Sunday, December 14, 2014

Five Things to Watch This Week - Week 15

The Patriots play their fourteenth game of the year at Gillette Stadium against the Miami Dolphins on Sunday December 14th at 1:00 PM.

This is it, guys.  The last stretch of games before the playoffs.

Also... No more late night games.  Which is good for older fans like me.  Waking up on a Monday morning after a late game is awful.  Oh, how I love you, 1 PM games!

Nice Big Boy win on the road last week.  Game balls to Julian Edelman and Jamie Collins.  That dude was everywhere last week.


Agent Cooper says good win last week

Here are five guys I'm excited to watch this week:


1) Tom Brady - Does anyone ever remember seeing Brady move around in the pocket as much as he has this year?  I'm not saying he's Randall Cunningham or anything like that.  But he's definitely gotten better at moving his feet.  That's not usually a skill you add at 37.

2 - 4) LeGarrette Blount / Jonas Gray / Shane Vereen - My sources tell me the Dolphins are vulnerable against the run (Source: source(s)), so I wouldn't be surprised to see the Patriots running game get back on track this week.  Also... Has anyone seen Jonas Gray?

5) Brandon Bolden - EXCELLENT blocked punt last week.


My prediction: Pats 27, Dolphins 17


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

What up, Bros and Lady Bros?

Ol' Josh is usually a pretty creative guy.  But when I needed an idea for Bill's Christmas present this year, I was drawing blanks.

What do you get for the guy who hates everything?

I summoned Tom and Matt to my office immediately.

     Me: OK... You guys are the closest thing I have to friends around here.  Hit me up with some ideas for Christmas Presents for The Bill.

     Matt: How about The Complete Frank Miller Batman?

     Me: What's that?

     Matt: Seriously?  Batman!  Graphic novels!  In hardcover!  Miller's classic re-imagining of the great American super hero that ushered in the current golden age of super heroes!

     Me: You're kidding, right?  This is supposed to be present for BILL, not for YOU.

     Tom: How about a house?  We could buy him a house.

     Me: Uh huh.

     Tom: If we each throw in a million, we could get him a nice place on Cape Ann or something.

     Me: ...

     Tom: They've got a great little salt water taffy place right on the water in Rockport.

     Me: ...

     Tom: No?  You guys don't like salt water taffy?

     Matt: How about that place at the mall that does hot dogs wrapped in pretzels?  They have a gold card option.  Unlimited pretzel dogs!

     Me: OK... Out of here.  Both of you.  You're not helping.  And take that TB12 hat off.  You look like a tool.

Why do I even bother, you guys?

Once again, I'd have to solve this problem by myself.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Five Things to Watch This Week - Week 14

The Patriots play their thirteenth game of the year at Qualcomm Stadium against the San Diego Chargers on Sunday December 7th at 8:30 PM.

Late Game, everyone.  Try to take a nap on Sunday afternoon if you can.  Unless you live on the West Coast.  I assume you people already sleep 12 hours a day.

Gronk Richshaw

I'm not saying I feel good about it...  There's no such thing as a good loss.  But that loss to Green Bay was at least acceptable.  Non-conference game.  Tough opponent.  On the road.

If you told me the defense would hold the Packers to 26 points at home, I'd haven taken that and been happy with it.

BUT... It took the offense way too long to get in gear.  Still not sure why we couldn't (or wouldn't) run the ball against Green Bay.


Powers Rankings:

1) Austin

2) Boothe

3) Mighty Morphin

4) Super

5) Stefanie


Here are five guys I'm hoping can play on Sunday:

1) Dont'a Hightower - Definitely not a bust.  I may have been too harsh on him last year.  He's having a really good year.  Hope he can go on Sunday.

2) Julian Edelman - Is he hurt, too?  Aww crap.

3) Brandon LaFell - 53 catches and 7 TDs on the year.  He's having a sneaky good season.  Wait... He's hurt, too?  Jeesh.  That was a costly game last week.

4) Chandler Jones - Rumored to be possibly sorta maybe making a return this week.  That would be helpful.

5) Darrelle Revis and Brandon Browner - It's amazing how much having 2 good corners completely changes the rest of the defense.  I hope they find a way to bring Revis back next year.


Did Michael Hoomanawanui have a catch last week?

Awww Yiss.

Was Aaron Dobson put on season ending IR last week?

Yes.

(Prediction - Aaron Dobson is never heard from again.)


