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.


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?


/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?


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.


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

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


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?


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?


/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.