4) Aqib Talib - Hasn't looked nearly as good the last few weeks.  Either he's hurt, or he's holding back for the playoffs.

5) Devin McCourty - I find myself yelling at the TV much less frequently since they moved him from corner to safety.


Did Michael Hoomanawanui have a catch last week?

Yes!  And it was amazing!





Did Stevan Ridley fumble last week?

No!


My prediction: Pats 27, Ravens 24

My prediction (Season): 12 - 4


*****

This week we have Fake Matt Patricia filling for Fake Bill Belichick.

Hello Carbon Based Lifeforms.  I hope this correspondence finds you well.

I'll be taking some time away from normal mid-week film watching and data model projections to spend time with my family this week in honor of the Winter Solstice.  And Christmas, too, I guess.

I'll let you in on a little secret about my family:

I act like I'm all put out when then ask me to fix their computer problems, but I actually enjoy doing it.

I guess that's more a secret about me than my family.  But there you have it.

And don't tell Bill... But I'll probably sneak in a little Age of Empires time if I'm going to be working on computers anyway.  Or Caprica.  That Alessandra Torresani is kinda cute.

Happy Holidays and Peace on Your M-Class Planet of Residence.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Five Things to Watch This Week - Week 15

The Patriots play their fourteenth game of the year 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 Sunday December 15 at 1:00 PM.



THAT GUY!  THAT GUY DIDN'T WASH HIS HANDS AFTER USING THE BATHROOM!

Bill Power Rankings:

1) Belichick

2) Murray

3) Clinton

4) Cosby

5) Posters

6) S. Preston, Esq

7) Buffalo

8) Gates

9) Parcells

10) -y dee williams

11) the Cat


Here are five guys who will need to step up this week if the Patriots are going to be beat the Dolphins:

1) Shane Vereen - Another solid week last week.  Believe it or not, he's the team's third leading receiver for the year.  There might still be time to put a Vereen jersey on your Christmas wishlist.

2) Stephen Gostkowski - HOLY CRAP!  ONSIDE KICK!  (Last time the Pats recovered an onside kick was... 1994.)

3) LeGarrette Blount - Considering we got him for almost nothing, he's been quietly putting together a pretty solid season.

4) Matthew Mulligan - Backup tight end with 2 receptions on the season.  Just mentioning him here so you're not yelling "Who is THAT?" when you see #88 on the field on Sunday.

5) Danny Amendola - I haven't really talked about Amendola much this season.  I'm probably still bitter about the Welker thing.  But he's actually been OK when he's been on the field.


BONUS ITEM: Every time the Pats' defense fails to make a play on third down, take a drink.*

(* Note - not responsible if you die from alcohol poisoning. **)

(** Note - Recycled joke.)


Did Michael Hoomanawanui have a catch last week?

No, silly.  He's hurt.

Did Stevan Ridley fumble last week?

No!


My prediction: Pats 28, Dolphins 21

My prediction (Season): 12 - 4

*****

This week we have Fake Josh McDaniels filling for Fake Bill Belichick.

What up, Bros and Lady Bros?

Had to dish out a little discipline this week.  Not my favorite thing to do.  But I'm capable.  Gotta keep the troops in line.

"Edelman!  Get in in my office!"

(Edelman comes running over.)

Josh McDaniels: Take those sunglasses off.  You're inside.

(Edelman takes shades off.  Looks handsomely out the window.)


JM: Why does Ridley think the football is made of lava?  Do you know anything about this?

Julian Edelman (giggling): Uh... No.  I wouldn't know anything about that, Coach.

JM: YOU THINK THIS IS FUNNY?

JE: Maybe just a little.

JM:  No more shenanigans!  This ends today.

JE:  Sure.  Whatevs.

JM: I'm serious.

JE: Listen... Can we hurry this up?  We both know you can't afford to bench me.  You NEED me out there. Besides, Brady and I are going for pedicures this afternoon.


(Edelman puts shades on and stylishly walks away)

Dammit if he wasn't right.  He's got leverage.  I need him more than he needs me.

I may not like the handsome bastard.  But I respect him.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Five Things to Watch This Week - Week 14

The Patriots play their thirteenth game of the year at Gillette Stadium against the Cleveland Browns on Sunday, December 8th at 1:00 PM.


We gave up HOW MANY points to the Texans last week?


This is pretty much what I looked like getting up from the table on Thanksgiving.

These late comebacks are getting to be rough on my stress levels. I should just start watching these games in the second half.

Maybe this week they get a big lead early and put the Browns away for good. The Browns are starting (spins Quarterback Wheel of Doom) Jason Campbell at QB this week. Sure. Am I afraid of Jason Campbell? Not really. But I'll freely admit... Josh Gordon scares me more than a little.

Marcus Power Rankings:

1) Aurelius

2) Allen

3) Brody

4) Cannon

5) Neiman

Here the All Stars of the Patriots offense so far this season (other than TB12):
1) Rob Gronkowski - Even with missing the first 7 weeks, he's putting up great numbers (560 yards and 4 TDs in just 6 games). They're a much better team when he's on the field.

2) Shane Vereen - Vereen has emerged as the 3rd down back they've been looking for since Kevin Faulk retired. It's too bad he also missed half the season.

3) Julian Edelman - He's having a career year. He's blossomed in the Poor Man's Wes Welker role. I'm hoping they bring him back next year when his asking price goes up..

4) Stephen Gostkowski - Just a pair of 53 yard field goals in the 4th quarter last week. No big deal.

5) Aaron Dobson - Out of all the rookies WRs, I still think he's going to be THE GUY. Needs to get back on the field.


Did Michael Hoomanawanui have a catch last week?

No, silly. He's hurt.

Did Stevan Ridley fumble last week?

No!
Did James Develin score last week?

Yes!