My prediction: Pats 31, Chargers 24

*****

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

Hello Carbon Based Lifeforms.  Hope your Holiday Shopping is going well.

(Which reminds me... I need to pick up wine and mixed nuts for my Saturnalia celebration next week.)

I'm at the gym on the treadmill.  I've got my headphones on.  Current music: Metropolis Pt.2: Scenes From A Memory.  I need to be transported to other worlds when I work out.

Because otherwise... I just start thinking about the food I'm going to eat when I'm done.  And I'm probably overestimating the number of calories I'm burning.  Thus negating the benefits of getting exercise in the first place.

Pecan pie.  Pulled pork.  Potatoes.  Pancakes.

I forgot where I was going with this story, but... Mmm... Pancakes.

Until next time...

Friday, November 21, 2014

Five Things to Watch This Week - Week 12

The Patriots play their eleventh game of the year at Gillette Stadium against the Detroit Lions on Sunday November 23 at 1:00 PM.

Thoughts and prayers go out to the people of Western New York. Mostly because they have to watch the Bills every week.  But also because of the weather.

Game ball to Jonas Gray.  Obviously.



Thursday plans


Pie Power Rankings:

1) Apple Pie

2) Pecan Pie

3) Blueberry Pie

4) Crack Pie

5) Chocolate Cream Pie


Honorable mention to the Tollhouse Cookie Pie thing they have at Gregg's in Providence.  I don't know if it's technically pie, but it sure is tasty.

Here are five guys I'm looking forward to watching on Sunday:

1) Jonas Gray - I'm guessing we won't see quite as much Jonas Gray this week.  But wow... What a game.

2) Jamie Collins - Collins was all over the place last week.

3) Rob Gronkowski - Is he fun to watch or what?  I'm calling it now.  He's not just the best Patriots Tight End ever...  He's the best Tight End of all time.  You're free to disagree with me... But you'd be wrong.

4) The Offensive Line - Much, much better on this winning streak.  I am relieved.  I especially liked when they went heavy with an extra tackle and ran all over Indy.

5) LeGarrette Blount - Welcome back,  LeGarrette Blount.  Try to at least stick around for the whole game this time.


My prediction: Pats 27, Lions 17

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

What up, Bros and Lady Bros?

So I'm getting my squats on at the Temple of Brodin achieving new levels of swole, (ed., lifting weights maybe?) and who I do I see out of the corner of my eye... Is that Silent Bob?  Why it's Matt Patricia!  On a treadmill!

     Me:  What are you doing in here?

     Matt: Oh... You know... Too much Halloween candy.  And Thanksgiving is next week.

     Me: Have you been properly instructed on the use of this machine?

     Matt: Yes, Josh.  I know how to use a treadmill.

     Me: OK.  Don't get too skinny.  I like you large.  I don't want you able to sneak up on me.

I goof on the guy... But I actually respect him.  I mean... Defense is still for tools.  But when Bill retires and hands the reins over to me, I might let Panda Express stick around.  He can get my coffees and fix my laptop and stuff.

He just can't pick the music for practice.  None of that nerdy Rush stuff.

I better send him a pie.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Five Things to Watch This Week - Week 11

The Patriots play their tenth game of the year at Lucas Oil Stadium against the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday November 16 at 8:30 PM.

Welcome back!  Everybody rested and ready after the bye week?  All those little nagging injuries healing up?  Great!  Let's jump right into it.

I thought they had a chance to beat the Broncos last game... But I never thought it would be a 22 point thrashing.  That was great to watch.

Game Ball to Julian Edelman.  He's fast.

Darrelle Power Rankings:

1) Revis


That was a hell of a catch.

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

1) Dominique Easley - Easley was in and out of practice all week.  With Chandler Jones still on the shelf, now would be a good time for Easley to step up.  I'm guessing "lingering knee issues" aren't fun when you're 290 pounds...

2) Vince Wilfork - ...and coming back from a torn achilles at 325 (350?  360?) must be even harder.  I'll admit... I was in the "cut him" camp last offseason.  But he's playing way better than I expected coming off of last year's injury.  I'm happy to admit I was wrong.

3) Dont'a Hightower - Appears to be handling the move to inside linebacker much more smoothly this season.

4) Rob Ninkovich - Sweet interception against Peyton, Ninky.  You're alright in my book.

5) Brandon Browner - I'm starting to see the benefit of having a Big Bully out on the edges.  But it also feels like you could throw a flag on him on almost every play.


Did Michael Hoomanawanui have a catch last week?

Nope.


