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?


/sad trombone

Did Stevan Ridley fumble last week?


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?


Did Stevan Ridley fumble last week?


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)


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?


/sad trombone

Did Stevan Ridley fumble last week?


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.


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!)


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.