My prediction: Pats 34, Browns 31

My prediction (Season): 12 - 4

*****
This week we have Fake Josh McDaniels filling for Fake Bill Belichick.

What up, Bros and Lady Bros?

Did we win again last week? Hells yes.

Did we put 34 points on the board again last week? Also hell yes.

BUT... it's not all tacos and brews in Josh's World this week, Bros. I had to have a little talk with one of our running backs.

"Hey... Stevan... Bro... Come on in. Have a seat."

"Hey Coach. What's up?"

"We need to talk... "

"Yeah, I figured this was coming."

"Everything OK at home?"

"Yeah. Things are great."

"Any other big changes? Anything you need to talk about? Any injuries you're hiding?"

"No. I feel great."

"Anyone on the team giving you a hard time?"

"No. I'm doing just fine. Fitting in. Making friends."

"OK... Then... How do we explain (long pause) the fumbling?"

"I'm scared, Coach."

"Scared of what?"

"The ball... If I hold onto too long... I'm afraid it'll catch on fire."

"What?"

"The ball. It's made of lava!"

"What?!"

"The football. If you hold it for more than 6 seconds, it gets hot. Super hot. And catches fire. Like that Mola Ram dude."



"Who told you that?"

"I... I shouldn't..."

"Tell me.  Now."

"Uh... I think it was Edelman."

"Edelman?"

"Yeah. Edelman."

(shakes fist at sky)

"EDELMAN!"

(thinks fast on his feet)


"OK... What if we gave you some special super cool anti-lava gloves? They'll protect you if the football spontaneously catches fire. Do you think you could hold on to the football then?"

"You think it'll work, Coach?"

"I think we can try that. Hell, we've got to try something."

Friday, November 22, 2013

Five Things to Watch This Week - Week 12

The Patriots play their eleventh game of the year at Gillette Stadium against the Denver Broncos on Sunday, November 24th at 8:30 PM.

Another late night game?  I'm going to be sooo tired Monday morning.


Congratulations, Panthers.  Good win.



Not holding.


I'm going to be honest guys... I'm more than a little worried about this game.  I'd be a more pumped up if we had won last week.  But alas... we did not.

Tom Brady blah blah Peyton Manning blah blah best quarterbacks ever blah blah blah.

Today is also the 1 year anniversary of the Buttfumble.  Never forget.

Here's five guys I'll be staying up late to watch Sunday night:

1) Shane Vereen - Excellent first week back from injured reserve.  A running back who can catch is a nice luxury.

2) Rob Gronkowski - Gronk needs to fight through that hold.  Take that linebacker with you.

3) Aqib Talib - Listed as day to day.  I would feel a lot better about this game if I knew Talib and Alfonzo Dennard were 100%.  Talib seems to not get along with Steve Smith very well.

4) Stevan Ridley - Hold on to the football.  What the hell damn guy?!

5) Wes Welker - You think Tom is still sending love notes to Welker or is he over it by now?  I'm guessing their relationship is a lot like the Lionel Richie "Hello" video.


Did Michael Hoomanawanui have a catch last week?

Oh yeah!

But then go he hurt on the play.

Oh no!


My prediction: Pats 34, Broncos 35

My prediction (Season): 12 - 4

*****

This week we have Fake Matt Patricia filling for Fake Bill Belichick.

Hello, football fans.  qaStaH nuq?

(That is Klingon for "What is happening?")


First - Allow me to introduce myself.  My name is Fake Matt Patricia.  I am the Defensive Coordinator for the New England Patriots.  I have been with the team since 2004.  I am the guy with the beard and the headset you usually see standing next to Coach Bill.

I like comic books, movies and science fiction stories.  But my real passion is building my own predictive statistical models.

For instance, the Patriots defense is currently ranked 7th in points allowed.  Given our opponent this week, you would expect our defensive ranking to take a hit.  But looking ahead at the rest of our schedule, we should rebound nicely by the end of the season.  We will be OK!

I understand we are to supposed to share an amusing anecdote or football related story here, but nothing that memorable really happened this week.  If anything of interest happens to me over the next week, I will be sure to write it down and tell you all about next time.

Instead I will give you this fun fact.  Did you know you can build and install your own customized version of Linux on your laptop?  It is true!  You can even go with MySQL and have your very own database server running locally on your machine.  All for free!

Until next time... buy' ngop!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Five Things to Watch This Week - Week 11

The Patriots play their tenth game of the year at Bank of America Stadium against the Carolina Panthers on Monday, November 18 at 8:40 PM.

Welcome back.  It feels like forever since we've last seen a Patriots game.

How'd the Patriots look against the Steelers?  Pretty good!

Shane Vereen may play again this week.  Looking forward to seeing him back out there.


COACH GOING TO YELL AT THE BEN.  TOTALLY NOT THE BEN'S FAULT!


Andre Power Rankings

1) the Giant

2) 3000

3) Carter

4) that seal movie

5) Dawson


Here's five guys I'll be staying up late to watch Monday night:

1) Tom Brady - Brady had  432 yards and 4 TDs last week (252 yards in the first half) against Pittsburgh.  Plus he looked the most comfortable I've seen him all season.

2) Aaron Dobson - It feels like Dobson is finally breaking away from the other rookie WRs.

3) Stevan Ridley - Ridley has been looking strong.

4) Chandler Jones - 8.5 sacks already this year.  That's a lot of sack.

5) Danny Amendola - I suppose I should say something nice about Amendola here.  Ummm... He had a good game... I guess?  (I'd still rather have Welker back...)


Did Michael Hoomanawanui have a catch last week?

YEAH!


My prediction: Pats 27, Panthers 21

My prediction (Season): 12 - 4*

ADJUSTED!

*I've been sticking with 10 - 6 all season up to this point.  But it's probably pretty unlikely they're going to go 3 - 4 over the last seven games.