Was Aaron Dobson active last week?

Nope.


Danny Amendola Reception Tracker:

Amendola now has 9 more receptions than I do for the season.


My prediction: Pats 34, Colts 31

*****

This year, we're going to have regular contributions from Fake Bill Belichick for your reading pleasure.

Had a little extra room in the schedule over the bye week.  Watched E.T.: The Extra Terrestrial.  It gets a little sad at the end.  Emotions and whatnot.

That's what it was like when Vinatieri left the Patriots after the 2005 season.

I knew he couldn't stay forever.  But I was still sad to see him go.

(Tom cried like Drew Barrymore.  Both when watching the movie and when Vinatieri left.)

I'm not saying I'd do things differently.  I'm not real big on regret.  There's no point.  Move forward.

And besides.  Gostkowski has been a great asset for our team.  No complaints there.

But Adam meant a lot to our team.  It'll be tough seeing him out there in a Colts uniform on Sunday.

True story.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Five Things to Watch This Week - Week 9

The Patriots play their ninth game of the year at Gillette Stadium against the Denver Broncos on Sunday, November 2 at 4:25 PM.

Biggest game of the year?  Biggest game of the year.

The Patriots have a chance this week.  I really think it comes down to how well the New England secondary plays.

The Bears looked lost last week.  Are they really that bad?  Whoa.

Lots of Game Balls to go around last week.  Oh... Let's say... LaFell, Gronk and Brady.  (Sure.  Why not?)


Halloween Candy Power Rankings:

1) Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups

2) Kit Kat

3) Snickers

4) M&Ms (also... peanut > plain)

5) Twix

...

11,997) Candy Corn

11,998) Charleston Chew



Here are five match-ups I'll be watching this week:

1) Peyton Manning vs. The Scoreboard Operator -  The scoreboard operator in Denver was making the crowd get all rowdy while Denver had the ball last week (gasp!) and Peyton was kinda a dick about it.

2) Peyton Manning vs. The Weather - Peyton does poorly in bad weather.  (INSERT SHOCKING STATISTICS HERE.)

3) Brandon LaFell vs. Aqib Talib - I'm guessing this is the match-up Denver goes with on defense.  LaFell has really come on strong the last few games.

4) Julian Edelman vs. The Drops - What's up with Edelman?  Why does he have the yips all the sudden?  He went from being the whole offense for the first few games to now being the 3rd or 4th option.

5) Rob Gronkowski vs. Everyone - I swear there was a play last week where it took FOUR Bears defenders to bring Gronk down.  I know I'm a huge homer here... But I really think Gronk is the best tight end of all time.


Did Michael Hoomanawanui have a catch last week?

Nope.


Was Aaron Dobson active last week?

Nope.


Danny Amendola Reception Tracker:

Amendola now has 7 more receptions than I do for the season.


My prediction: Pats 31, Broncos 28

*****

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

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

My Robert Baratheon costume was a big hit at King Richard's Faire.  Nobody recognized me.

I wore the same outfit for handing out candy on Halloween.  Some people thought I was Hagrid.  Other people guessed Yukon Cornelius.

All fine choices.  I'll have to write these down for future costumed endeavors.

But now... We've got all this leftover candy in the house.  HUGE piles of it even.

It's like Cersei is trying to poison me.  Very slowly...

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Five Things to Watch This Week - Week 8

The Patriots play their eighth game of the year at Gillette Stadium against the Chicago Bears on Sunday, October 26 at 1:00 PM.

Well... That game was closer than it should have been.  But at least we didn't lose to the Jets last week.  Those loses really sting.


Facts of Life Power Rankings:

5) Natalie

4) Blair

3) Tootie

2) Jo

1) Mrs. Garrett


Here are five guys on defense I'll be watching this week:

1) Darrelle Revis - Hopefully he can make it to the game on time.

2) Akeem Ayers / Alan Branch /  Casey Walker / whoever else you want to pull in off the street - We're going to get run on.  It's not going to be pretty.  I've come to accept this.

3) Patrick Chung - Hasn't been a complete disaster this year.  Possibly even an upgrade over Steve Gregory.

4) Kyle Arrington - Somehow still on the team!  $4M a year seems like a lot for a guy who's probably your 4th or 5th corner.  But hey... It's not my money.

5) Vince Wilfork - They're still playing Wilfork a ton.  I'd like to see them ease up on his workload for this part of the season and hopefully have him around for a playoff run.


Did Michael Hoomanawanui have a catch last week?

Nope.


