Brady And Patriots Control The AFC East

Pats Back To Their Old Tricks In 2009

A dynasty reborn?  Or just a few glimpses from the past?  The New England Patriots are 6-2 now in 2009 and are two games ahead of the New York Jets and 2 1/2 games ahead of the Buffalo Bills and Miami Dolphins.

Sunday’s game against the Dolphins was a tough fought win for the Blue and Grey, especially when it came to stopping Miam’s trickery with the Wildcat but Tom Brady and Randy Moss propelled the Patriots to a 27-17 victory and gave New England a bit of a cushion in the AFC East.

Brady had another 300+ yard performance and Randy Moss reeled in another TD with six receptions for 147 yards receiving.  The victory may be a key cog in the New England’s AFC East crown plans this season as the Dolphins, although now 3-5 on the season, were undefeated in the AFC East before their loss to the Patriots on Sunday.  New England is now 5-0 at home this season and are set to face the 8-0 Indianapolis Colts on the road next week in a revival of one of football’s best rivalries.  

Peyton Manning has manned the Colts charge this season as Indy fended off a pesky Houston Texans squad this past Sunday to stave off its first loss of the year. This matchup will be a true barometer for where Bill Belichick and the Patriots are at thus far in the 2009-10 season and could be a building block for what could be a rebirth of a dynasty.

Or a mere illusion of what use to be.

(AP Photo) (AP Photo)   

Patriots To Be Without Green For A Month

Defensive Lineman On The Mend For Extended Period Of Time

The New England Patriots continue to be hit by the injury bug as defensive lineman Jarvis Green underwent knee surgery last week and could be out for an extended period of time.

The starting defensive linemen had a procedure on his knee completed last Tuesday in the Patriots locker room and with Jarvis on the mend, the Patriots will look to Mike Wright to step up in the void.    

Wright, a five-year veteran, has seen extensive action thus far in 2009 for the defense and shouldn’t leave too noticable of gap with the loss of Green.  Green had 23 tackles in seven games with the Pats, good enough to have him tied for eighth on the team.  New England hosts Chad Henne and the Miami Dolphins at Gillette Stadium on Sunday.  

Pats In A Pickle At Wideout

New England Needs Wide Receivers To Step Up and Step In

Much like the starting pitching of the Boston Red Sox in 2009, the Patriots wide receiving core seemed to have stacked talent from front to back with depth up the ying-yang.

Well that depth has decimated in the first six weeks of the NFL season, and now the Patriots may be forced to rely upon special team specialist Sam Aiken and rookie Brandon Tate.  With the recent release of Joey Galloway and arm injury to Julian Edelman, the Patriots lack depth at the wide receiver position.  They let Jabar Gaffney and Kelley Washington walk away after last season and cut wideout Greg Lewis at the end of the preseason.

So now, there is the University of North Carolina standout Brandon Tate next in line for the Patriots.  And they need him to step up.  Even with Randy Moss, Wes Welker, and three pass-catching tight ends, the Patriots could use a dynamic returner and receiver like Tate.  If the rookie can catch onto the playbook better than Galloway and show his speed while running routes, Tate could stick on, especially with No. 12 at the helm.

But if Tate doesn’t step up in London or the next couple of weeks, practice squad standouts Terrence Nunn and Isiah Stanback could be quick to try and step in and step up.  The intriguing member of this bunch is Stanback who is a quarterback on the practice squad but much like Edelman, could be converted into a wide receiver as he appeared in eight games for the Cowboys as wide receiver in 2008.   

But for now, its time to just wait and see.  It may, however, be an important time for the progression of the New England Patriots and their young receiving corps.

Pats Cut Galloway, Re-Sign Banta-Cain

Busy Few Days For Bill Belichick’s Squad

The New England Patriots have cut ties with veteran wide receiver Joey Galloway on Tuesday after the wide out has been inactive for New England’s past three games.  

