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.*


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.



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?


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.


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?


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.


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?

Did James Develin score last week?


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."


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


"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."


"Yeah. Edelman."

(shakes fist at sky)


(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."