Was Aaron Dobson active last week?

Nope.


Danny Amendola Reception Tracker:

Amendola now has 5 more receptions than I do for the season.

(He only had one last week, but it was a big one.)


Pats 31, Bears 27

*****

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

What up, Bros and Lady Bros?

Last time we talked, the offense was in a funk.  And not the good kind of funk.

Josh worked his magic.  Since then we're back to scoring like 50 points a game. (ed. note: 35)

Josh tries to be a good guy.  Josh tries not to make any enemies around the league.  Life is short, you know?

And besides... If you stick around long enough, you might end up working with some of these guys again someday.

But with this Jay Cutler guy... It's personal.

He tried to derail the McDaniels Train in Denver before it even left the station.  Total tool, this guy.  Even his own teammates don't like him.

Needless to say, we will NOT be grabbing a brew and a burrito together after the game.

We better not lose this game on Sunday.  I'll run onto the field and take him out at the knees myself if I have to.

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

JAY MICK DEE OUT.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Five Things to Watch This Week - Week 7

The Patriots play their seventh game of the year at Gillette Stadium against the New York Jets on Thursday, October 16 at 8:25 PM.

Short week for Patriots this week.  Which means I've got to crank out a column on virtually no rest.  Exhausting.

Costly win at Buffalo last week.   Jerod Mayo and Stevan Ridley are both out for the rest of the year.

Brady is now 23 - 2 against the Bills for his career.  That is HOLY CRAP amazing.

Patriots finally hit on the seemingly elusive DEEP BALL on Sunday.  43 yards to Tyms.

Then Brady actually connected on the high five!  Double bonus!


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

1) Brandon LaFell - Somebody other than Edelman showing up for the receiving corps!  And he has some size!  I like it.

2) Shane Vereen - Vereen will need to pick it up a bit with Ridley out.

3) Dont'a Hightower - It looked like his knee bent the wrong way two weeks back.  That probably hurt.  We need him back on the field as soon as possible there with Mayo out.

4) Brian Tyms - Last week I asked for Tyms to "do something".  And he did!  Tyms showed it was possible to have a big impact on a game in just a single play.

5) Brandon Browner - I don't think the passing game is a strength for the Jets, but it would be nice to see Browner on the field this week.


Did Michael Hoomanawanui have a catch last week?

Yes!


Did Stevan Ridley fumble last week?

No!

(Looks like we'll be retiring this bit for the rest of the year.)


Was Aaron Dobson active last week?

Yes!

(And he had a catch!)


Danny Amendola Reception Tracker:

Amendola now has 4 more receptions than I do for the season.


My prediction: Pats 30, Jets 13

*****

This year, we're going to have regular contributions from Fake Bill Belichick for your reading pleasure.

Short week.  Figured I'd do a little extra film study with the defense rather than wear them out.  I popped in Close Encounters of the Third Kind.

An up and coming Richard Dreyfuss had just worked with Spielberg on Jaws.  And it's got a young Teri Garr.  What's not to like?

     Me: OK Guys.  What did we just watch?

     Revis: Man finding his place in the universe.  Man longing to make connections

     Chung: A quest for guidance and meaning in our daily lives.

     Wilfork: Spielberg's signature use of focusing on a family to show the impact of major world events.

     Collins: Reconnecting with your youth and the search for spiritual education

     Me:  Good good.  You can make a case for all of those arguments.

     Wilfork: Also... Can we get a big pile of mashed potatoes going?  Those looked good.
   
     Me: Sure thing.  Boston Market for dinner tonight?

     Everybody: YEAH!


I love my defense this year.  These guys get it.

Then I blasted the Close Encounters theme on the stadium speakers for practice the next day.

True story.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Five Things to Watch This Week - Week 6

The Patriots play their sixth game of the year at The Ralph against the Buffalo Bills on Sunday, October 12 at 1:00 PM.

Whoa... Where was that team in Week 4?  That was the best game they played all year.

Sky not falling.  World not ending.

I think last week's game was pretty close to what I want this team to be.  Run the ball well.  Throw to the TEs.  Play good defense.

We'll see how the next few weeks go.


Aww yiss.
Cosby Show Kid Power Rankings:

5) Rudy

4) Vanessa

3) Theo

2) Denise

1) Sondra


Here's five things I'm looking forward to seeing this week:

1) Stevan Ridley - Ridley was pretty fantastic last week.  I'm just worried he's going to blow out an ACL some day doing his "kick in the door" touchdown celebration.