*****

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 third book "My Life Away From Football":

Last offseason.  Still looking to see if there was something I could do other than football.

Actually thought about retiring for a bit.  Went to see my old mentor Bill Parcells and see how he was doing in retirement.

"You want a beer?"

"No thanks.  It's 9:45 in the morning."

"Bourbon then?"

"Uh, no."

"Fine.  More for me then."

"Congratulations on your Hall of Fame induction, Coach."

"Thanks!  I'm thinking of skipping the ceremony."

"Seriously?"

"Nah, not really!  I'm just messing with you.  Got you good, didn't I?"

"Yeah.  I guess so."

"So what brings you down here today, Billy Boy?"

"Thinking about maybe leaving coaching.  I'm wondering if I've lost my passion for it."

"WHAT?  I'd go back in a second if I could.  Never walk away."

"OK."

"Remember the time we made Charlie Weis do the truffle shuffle?"

"Yes."

"That was awesome."

"Yeah.  I guess it was kinda awesome."

"What other line of work are you going to make memories like that?  Did I tell you about the silk panties on gameday thing?"

"Yeah, I'm not doing that."

"Besides... What else are you going to do with yourself?  It's not like you're going to get an analyst job and go on TV or anything.  You hate those people."

He was right.  He may be completely crazy.  But he was right.

I had to get back to coaching.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Five Things to Watch This Week - Week 9

The Patriots play their ninth game of the year at Gillette against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday November 3rd at 4:25 PM.

Weird win last week.  I can't ever remember a football game where the 1st half and the 2nd half were so drastically different.

Despite losing bodies left and right, the defense continues to step up.  I have no idea how they're doing it.

Does Brady have a broken hand / finger?  Is that what's going on here?  How long has that been going on?  That would explain a lot.  Not everything.  But a lot.

Halloween Candy Power Rankings:

1) Reese's Peanut Butter Cups

2) Kit Kat

3) Snickers

4) Reese's Peanut Butter Cups (again)

5) M&Ms

Also... Screw "fun sized" candy.  All that does is make me eat 7 of them.  Not cool, guys.


Didn't drop that one.


Here's five guys I'll be watching this week as I recover from my Halloween candy hangover:

1) Stevan Ridley - Wondering why they're not giving him more carries.  Maybe they're saving him for later in the season?  Does that make any sense?

2) Stephen Gostkowski - Quietly having an excellent season again this year.  Just won AFC Special Teams Player of the Month for October.

3) Aaron Dobson - Fewer drops last week!  Dobson seems to have passed Thompkins on the depth chart.

4 and 5) Devin McCourty and Marquice Cole - This play was one of the best two man interceptions I've ever seen.


Did Michael Hoomanawanui have a catch last week?

No.

/sad trombone

(Just going to keep that sad trombone locked and loaded for a while.  Hoo-man probably isn't going to see  many targets now that now that Gronk is back out there.)


My prediction: Pats 17, Steelers 14

My prediction (Season): 10 - 6


*****

This week we have Fake Josh McDaniels filling for Fake Bill Belichick.

What up, Bros and Lady Bros?

Big win AGAIN last week.  Never get tired of those.

The Josh made some halftime adjustments.  I'm pushing all the right buttons.

And I'm not supposed to talk about Brady's hand, but let's just say it wasn't exactly a football injury

/dismissive wanking motion

What did The Josh give out for Halloween this year?  Not free candy, that's for damn sure.

If you came to Josh's pad, you got a list of problems with your costume and ways you could make it better.  Then, if you went home and made those changes and came back within 10 minutes, you could have a piece of candy.

You could also earn a piece of candy if you do the Thriller dance.  (Don't judge.  Josh loves him some MJ.)  But you have to do the WHOLE THING.

Anwayway... Didn't end up giving out that much candy that night.  The next day there seemed to be a whole bunch of broken eggs in my driveway.  If I catch the kids who did it, we're going to have words.

Until next time... take it easy, Brahs.

JAY MICK DEE OUT.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Five Things to Watch This Week - Week 8

The Patriots play their eighth game of the year at Gillette against the Miami Dolphins on Sunday October 27th at 1:00 PM.

Bad, bad loss last week.  Not good times, you guys.

I know this sounds absurd to say about a 5 - 2 team, but... I think this team is just... average.  They have a chance to move up to "good" by the end of the season, but they're not there yet.  The offense has to get better.  And they can't afford to lose any more bodies on defense.

To put it mildly, the offense has had problems.  It's not entirely on Brady... But yes... A large chunk of it is on Brady.  Yes, he's got an almost entirely new cast of characters around him.  But he's definitely been less good-ish this year.  Is he on the decline?  Is this the beginning of the end?  Is he just off to bad start?  Insufficient data.  Ask again later.

Brady vs. the Jets last week:

     22 of 46 for 228 yards.  4 sacks.  0 TDs.  1 INT.

Woof.

I'm also willing to listen to the argument that the Patriots wide receivers are terrible this year.  They're certainly not helping things.  They lead the league in drops.  And goofy names.


Gronk approves.


Aaron Power Rankings:

1) Burr

2) Paul

3) Rodgers

4) Eckhart

5) Dobson


Here's five guys I'm looking forward to watching this week:

1) Rob Gronkowski - Gronk back.  Gronk have pretty good first game, but Gronk not catch touchdown.  Maybe Tom lock in on Gronk too much.

2) Stevan Ridley - Ridley has actually played well the last few weeks.  I wish they would give him the ball a bit more.

3) Brandon Bolden - Bolden looks like he's taken a step backwards this year.  My expectations have not been met so far.

4) Julian Edelman - Even without the receptions, he's quite the weapon in the return game.

5) Danny Amendola - Might play this week.  Not exactly making everyone forget about Wes Welker in his first year as a Patriot.