In response to the release of Galloway, the Patriots re-signed Tully Banta-Cain, one day after releasing the seven-year linebacker.  Banta-Cain’s re-signing will allow him and the Patriots to work out a new contract extension to keep the linebacker in New England for more years to come.  

The Joey Galloway experiment didn’t work out for Bill Belichick and the Patriots as Galloway never could get on the same page as Tom Brady and the New England offense.  The Pats recently extended the contract of special teams captain and No. 3 wide receiver Sam Aiken, so it looks like they have faith in Aiken and rookie Julian Edelmen.  

Patriots Release Banta-Cain In Surprising Move

Could The Door Still Be Open For Banta-Cain?

Insert Junior Seau. Release Tully Banta Cain?  The New England Patriots have surprisingly released linebacker Tully Banta-Cain after signing 40-year-old Junior Seau last week.

Banta-Cain, a former seventh-round pick of the Patriots and seven-year veteran, started two games for New England this season and registered a total of 13 tackles.  The University of California graduate had three tackles in New England’s 59-0 beating of the Tennesse Titans on Sunday, but the 29-year-old now finds himself unemployed as of Monday.  

He also has three sacks on the year for the Patriots but may be the odd man out with the signing of Seau and emergence of Pierre Woods and Gary Guyton.  Bill Belichick and the Patriots also surprisingly de-activated Adalius Thomas on Sunday, even with New England transforming to more of a 3-4 scheme on defense.  

A return to the Patriots is not out of the question for Banta-Cain as the Pats have shown their admiration of Banta-Cain for many years and this move could just be temporarily.

(AP Photo) (AP Photo)    

Brady To Moss: The Unstoppable Toss

Patriots Stomp All Over The Titans

In what turned out to be one of the most lopsided victories in recent memory, the New England Patriots played the role of David in David versus Goliath on Sunday as the Patriots jumped all over the Tennesse Titans 59-0 at Gilette Stadium.

Calling the Tennesse Titans, Goliath, however, may be too big of a compliment considering the way the Titans played on Sunday as Jeff Fisher’s squad played more like an Pop Warner team then a team that was 13-3 last year.  Tom Brady threw six touchdowns on Sunday, five of which came in the second quarter, which is a new NFL record, as the Pats jumped out to the biggest halftime lead in NFL history, 45-0.  The Patriots are now tied for sixth all-time in largest victories in NFL history with their 59-0 romping of Tennessee.   

New England (4-2) set a club-record with 619 total yards on offense with Brady going 29-for-34 for 380 yards, before coming out midway through the third quarter, being replaced by rookie quarterback Brian Hoyer.  Randy Moss was up to his old tricks at Foxborough, catching eight passes for 129 yards and 3 TDs.  Wes Welker also had a fine day, catching ten passes for 150 yards and two scores.  Laurence Maroney led the ground game for Bill Belichick and company as the oft-questionable running back garnered 123 yards on the ground and one score on a 45-yard-run.

The Patriots forced five turnovers from the Tennessee offense and allowed only 186 yards of total offense.  Junior Seau registered two tackles in his season debut while also scooping up a fumble.  The Pats head to London next week to take on the 0-6 Tampa Bay Buccaneers before hosting the Miami Dolphins after their bye week.

(AP Photo) (AP Photo)

Patriots Blast Titans, Brady Puts Up 6 TD’s

In what was one of the most one sided and severe beatings in the history of the NFL I couldn’t help but enjoy this game.  Sure I enjoy a tigh nailbiter but sometimes I feel like relaxing and kicking my feet up.   Not sure what words best describes the Titans today but gross, disgusting, pathetic, and embarrasing should be close enough.
The game was closer to amusing then anything and the Titans should be  ashamed of themselves.  The Patriots had everything going today and I am not sure anyone could have beat them but the Titans are not a good football team and probably will not be for a long time to come.
It is not even worth writing much of a review of the game because the score pretty much tells all, 59-0.  Even though Tennessee is so bad the Patriots did look solid and certainly this was their best performance all season on both sides of the ball.  Now hopefully they can do it next week against Tampa Bay, another winless team.
A whole bunch of records were broken including Brady’s 5 touchdown passes in 1 quarter and largest margin of victory.  Brady had 345 yards and was 24 of 28… He was magical!