2) Tim Wright - Major Tim Wright sightings last week... like he was actually part of the game plan.  I'm in favor of this.

3) Rob Gronkowski - Gronk is back, right?  We're all feeling pretty good about this?  Yes?  Good.

4) Chandler Jones - I'm huge on Chandler Jones.  Chandler is on his way to stardom.  Let's hope they deploy him the right way.

5) Brian Tyms - It's not like Kenbrell Thompkins was setting the world on fire, but I wasn't wild about the decision to release him.  I still liked having a young WR with some upside.  Tyms better do something.


Did Michael Hoomanawanui have a catch last week?

No.

/sad trombone


Did Stevan Ridley fumble last week?

No!


Was Aaron Dobson active last week?

Yes!


Danny Amendola Reception Tracker:

Amendola now has 4 more receptions than I do for the season.


My prediction: Pats 27, Bills 17

*****

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

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

Matt's been trying to work on his diet as of late.  And Friends... I'll be honest with you... It's a challenge.

I know I need to cut back... But this time of year is tough.  I spend all day around guys like Vince Wilfork and Chris Jones.  Sure, they're great guys... But they're not big on portion control, believe it or not.

There's not a lot Salad Huts or Salad Bells in Foxboro.

It's especially tough with our schedule.  We've had late night games the last 2 weeks in a row.

Instead of just one craft beer at night... I've been drinking 3 beers and a whiskey just to settle down after the late games.  So there's that.

Plus I'm hoping to sneak in a visit to King Richard's Faire this Fall (I gotta get me one of those turkey legs).  I'll be in my Robert Baratheon costume.  Say 'hi' if you see me.

The team travels to Buffalo this weekend.  And if you're ever in Buffalo, make sure you check out Jim's SteakOut.  They've got 11 great locations throughout Western New York.

I guess the diet will have to wait until the offseason.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Five Things to Watch This Week - Week 5

The Patriots play their fifth game of the year at Gillette Stadium against the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday, October 5 at 8:30 PM.

Not good times.  No game balls for anyone this week.  I'm having a hard time thinking of anything positive to say about that game last week.

What does this team do well?  What are we good at?  Punting?  They need to find an identity fast.

This is an 8 - 8 team at best.  (I should know... I have friends who are Cowboys fans).



Sad Tom is sad.


Brandon Power Rankings:

1) Walsh

2) Workman

3) Lee

4) LaFell

5) Browner


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

1) Brandon LaFell - LaFell had a semi-solid game last week.  It would be nice to see them work him into the offense a bit more, just for the sake of variety.

2) Nate Solder - Solder is getting his ass whupped week after week.  This has to get better.

3) Running Backs - Why dress three WRs (well...3.5) last week then throw the ball all over the place?  (They were throwing even before they were down big.)  There were a mere 16 rushing plays last week by my count.  If you're going to be a running team, then run the ball.

4) Darrelle Revis - Has he lost a step?  Or is the coaching staff holding him back?  Either way, I'm underwhelmed.

5) Defensive Line - The D-Line got pummeled last week.  KC ran all over them (then used that to set up their passing game beautifully).  Plus Vince is spending way too much time on the field this early in the season.  Cutting Tommy Kelly looks like a mistake.


Did Michael Hoomanawanui have a catch last week?

No.

/sad trombone


Did Stevan Ridley fumble last week?

No!

Was Aaron Dobson active last week?

No.


My prediction: Pats 2, Bengals 134

*****

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

What up, Bros and Lady Bros?

Bad week at KC.  I don't want to say it was partially my fault... But I took that loss really personally, you know?

Got on the plane after the game.  Yelled at Patricia until I felt better.  Then I sat down and listened to some Gaga.

Don't judge.  Josh likes minor keys.

Could this be about me and my situation?  Am I in a Bad Romance?

With Bill?  Or Tom?  I don't know... Josh isn't good with metaphors.

I always assumed I'd take over this team from Bill some day... But now I'm not so sure.  Maybe Josh needs an exit plan.  I better go check on how the tech boys are doing with Linder when we land.

Then the stewardess came by and tried to take vaporizer away from me.  What the hell?  I thought this was America?  Can't she see I've had a rough day?

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

JAY MICK DEE OUT.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Five Things to Watch This Week - Week 4

The Patriots play their fourth game of the year at Arrowhead Stadium against the Kansas City Chiefs on Monday, September 29 at 8:30 PM.