5A) Andre Carter - Welcome back, Andre Carter.  Can you play 3 positions at once?

Did Michael Hoomanawanui have a catch last week?

No.

/sad trombone


My prediction: Pats 30, Dolphins 24

My prediction (Season): 10 - 6


*****

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 third book "My Life Away From Football":

Last offseason.  I was still looking to see if there was something I could do other than football.  There had to be something out there for me.  Crossing guard gig didn't work out.  Landscaping wasn't really my thing.  Decided to try selling real estate.  How hard could it be, right?

They set me up to run an open house.  It didn't go so well.

The first guy comes in and just starts hounding me with... like... a million questions.

     "This kitchen needs updating.  Do you know if they're planning on working on that?"

     "It is what it is."

     "What's this room for?"

     "Well... This room has a lot of versatility.  You could use it as a dining room.  Or a breakfast area.  Or you could use it to watch game tape...  Unless... Is that not something you do?"

     "Do you have a copy of the home inspection report?  Does it mention the kitchen."

     "It'll be on the report when the report comes out Wednesday."

     "What happened to Dan?  Didn't he used to work for your office?  Dan was a lot more helpful."

     "He doesn't play for our team anymore."


Give me a break, buddy.  Somehow these buyers were worse than reporters.  So many questions.

I decided maybe I just needed to get away from people for a while...

Friday, October 18, 2013

Five Things to Watch This Week - Week 7

The Patriots play their seventh game of the year at Giants Stadium MetLife Stadium against the New York Jets on Sunday October 20th at 1:00 PM.

Here's what I wrote last week:

     The Patriots are going to get killed on Sunday.  It's going to be ugly.

I'm happy to say I was wrong.  Oh so wrong.

That was a pretty good catch.

Rob Ryan... How'd you feel about the way that game ended?

Sad howl at moon.

Unfortunately, the injuries continue to pile up.   Danny Amendola, Tommy Kelly, Leon Washington and Aqib Talib all appear to be out this week (Amendola still doesn't know where he is after that hit).  Jerod Mayo is done for the year.  This is not a good trend.

Has Brady been bitching at his receivers too much this season?  Edelman is clearly sick of his crap.



Here are five guys who will have to pick up the slack this week against the surprisingly not horrible Jets:

1) Kenbrell Thompkins - Thompkins, you get the nod this week.  Game ball for my man.  You may have only caught half the passes thrown at you last week, but you caught the one that counted most.

2 and 3) Dont'a Hightower and Jamie Collins - Look for both guys to step up and fill the void left by Jerod Mayo.

4) Julian Edelman - As the only member of of receiving corps with some seniority, he's been valuable this season.  Even if he doesn't want to give up the high fives.

5) Austin Collie - Collie saw the field last week and was an important weapon on that last drive.  Also, his name makes me think of dogs.


Did Michael Hoomanawanui have a catch last week?

Yes!

Four catches!!!


My prediction: Pats 27, Jets 17

My prediction (Season): 10 - 6


*****

This week we have Fake Josh McDaniels filling for Fake Bill Belichick.

What up, Bros and Lady Bros?

Big win last week?  You know it!

Those were some most excellent play calls on that final drive, no?  Good times at Patriots HQ all around.

Me and Dabs (ed. note: Brian Daboll, coaching assistant) are sitting down at our usual lunch table on Monday, 'bout to get our Doritos Locos on and go over the game plan for this week.  Still buzzing hard from that big win.

Then Patsy (ed. note: Matt Patricia, defensive coordinator) comes over and asks if he can eat lunch with us.  Usually the Josh-ster doesn't even talk to the cats on defense, but I was feeling extra magnanimous after such a good week.

     MP: Hey guys!  How's it going?  Great game last week, huh?

     BD: No doubt.

     MP: You working on some plays for next week?

     JM: Mmm hmmm.

     (long pause)

     MP: Have you guys seen the new Star Trek movie?  It's really good.  I watched it last night after the game.

     (blank stares from me and Dabs)

     MP: It's not as good as the original movies, or even the first JJ Abrams one, but I enjoyed it.

     (more blank stares)

     MP: Benedict Cumberbatch is a bad guy, but for good reasons.  He's such a good actor.

     JM: Mmm hmmm... That's great.  Listen, try not to let your defense give away a lead like that again next week.  Can't be giving up touchdowns on 3 and 20s, Bro.


Then we got up and left.

SHUT IT DOWN.

Besides... Everybody knows Josh is an X-Men guy.

Until next time... take it easy, Brahs.

JAY MICK DEE OUT.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Five Things to Watch This Week - Week 6

The Patriots play their sixth game of the year at Gillette against the New Orleans Saints on Sunday October 13th at 4:25 PM.

The Patriots are going to get killed on Sunday.  It's going to be ugly.

Here's five things to do instead of watching football this week:

1) Go see a movie.  I hear Gravity is pretty good.

2) Go read a book.

3) Go outside.  Maybe run or go for a bike ride.  Check out some foliage.

4) Go to the Scottish Festival in Connecticut.

5) Bake a pie.  I like apple pie.  And pecan.


Did Michael Hoomanawanui have a catch last week?

Yes!


My prediction: Pats 10, Saints 38

My prediction (Season): 10 - 6

Friday, October 4, 2013

Five Things to Watch This Week - Week 5

The Patriots play their fifth game of the year at Paul Brown Stadium against the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday October 6th at 1:00 PM.

Did we just put up 30 points last week?

Are we really 4 - 0?

How are we 4 - 0?

/pinches self

Apparently cornerbacks are allowed to knock the ball away from opposing players.  
It's been years since the Patriots have tried that.

Now we're facing a Bengals team that I don't know what to make of.  They beat the Packers one week, then lose to the Browns the next week.  Are these guys any good?