Seau Signing Looms

Belichick Tight Lipped On Return Of Junior Seau

Junior Seau is returning to the NFL for his 20 season, once again with the New England Patriots, and according to Seau, that’s a fact.  But Bill Belichick and the Patriots are keeping this signing close to the chest as the New England brass doesn’t have anything to say about the rumor of Seau signing other than Belichick saying, “We don’t have anything to say about it.”

Who are we kidding, its a typical weekday in Foxborough, even after their overtime loss to Denver on Sunday, Belichick and his squad are tight-lipped when it comes to the signing of Seau and everything else.  

Even with the return of Jerod Mayo to the Patriots active roster this weekend, the Pats apparently are looking for Seau to help bring stability to his former team.    


Welcome To The Sunday From Hell

Patriots Lose To McDaniels After Sox Are Swept Out Of Playoffs

The Bill Belichick wannabe took on the actual Bill Belichick on Sunday as the undefeated Denver Broncos stayed undefeated with a game-winning 41-yard field in overtime to give Josh McDaniels squad a 20-17 victory over New England.  

Kyle Orton led the pass-heavy Broncos attack with 330 passing yards and two TDs.  Tom Brady fell to 1-5 as a starter against the Mile High team with a 215 yard, 2 TD performance, as Denver is the only team that Brady doesn’t have a winning record against.   The Broncos completed their fourth come-from behind victory of the season on Sunday as they are off to their first 5-0 start since 1998.  

Bill Belichick fell to his former assistant, falling to 8-7 against his former assistants. Belichick and McDaniels were unable to shake hands after the game as the Broncos head coach celebrated by fist pumping to his family and Denver fans in the corner of the end-zone.   

New England dropped to 3-2 on the season as the Patriots will look to rebound against the winless Tennesse Titans (0-5) at Foxborough this Sunday.

(AP Photo) (AP Photo)  