The Patriots barely beat Oakland last week.  Yes.  Oakland.  I can't remember the last time a win felt that bad.  That was ugly.  Yuck.

The defense looks... decent.  Not the great defense we thought it would be going into the season.  But decent.  The offense... Yikes.

Game balls to Julian Edelman (again) and Vince Wilfork.  Wilfork might have better hands than Amendola at this point.  Have we tried Vince as a receiver yet?


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

1) Chandler Jones - It sure is nice to feel like we hit on a first round pick.  We need Jones to keep producing at this level.

2) The O-Line - Still struggling.  The Chiefs get after the quarterback.  Can we PLEASE keep Brady somewhat upright this week?  Can we call backsies on that Mankins trade?

3) Vince Wilfork - Wilfork is playing a little better each week.  Also, seeing Vince running with the ball always makes me smile.

4) Aaron Dobson - Is this the week he makes the active game day roster?  Maybe!  It looks like he's still stuck on 1 catch for the season.  I honestly feel like there's some talent there with this guy.  I hope they give him a chance.

5) Tyroil Smoochie-Wallace - Still looking for big plays all day long from Tyroil Smoochie-Wallace.


Did Michael Hoomanawanui have a catch last week?

No.

/sad trombone

Did Stevan Ridley fumble last week?

Nope.


My prediction: Pats 17, Chiefs 14

*****

This year, we're going to have regular contributions from Fake Bill Belichick for your reading pleasure.

We all got together and watched film of Raiders game as a team.  There was definitely some things we could improve upon.  Lot of work to do.  We need to play better as a team.

Then I had Gronk and Brady stick around afterwards for some additional film time.

I popped in the laserdisc of one of my favorite movies ever -- Jaws.

I wasn't on The Indianapolis... But my first coaching job was with the Colts.

(I also had a date with Lorraine Gary once... But that's another story...)

Tom had seen it.  Rob hadn't.

     Me: So why did I have you guys stay late with me and watch this movie?

     Tom: The shark is... the opposing defense?  That when the boat is sinking... we need to work together better?

     Me: Good.  Good.  What else?

     Rob: Oh man... You believe this?  They blew up the shark!

     Me: Well that, too.  But did you take anything else away from this?

     Rob: That I'm sure as hell never going in the ocean again.

     Me(sighing):  OK.  Also... Tom... Smile you son of a bitch.  Yeah?

     Tom: Yeah.

     Rob:  We got any of those air tank things in training room?  I'm going to blow up Edelman's Passat.


Then we compared leg injuries.

True story.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Five Things to Watch This Week - Week 3

The Patriots play their third game of the year at Gillette Stadium against the Oakland Raiders on Sunday, September 21 at 1:00 PM.

Better.  Much better.  I saw some signs of actual effort last week.  The idea of starting 0 - 2 was really starting to scare me, you guys.

Game balls to Chandler Jones and Stevan Ridley (and an honorable mention to Matt Cassel... who played a huge part in that win).


Have you seen this man?


Jimmy Power Rankings:

1) Stewart

2) McNulty

3) Hoffa

4) Garoppolo

5) Jazz


Here's five things I really liked about last week:

1) Julian Edelman - Edelman is off to a great start so far.  He's starting to become a big part of the offense.  I just get a little nervous every time I see him get hit hard.

2) Stephen Gostkowski - Gostkowski is really really really good.

3) The Offensive Line - Looks like they went with 6 offensive linemen at times last week.  If that's what it takes, I guess I'm OK with it.

4) Devin McCourty - Devin McCourty, Safety is MUCH better than Devin McCourty, Corner.

5) Interceptions - So many interceptions!  Can we play against Matt Cassel every week?


And here's two things I didn't like last week:

1) Brady looked like he had a little more time back there in Week 2.  HOWEVER... He's got to spread it around a little bit more.  He's still keying on Gronk and Edelman too much.  It's got to get better.  Plus he looks super cranky on the sideline lately.  Is he upset because they drafted another handsome quarterback?  Can somebody maybe take him out for an ice cream?

2) Penalties.  Lots and lots of penalties.  The bad kind, too.  Not the good kind.


Did Michael Hoomanawanui have a catch last week?

Yes!

Did Stevan Ridley fumble last week?

Nope.


My prediction: Pats 34, Raiders 14

*****

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

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

Let's take a look and see what's in Matty's Mailbag this week.


If you weren't a football coach, what do you think you'd be?
-- Steve (Hicksville, NY)

Well...  I'd probably be teaching high school.  Maybe math or science.  I've always enjoyed teaching.  But I think my absolute dream job would be to run a comic book store.  I could do inventory. Run the register. Set up the computer network.  That would be so great.