The Patriots brought in former colts receiver Austin Collie this week.  Collie had... wait for it... 1 catch for 6 yards in all of 2012.  In addition to his concussion issues, Collie also apparently has 1 good knee.  Awesome.  Way to surround Brady with weapons.  Once again... let's keep our expectations low.

Also... Moment of silence for Vince Wilfork who was just placed on season ending injured reserve (torn Achilles tendon... try not to put any weight on that).  Get well soon, Big Man.


Vince Power Rankings

1) Clortho*

2) Wilfork

3) Gilligan

4) Guaraldi Trio

5) Pruitt Taylor


Here are five guys on the rise this season:


1) Aqib Talib - Game ball for Aqib Talib.  He might be the Team MVP so far this season.

2) Kenbrell Thompkins - Is he improving?  Yes.  He made a great grab in the corner of the endzone for a touchdown last week. But then a ball will hit him in the hands and he'll drop it.  Sheesh.

3) Julian Edelman - He's already put up career high numbers 4 games into the season.

4) Dont'a Hightower - Looks like he's putting it together in his second year.  This pleases me.

5) LeGarrette Blount - The Other Big Man had a solid week last week.  Nobody loves seeing a 250 pound running back rip off a 47 yard touchdown run more than me.


*Keymaster of Gozer.  Gozer the Traveler. He will come in one of the pre-chosen forms. During the rectification of the Vuldrini, the traveler came as a large and moving Torg! Then, during the third reconciliation of the last of the McKetrick supplicants, they chose a new form for him: that of a giant Slor! Many Shuvs and Zuuls knew what it was to be roasted in the depths of the Slor that day, I can tell you!


Did Michael Hoomanawanui have a catch last week?

No.

/sad trombone


My prediction: Pats 27, Bengals 17

My prediction (Season): 10 - 6


*****

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 third book "My Life Away From Football":


Early Spring.  Last offseason.  Monday morning.  I had nowhere to be.  Linda was on vacation.  The kids weren't around.

The yard was a mess.  I never had the landscaping crew come out and clean it up last Fall.  Just too busy.

I figured I could at least knock out the back yard.  And I had a six pack to help pass the time.  Might as well do it myself.

So grabbed my rake and I got out my yellow Walkman Sports that I use for my workouts and popped in "Appetite For Destruction".

          Been hidin' out
          And layin' low
          It's nothin' new to me

(Axl's not from New Jersey, but he's still pretty good.)

Huh... Turns out this yardscaping stuff is pretty hard.  Took me a bit longer than I thought it would.  And I was sore.  Damn sore.  But it really cleared my head, you guys.  There's something about repetitive manual labor that really frees up some brainspace.

Unfortunately, I could never get the whole yard just right all at the same time.  I would get one area cleaned up, then the leaves blew around some more and I would have to go back and redo that area.

And then... Somewhere around my 4th or 5th beer.  I realized that my yard really represented the team.  It was time to do some cleaning there, too.  I had to get all the areas of my team cleaned up before this season.

That's right, Axl.  They won't break me, either.

I went inside and took a codeine cough syrup nap.  Woke up two days later.

True story.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Five Things to Watch This Week - Week 4

The Patriots play their fourth game of the year at the Georgia Dome against the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday September 29th at 8:30 PM.

After a 3 - 0 start, we're playing our first real team of the season this week (sorry Bills fans).  The schedule gets a lot more challenging over the next few weeks.  Everybody hold on to your butts.

The "Gronkowski  is back" rumors are heating up this week.  Eh.  I'll believe it when I see him on the field.  Until then, he's Keyser Soze. ("Nobody believed he was real... Nobody ever saw him or knew anybody that ever worked directly for him...")

Last week I referred to Rob Ninkovich as a "gem".  This week, he got a three year contract extension.  Coincidence?  Yes, probably.


Bill is super excited for Sunday's game, you guys.


How are the new WRs working out so far?

Catches per game:

        Week 1         Week 2              Week 3
Kenbrell Thompkins 4 2 3
Aaron Dobson 0 3 7
Josh Boyce 0 0 0
Total 4 5 10


Not great!

But getting... better... I guess?  (Better-ish?  That's a word, right?)


LeGarrette Power Rankings:

1)

2) Blount

3)

4)

5)

(I couldn't find any other LeGarrettes out there.  Sorry.)


Here are five guys who have showed up on game day this year:

1) Alfonzo Dennard - Looks like he might really be a football player.  They may have finally hit on a corner in the draft!  Let's hope the off the field issues don't become a recurring problem.

2) Vince Wilfork - The Big Man has been seeing a lot of double teams so far this year.  He still makes everyone around him better.

3) Chandler Jones - Three sacks in 3 games so far this season.  I love this guy.

4) Devin McCourty - I greatly prefer Devin McCourty the safety to Devin McCourty the cornerback.

5) Julian Edelman - Officially the all time NFL leader in punt return average.  Holy crap.

5A) Tyroil Smoochie-Wallace - Undrafted practice squad d-line player.  Hopefully he'll see some game day action this season.


Did Michael Hoomanawanui have a catch last week?

Yes!  

Two catches, in fact.

Yeaaaah.


My prediction: Pats 24, Falcons 28

My prediction (Season): 10 - 6


*****
This week we have Fake Josh McDaniels filling for Fake Bill Belichick.

What up, Bros and Lady Bros?

We're off to a hot start.

Is the offense getting better every week?

Damn right it is.


See?  Josh can fill out a roster.  Josh is ready to shop for the bro-ceries.

But Brady is still being Mr. Cranky Pants behind the scenes, though.  He misses his Welker binky.  He was in my office complaining again all week.


     TB: What are we doing here?  This team sucks.  I only have 5 touchdowns so far!

     JM: We're winning games, aren't we?

