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.