How would you describe your defensive philosophy?
-- Dave (in the car)

Obviously... Coach Bill sets the agenda and makes the big decisions.  Everything trickles down from him.

But personally... As a football coach, I try to model myself after Asimov's 3 laws of robotics.   "A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm."  (just replace "robot" with "coach")


Have you been keeping up with the SW7 shooting rumors?
-- Eric (Cranston, RI)

I try to avoid spoilers in general.  I don't want to go in to a movie with any kind of preconceived notions.

Also, the crazy hours my job requires usually makes it pretty easy to block out the outside world.

But yeah... I'm getting a little excited.


Kirk or Picard?
-- Matt  (Boston, MA)

Riker.


Who do you like as a Commander these days?
-- Ray (Rakdos, MA)

I'm running Rafiq as a general in my latest EDH deck.  Should be good.

BUT... We'll see how it looks after Khans comes out.

Until next time...

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Five Things to Watch This Week - Week 2

The Patriots play their second game of the year at TCF Bank Stadium against the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday September 14th at 1:00 PM.

Over the Summer, I was out one Friday night playing cards with my buddies (shout out to Viking Dave).

On the way home, I hit a skunk with the car. 

The car smelled bad.  Real bad.  It took weeks to get the stink out.

...and that's pretty much how I feel about that Week 1 performance against the Dolphins.  It's going to take weeks to get the stink of that second half out.  We got debacle'd.

Stevan Ridley and Julian Edelman had good games.  They get game balls.  And that's about it.

Everyone else?  F Plus.


Collins Power Rankings:

1) Tom

2) Harper

3) Bartholomew

4) Jamie

5) Phil


Here's five guys I'll be looking for to pick up the slack if the Patriots are going to have a chance against the Vikings this week:

1) Vince Wilfork - Miami ran all over that defense.  Vince did not have a good game in the middle.

2) Darrelle Revis - Not a terrible first game, but also not quite what I was expecting from a $12M a year corner. 

3) Danny Amendola - Sigh.

4) Patrick Chung - Why is Patrick Chung returning kicks?  Good lord.  (Also, I think I saw him at IHOP last week.  True story.)

5) Brandon LaFell - Zero receptions on 6 targets isn't going to get it done.  He's in danger of being this year's Joey Galloway.


Did Michael Hoomanawanui have a catch last week?

No.

/sad trombone

Did Stevan Ridley fumble last week?

No!


My prediction: Pats 27, Vikings 17

*****

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


What up, Bros and Lady Bros?

Did you watch the pre-season games?  The Josh sprinkled a little of the old Magic Dust (TM) on Jimmy Garoppolo.  That guy gets it.

Let ME make YOU... a star.

That Mallett kid... I just could never seem to reach him.  Maybe because he's so goddamn tall?  I don't know. 

For the last 3 years, I've told him "See that guy over there?  Number 12?  That Football God with great hair that walks among us?  Go be more like him. Follow him around then report back to me."

And what did I get for my efforts?  A big bowl of nothing.

Welp... Not my problem anymore.  You either get with the program or you get shipped outta town. 

Anyway... If you need more Josh, hit me up on Linder (that's my LinkedIn / Tinder mashup I'm working on with the tech geeks here.  It lets you have a workplace affair BEFORE you accept a job at a new company).

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

JAY MICK DEE OUT.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Five Things to Watch This Week - Week 1

The Patriots play their first  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 September 7th at 1:00 PM.

(Congratulations to the Dolphins for keeping the same stadium name 2 years in a row. Great job!)



Smoove.

Welcome back.

I'm going to be honest with you, Sports Fans... This is it.  We're approaching the end of the era this team as we know it.  The window isn't exactly closed on a certain Handsome Quarterback... But... it's getting tight.  There's this year... and maybe next year.  That's probably it.

Anything less than a Super Bowl this year is a disappointment.

The offense had a lot of momentum by the second half of last season.  The defense should be MUCH better.  My initial thought going into the preseason was that the defense was going to be SO GOOD that another meeting with Denver in the AFC Championship game was inevitable.

HOWEVER... Based on the number of flags thrown in the preseason, it looks like the NFL isn't going to let teams play defense this season.  So I don't know what to think.