     TB: I want Wes back.  Can't we bring him back somehow?  We spent 2 hours on the phone last night tell each other how much we miss each other.

     JM: That train has sailed.  Bill's pissed at him for some reason.  He's Peyton's bitch now.  Get over it.  The offense will get better.  It's still a work in progress.  Besides... We're running the ball better these days, aren't we?

     TB: So what?

     JM: So what?!  Obviously, Josh loves the ALL OUT AERIAL ATTACK, too.  "Throws before hoes" is what I always say.  But if you can run the ball well, it makes it easier to air it out, right?

     TB: OK...  I guess.

     JM: And we'll even have Gronk back for you soon enough.  See?  It's going to be OK.

     TB: Oh Josh... You know I can't stay mad at you.  Here... Have a pair of Uggs.



As soon as he left my office, I brought the Uggs out to the dumpster (if I just throw them in the trash, the cleaning staff puts them back on my desk).  That's the third pair he's tried to pawn off on me this month.  Stop making fancy boots for bros trying to happen!  It's not going to happen!

Until next time... take it easy, Brahs.

JAY MICK DEE OUT.

(Also... Nobody tell Josh what happens on the final episode of Breaking Bad.  I'm not going to get to watch it until Monday morning.  GATORADE ME BITCH!)

Friday, September 20, 2013

Five Things to Watch This Week - Week 3

The Patriots play their third game of the year at Gillette against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday September 22nd at 1:00 PM.

Bluh.

I don't ever remember being 2 - 0 and feeling this lousy about my team.

The defense has looked good so far.

The offense has looked... not good.

Fortunately Tom Brady is being super patient and understanding with the young receivers and not making too big a deal out of things.


WHY MUST I BE SO HANDSOME?!

I feel bad for Brady.  I'm sure this isn't how he planned his last few years in the league.  Hopefully this offense gets better fast.  (NOTE: Also remember this man literally goes home to his supermodel wife and owns a castle with a moat.  Let's not feel too bad for him.)

It's not time to hit the PANIC BUTTON just yet.   But maybe we break out the lower your expectations button for this season.  (See that?  That's a much less threatening font.)


Stephen Power Rankings:

1) King

2) Colbert

3) Gostkowski

4) Hawking

5) Malkmus

6) Chow

7) Sondheim

8) Tobolowsky

9) Merchant


Since the offense has been such a disappointment so far this season, let's talk about the defense this week.  Here are five guys making a contribution on defense so far this year:

1) and 2) Dont'a Hightower and Chandler Jones - A critical pair of second year high draft picks.  If they can both make THE LEAP this season, this defense has a chance of being pretty good.

3) Aqib Talib - Best corner we've had in years (I DAMN THEE WITH FAINT PRAISE!).  Unfortunately, I'm guessing he's gone after this year.

4) Rob Ninkovich - Another one of those cast off gems Belichick finds.  Off to a very good start this season.

5) Tommy Kelly - Nice to finally have another big body next to Wilfork.


Did Michael Hoomanawanui have a catch last week?

No.

/sad trombone


My prediction: Pats 24, Bucs 14

My prediction (Season): 10 - 6


*****

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 third book "My Life Away From Football":


It was the offseason.  The sweatshirt was put away.  I was on a break.  But that doesn't mean I wasn't constantly looking for ways to make the team better.

Knowing we'd need some bodies at the receiver position this year, I walked into a local temp agency one day.  I described to them as best I could what I was looking for.  The woman gave me a funny look and told that wasn't really what they did there.  Apparently you can't just grab an NFL level starting wide receiver off the street.

However, she did have a crossing guard position open that she was looking to fill.

Why not? I figured.  Plus I already had my own whistle.

They gave me a vest and a stop sign.  I hold up the sign.  The cars stop.  The kids cross the street.  Simple, right?

Well, one of the kids refused to walk within the designated crossing area.  He kept coming at it diagonally.  I made him do it again and again until he got it right.  Held up traffic in both directions for a full 10 minutes.  Then I made him run a lap.

One of the parents complained.  Made a real big stink.  Apparently they frown on that kind of thing.

The crossing guard gig only lasted one day.  That's OK.  Not the first time I've been fired.

True story.

P.S. If you're reading this little Jayden... You're not going to get anywhere in life cutting corners like that.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Five Things to Watch This Week - Week 2

The Patriots play their second game of the year at Gillette against the New York Jets on Thursday September 12th at 8:25 PM.

That was a horrible win in Buffalo last week.  That was the very definition of an ugly win.  LET'S OVERREACT TO EVERYTHING WE JUST SAW!

There was NO pass rush.  There was NO pass defense.

The running game was good... Except for the fumbles.

The new wide receivers looked lost.  (Belichick's going to pull 4 guys out of the stands next week and see if Brady can throw to them.)  Brady must have thrown a fit on the flight back. (A very handsome, stylish fit of anger...)

The good news is the defense only gave up 14 points.

The bad news is Kenbrell Thompkins just fell over again (maybe there's a reason he went undrafted).


I must have this outfit.

Jamie Power Rankings:

1) Lannister  (what?  It's Jaime Lannister?  Eh... Close enough.)

2) Collins

3) 's Cryin'

4) Lee Curtis  (Relevant!)

5) Farr
...
11,895) Lynn Sigler

Jets fans: How are you feeling about your team this year?

With Brady down to 2.5 healthy receivers, I'm hoping for a little more from the running game this week.  Here are five guys that'll be key to getting the ground game going again:

1) Stevan Ridley - Please don't fumble...  Please don't fumble...  Please don't fumble...

2) Brandon Bolden - He showed flashes of being REALLY good at times last year.  Except for the whole drug suspension thing.

3) Leon Washington - It would be nice to have a real kick returner again.