Amsey 5- The student didn’t beat the mentor. The Broncos outplayed the Patriots

1.  If there is a top tier executive manager in a big corporation that is in a competitive marketplace, that manager gets a raise, more equity, cash, whatever they want to ensure that the success that they’ve brought the business will continue. They also want to make sure that said manager is happy.  The analogy works the same for Vince Wilfork. I don’t even want to think about where the Patriots defense would be without him. He commands double teams on every rush or passing play that he is on the field for.  If only the Patriots would try something completely different like stunt blitz off of Wilfork’s double teams they’d find more success at getting to the quarterback. 1 sack by a back up linebacker and allowing for the extremely mobile? Kyle Orton to pick the Patriots apart was embarrassing.
2.  With 16 seconds left in regulation I thought that the Patriots were going to get called for a roughing the passer call (diving at the quarterbacks legs while on the ground).  I  was shocked when it wasn’t called.  For those of you fortunate enough to see the Browns and Bills barn burner we were graced with a roughing the passer call when a hand accidentally glanced off Trent Edwards’ helmet.  The danger that Edwards was in was life threatening. The helmet painters almost even had to get some paint out for the next game from the crushing glance of a defender’s hand that made contact with the quarterback’s helmet.  It’s a good thing that helmet is made from paper dolls , or the defensive player’s hand could have been severely damaged. Give me a break.
3. On the topic of ridiculous 15 yard penalties, how about Brandon Meriweather’s 15 yarder that aided the Broncos in scoring the tying touchdown?  Now I don’t condone poor sportsmanship, or any type of flaunting, taunting, or embarrassing your opponent. However, the NFL taunting rule is grayer the a New England sky.  The rule reads ” Any flagrant acts or remarks that deride, mock, bait or embarrass an opponent are considered taunting. This includes, but is not limited to, spiking the football near a defender after a touchdown, shoving the ball at an opponent, or repeated finger-pointing. Remember, if you spike the ball near an opponent after a play, you risk being called for taunting even if you don’t mean to taunt. ”  Forgive me for being naive, but couldn’t a taunting penalty be called on pretty much every single play in the NFL?  A mental edge is a critical part of the battle of the trenches and in theory, taunting could be called all day long.  The rule reads as an official wants to interpret it (outside of the ball spike or shoving the ball at an opponent, that’s pretty blatant).  Either enforce it all the time, or preferably take the official discretion out of play.  It’s a 1 score game, 16 seconds left and emotions are high.  What was even worse is that official was going for pass interference call and then when he learned it was tipped, migrated to a taunting penalty. Strange.
4. Shawn Springs is playing like a spry young chicken. He’s been very very good-even despite the 1 on 1 TD that Marshall beat him on. 
4a. There was a Pat Chung sighting. He almost blocked a punt
4b. Phil Simms.  Please tell me what this guy brings to the table? He played for umpteen years, has Super Bowl rings, has been doing it twice as long as Troy Aikman with half the knowledge.  What if the rest of society worked like professional sports announcing jobs.  You’d have bricklayers taking CEO positions at technology companies.   Convenient Store workers taking over project management.  Just because you were a good player clearly doesn’t make you a good commentator. And for the record Simms had the best defense in NFL history kind of helping him out. 
4c. I liked the Steelers uniforms. I mean Broncos.
4d. Dolphins upset the Jets tonight
4e. The Raiders looked stellar. How much is Richard Seymour enjoying his business life these days? I am pretty sure he’s one and done. Although if he does go back and sign a long term deal, they’ll overpay by 3x what any other franchise would give him and he gets to have Jamarcus Vince Young Ryan Leaf Rex Grossman Terrell Pryor Russell as his quarterback
4f.  6 days between the Sox and Twins getting swept until game 1 of the ALCS? I hope that it is Colorado vs. the Yankees in the series and blizzards happen every other day postponing it until December. What a joke. This is why I hate baseball.   Yes, I understand the irony of blogging for a baseball oriented website.
5. Let’s just get the giant elephant in the room on the table. Tom Brady isn’t the same quarterback that he was in 2007 right now. That’s not to say that by week 12 he won’t be,  but right now he is missing throws that he never would have missed a few years ago. It’s timing and accuracy and repetition. He’ll get there. No one works harder. He’s received the off-season hardest worker award for the Patriots 3 of the past 4 years. What other team besides the Raiders can say that their cushy, big salary, job security quarterback is still the hardest working guy in the room. By the end of the year it will look as seamless as it did 2 years ago.

Mayo On The Comeback Trail

Linebacker Status Moved To Questionable For Sunday

It’s going to be the matchup of the cut-off sweatshirts as Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots face Josh McDaniels and the Denver Broncos on Sunday. One key in this weekends matchup is the availability of defensive stalwart, Jerod Mayo.

Mayo has been upgraded to questionable on the injury report after a week of limited practice.  Other questionable players are Nick Kaczur, James Sanders, Shawn Springs, Wes Wlker, and Vince Wilfork.  The Broncos will be without Correll Buckhalter and safety Brian Dawkins is questionable as well.

Fred Taylor Set For Surgery

Patriots Leading Rusher Requires Ankle Surgery

Fred Taylor wont be carrying the ball anytime soon for the New England Patriots as the 11-year-pro has elected to have surgery on his injured right ankle.  

Taylor injured his right ankle in his last carry of New England’s 27-21 win over the Baltimore Ravens and was held out of practice the past two days.  The timetable for Taylor’s return is uncertain but the 33-year-old is expected to be back with the Patriots at some point this season.  

Taylor is the only New England running back to register an 100-yard game and the injury to Taylor will require the likes of Laurence Maroney, Sammy Morris, and Kevin Faulk, to step up in his absence.  Don’t be shocked if you see more of BenJarvus Green-Ellis who has impressed in his short time in Foxborough and could displace the ineffective and oft dancing Maroney in the backfield.