Logan Power Rankings:

1) Mankins

2) Ted 'Theodore'

3) Ryan

4) berry

5) Thomas

11,996) 's Run

11,997) Airport


Here's five story lines I'll be watching closely this season:

1) Rob Gronkowski - Is there any chance he plays all 16 games this year?  Probably not.  But just once, I'd like to see him close to 100% for the playoffs.

2) Julian Edelman - He was the definite #1 guy the day I went to training camp.  Let's see if he can continue to meet our raised expectations.

3) Brandon LaFell  / Danny Amendola / Kenbrell Thompkins / Aaron Dobson / Josh Boyce - Can SOMEBODY from this group step up and contribute?  Just a little bit?  Please?

4) Stevan Ridley - Contract year for Ridley.  Don't drop the ball.

5) Shane Vereen - I'm rooting for this to be Vereen's breakout year.  I'm thinking he's THE GUY.


Are we going to keep beating the Michael Hoomanawanui jokes into the ground this season?

You know we are!



My prediction: Pats 27, Dolphins 21

*****

This year, we're going to have regular contributions from Fake Bill Belichick for your reading pleasure.


No wandering the desert this off season after losing in the AFC Championship game.  No pretending I wasn't sure if I still wanted to coach.

Of course I want to keep coaching this team.  Especially when we were so close.

You guys know how much I love to watch film.  I started watching the film of the playoff game against Denver right away.  Not good I tell you.

Then I took a break and spent a few hours watching film from my other film collection.   The Adrienne Barbeau films.

Ahhh.... That was the inspiration this team needed.  So we brought in Darrelle Revis.

He's the key to improving the defense this year.  Revis is gifted.  Revis is a physical specimen.  Revis oozes confidence.  Revis is smooth.


Just like a young Adrienne Barbeau.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Five Things to Watch This Week - Divisional Playoff Round

The Patriots play their first playoff game of the season at Gillette against the Indianapolis Colts on Saturday January 11th and 8:15 PM.

Finally.  Playoffs.  (Playoffs?)

Guys, I'm sooo excited right now.  I've been wearing my Bill Belichick footed pajamas all week.

Let's cut right to it... I think the Patriots should beat the Colts.  Luck to Hilton seems to be the majority of the Colt's offense.  I'm guessing T.Y.'s going to see a whole bunch of double teaming on Saturday.



That is one fat Blount.

Josh Power Rankings:

1) Baskin

2) McDaniels

3) Holloway

4) Brolin

5) Gordon

.....

11, 987) Beckett

11, 988) Freeman

Here's five guys I'll be keeping an eye on come game time:

1) LeGarrette Blount - Game ball to LeGarrette for his Week 17 effort against the Bills.  Finished the season with a strong 334 all purpose yards (189 on the ground, 145 on returns).  May actually go down as one of Belichick's better trades.  Hasn't punched anyone in a while as far as we know.

2) Aqib Talib - Pretty good year... But I don't know if I would give him a long term deal going forward.  "Hip issues" kinda scare me.  (Just look at all the ex-Buccaneers on this list this week!)

3) Julian Edelman - I'd just like to thank Edelman for not getting hurt this season.

4) Jamie Collins - He's been coming along nicely during the second half of the season.  Don't worry too much about Brandon Spikes being put on IR.  Collins is actually better against the pass.  Will we be in nickel defense most of the game anyway?  MAGIC-8 BALL SAYS: SIGNS POINT TO YES.

5) Logan Ryan - Nice when your 3rd or 4th corner ends the year with 5 picks.


Did Michael Hoomanawanui have a catch last week?

No.

/sad trombone

Did Stevan Ridley fumble last week?

No!


My prediction: Pats 35, Colts 28

*****

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

What up, Bros and Lady Bros?

BIG DADDY JOSH IN THE PLAYOFFS!  HELL YEAH.

How many comeback wins did we have this year?  Like... A TON, right?  We lead the league in tenacity!  Is there an Offensive Coordinator of the Year award in the NFL?  Josh should get that every year.

Naturally, Ol' Josh was starting to generate some serious buzz around the league.  I interviewed in Cleveland over the break.

But really... Who wants that job?  They've got NO quarterback.  Plus that's got "fired in two years" written all over it.

And it's... you know... Cleveland.  I'm from Ohio and even I don't want to go back there.  Thanks, but no thanks.  Josh gotta do what's right for Josh.  And besides... Coach Bill's going to retire eventually, right?

Now where's Patricia?  I owe him a noogie.  I'm going to make him bring me coffee every day when I'm in charge.

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

JAY MICK DEE OUT.