4) LeGarrette Blount - This Dude is a LOAD.  I believe the NFL is about to enter the Era of the 250 Pound Running Back.

5) Shane Vereen - He had a great game last week.  And apparently had a broken wrist for most of it.  Whoa.  And still somehow managed to not drop the ball.  Get well soon, Shane.


Did Michael Hoomanawanui have a catch last week?

YES!


My prediction: Pats 21, Jets 17

My prediction (Season): 10 - 6


*****
This week we have Fake Josh McDaniels filling for Fake Bill Belichick.

What up, Bros and Lady Bros?

Bill pulled a full on Private Pyle on us after the playoffs last season.  Took the summer off.  Honestly, I didn't think he was coming back this time.

But that meant Josh got to run the draft and free agency and everything this year.  BOOYAH!

Then suddenly Bill comes back at the end of the summer and starts giving me a huge headache about some of my roster moves.  No "thank you" or nothing.  What the hell, Brah?  Not cool.


     BB: I understand you signed Tim Tebow while I was gone.  Is that correct?

     JM: No worries.  It's all good.  Josh is going coach him up real good.

     BB: Mmm hmmm.  Can he throw a football?

     JM: Even Bobby Kraft is on board.  We sold a TON of Tebow jerseys while you were gone.

     BB: Can he throw?

     JM: Well... Not really.

     BB: Get him out of here then.

     JM: But I need him to be good!  I blew a first round pick on him when I was in Denver.  It's all part of the Josh McDaniels Redemption Story.

     BB: Cut him.  Now.  I don't care about your redemption story.  I can't waste a roster spot on a guy who can't throw.


Bill was not pleased with your old pal Josh.

Maybe I'll wait until next week to tell Bill about the Aaron Hernandez sitch.

Until next time... take it easy, Brahs.

JAY MICK DEE OUT.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Five Things to Watch This Week - Week 1

The Patriots play their first game of the year at The Ralph against the Buffalo Bills of Western New York and the Greater Toronto Area on Sunday September 8th at 1:00 PM.

Another off-season is in the books.  Football is BACK!



I'm guessing this will be a bit of a down year for the Patriots.  Too much roster turnover on offense.  But, thankfully, for this team that means going 10 and 6.

The AFC East is just... bad.  Awful.  Rather terrible, even.  I don't see how they go less than 5 - 1 in the division.  Then it's just play .500 against the rest of the teams on the schedule.  Boom.  10 and 6.

I'm not even expecting good out of this defense.  I'd be happy with just average.


I have no idea who this is.
Nate Power Rankings:

1) Solder

2) Fisher 

3) Dogg  (What?  He's dead?  R.I.P., Nate Dogg)

4) Silver

5) the Great

6) Ebner

7) Robinson

The good news is we still have TB12.  And as long as you have Brady, you've got a chance.  But... Who is he throwing to?  And what do we know about them?  Does Tom even know their names yet?  How many nights did Tom cry himself to sleep when Welker signed with Denver?

Over / under on shots of Brady bitching out his receivers on the sideline this season:  131.5.

"What's your name again?  Great.  Don't ever run that route like that again or I'll have them cut you.  Now here... take a pair of Uggs."

Here's five new guys I'll be watching this week:

1) Danny Amendola - Could be a good fit with this team.  But even Julian Edelman thinks this guy is made of glass (Amendola has had ONE full 16 game season in his NFL career)

2) Josh Boyce - Was sneaky fast in the preseason.  Looks like he'll be the guy on the "have the WR run the ball" plays McDaniels loves to call.

3) Aaron Dobson - Oooh, he's 6' 3".  A tall wide receiver!  And he went to Marshall.  HE'll BE THE NEXT RANDY MOSS!

4) Zach Sudfeld - Had that one insane catch in the pre-season.  There is a very good chance I will inadvertently call him "Zach Sudafed" at some point this season.

5) Kenbrell Thompkins - Somebody has to catch passes from Brady.  Why not this guy?


Did Michael Hoomanawanui make the team again this year?

Yes!


My prediction: Pats 28, Bills 13

My prediction (Season): 10 - 6

*****

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 third book "My Life Away From Football":

Last year's loss in the AFC Championship game to the Ravens hit me pretty hard.  It took me three days to get out of bed.  Even if it seems like this stuff doesn't affect me... it does.

I sent text messages to Linda (ed. note: long time Belichick girlfriend Linda Holliday) and Josh (McDaniels, Patriots Offensive Coordinator)  saying I'd be done for a bit and not to worry about me. (I finally broke down and got a cell phone this year.  We'll see if I can figure it out.)  Then I just... wandered.  Like I did the year after I got canned in Cleveland. 

I put away the sweatshirt.  Didn't want anyone to recognize me.  Couldn't risk it.

And I went and did regular people stuff.  Went to the grocery store.  Ate out at restaurants.  Went to a concert or two.  Caught up with some shows on Netflix.  (Have you guys all seen "Breaking Bad"?  That's a quality program.  I especially like the guy that runs the restaurant with all the security cameras...)  Did some touristy stuff.  The beach.  You name it.  

I even tried selling real estate for a few days.  Didn't take.

But... I've got to be honest with you guys... It felt good to get away for a bit.  Cleared my head.

What did I learn while I was out on walk-about?  As much as I liked being a regular person for a bit, I eventually decided that, yes... I still loved the game and had a passion for this team.  I had to get back to football.  Gotta do what's best for the team.

I left McDaniels in charge of the roster during the offseason.  Anybody know who we drafted?  I should probably start learning the names of the new guys.

And who are playing this week?

Time to get the sweatshirt out of the closet.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Five Things to Watch This Week - AFC CHAMPIONSHIP GAME!


The Patriots play their second playoff game of the season at Gillette against the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday January 22, 2012 at 3:00 PM January 20, 2013 at 6:30 PM.

Same matchup as last year.  It's deja vu all over again.

I think this year's Pats are better than last year's.

Defense = improved.  It's not a stretch to say this year's defense is better than last year's historically bad D.

Offense = Hot damn!  A running game!

I'm not saying we're going to win.  But I like our chances.

I'm hoping the fatigue from the extra playoff game AND two overtimes last week catches up to Baltimore.  Their defense is old.  They lost 4 of their last 5 regular season. Time to unleash the Speed Crush offense.



Nice catch.

Brandon Power Rankings:

1) Spikes

2) Lloyd

3) Deaderick

4) Bolden

(We had 4 Brandons play in the game last week.  That's gotta be some kind of record, right?  The Patriots lead the league in Brandons.)

Also... Brandon Spikes Dance!


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

1) Shane Vereen - I'm going to remember that game against the Texans as "The Shane Vereen Game" for quite a while.  I had no idea he had that in him.  He had 62 carries and 8 receptions on the whole season.

2) Stevan Ridley - Ridley didn't exactly suck, either.  He had 5.5 yards per carry and a TD.

3) Rob Ninkovich - I would have included him on the list last week, but I wasn't even sure he was going to play after getting hurt week 17.  Looked pretty darn good out there.

4) Aaron Hernandez - Watch Ray Lewis try to keep up with him over the middle this week.  Should be fun.  I set the over / under on holding calls at 4.

5) Tom Brady - Now leads all quarterbacks with 17 career playoff wins.  All quarterbacks.  Ever.

Compare those numbers to rival Peyton Manning, who now holds the record with 8(!) one-and-out playoff runs. Breaking the record previously held by... Peyton Manning.  When you don't even have the most rings at the family Thanksgiving table, you don't get to be in the Greatest of All Time conversation.


Did Michael Hoomanawanui have a catch last week?

No.

/sad trombone


My prediction: Pats 35, Ravens 24

Nut up or move on.


*****

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 second book "My Patriot Years":


What up, Bros and Lady Bros?  This is Fake Josh McDaniels filling in for Fake Bill Belichick.  BB said he's too busy.  (Trying to see if can put together a pass rush against the Ravens with spare parts... HA!  Defense is for tools.).  He said I could take over the column this week.  JOSH'S GOT THE KEYS TO DAD'S CAR!

Did you guys see me spring Shane Vereen on an unsuspecting Texans D last week?  Was that sweet or what?  DAMN STRAIGHT!

My buddy Brian Daboll (WHAT UP, B-DOGS?!) got fired by the Kansas City Chiefs last week.  Totes not his fault.  What's a brother to do?  He's got a total choad for a QB, you know?  Bad sitch.  Anyway, Josh tries to take care of his fellow OCs.  It's a special fraternity.

As soon as I heard he got popped, I went to talk to Bill.

     JM: Yo Bee Squared!  Can we hire back Brian Daboll?

     BB: Who?

     JM: Brian Daboll.  He worked here for like 6 seasons.

     BB: Since when do you make hiring decisions?

     (10 minutes later)

     BB: Are you still here?

     JM: You didn't give me an answer on Daboll?  Is that yes?

     BB: Fine.  Just get out of my office.

     JM: Thanks!  Can do.

     BB: But he doesn't get a headset!





So... That's how Josh McD hooks a brother up.  It's all about the offense.

OK... Gotta go... Done chatting with you for now.  Going to grab a brotein shake.  I'll be back.

JAY MICK DEE OUT.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Five Things to Watch This Week - PLAYOFFS!


The Patriots play their first playoff game of the season at Gillette against the Houston Texans on Sunday January 13th at 4:30 PM.

You excited?  I'm excited.

It's supposed to be upper 40s mid-50s here on Sunday.  So much for our outdoor home field advantage in January against a southern team.  On other hand... Fire up the grill!



***fart noise***


Fictional Dad Power Rankings:

1) Frank Costanza, "Seinfeld"

2) Randy Marsh, "South Park"

3) Kirk Van Houten, "The Simpsons"

4) Professor Henry Jones, "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade"

5) Royal Tenenbaum, "The Royal Tenenbaums"


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

1) Stevan Ridley - Please hang on to the football... Please hang on to the football... Please hang on to the football...

2) Vince Wilfork - Just had one of his best seasons ever.  I love the Big Man.

3) Rob Gronkowski - Don't forget the Patriots beat the Texans last time without Gronk.  If he's anywhere close to 100%, the Texans are effed.

4) Aaron Hernandez - I'm guessing he gets a lot of touches this week, but that's just a hunch.

5) Devin McCourty - I feel much better about Devin McCourty, Safety than Devin McCourty, Cornerback.


Did Michael Hoomanawanui have a catch this week?

No.

/sad trombone

(Total number of catches for the year... 5!)


Did Donte Stallworth get a flu shot this week?

No.


My prediction: Pats 45, Texans 14

I like New England this week.  A lot.

Nut up or move on.


*****


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 second book "My Patriot Years":

Dropped off my car to get an oil change on the bye week.  The guy at the counter asks me for my keys and what my mileage is.

His voice sounded awfully familiar.  I look up... and it's Scott Pioli.

He seemed pretty depressed.  Should I say anything?  I'll wait until I'm checking out.

It took a pretty long time for a oil change.

     BB: What do you think went wrong?

     SP: At Kansas City?  Well, we went 23-41 while I was there.

     BB: No, I mean with my car...?

     SP: Oh.  I'll go ask the technician.

He comes back 3 minutes later.

     SP: Needed a coolant flush.

     BB: Got it.

     SP: You also need a new air filter.  Do you want us to do that for you?

     BB: Nah, I can do that myself.

Never have the oil change place guys do your air filter.  That's a huge cost savings right there if you can do that yourself.

True story.