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.

Welcome Back Junior

Patriots Expected To Sign Junior Seau This Week

After losing Tedy Bruschi to retirement, Mike Vrabel to the Kansas City Chiefs, and Jerod Mayo to the injury bug, the New England Patriots thought it was about time to give Junior Seau a call.  

Well, Seau has been spotted at Foxborough, taking a physical and laying the groundwork for a deal that would bring the veteran linebacker for his 20th NFL season. Seau hinted at a comeback earlier this season but cautioned that it would be later in the season.  Well, with the Patriots in need of more depth at the linebacking position, Bill Belichick and company obviously are willing to welcome the return of the Tasmanian Devil.

A return in the midst of season isn’t anything new to Seau, as he returned to the Patriots in December last year.  The 40-year-old may need a couple of weeks to re-acquaint himself with the playbook and get into football shape but we should be seeing Seau sooner rather than later.

New England Survives Ravens Test

Patriots Hold On Against The Upstart Ravens

The New England Patriots knew that a matchup with the Baltimore Ravens would be a good barometer for where this 2009 squad stands. By the end of a four-quarter struggle, the Patriots were worn but still standing with a 27-21 victory over the Ravens on Sunday at Gillette Stadium.  

Tom Brady and Randy Moss finally hooked up for their first touchdown of the season, their first connection since Super Bowl XLII.  Brady went 21-for-32 for 258 yards with a passing and rushing TD.  Moss finished with three receptions for 50 yards.  

New England had to stave off a late Baltimore rally as a Willis McGahee touchdown in the fourth quarter narrowed the Pats lead to three-points.  However, a Stephen Gostkowski field goal with a little over seven minutes left, made it 27-21 and a dropped fourth-down pass from Michael Clayton with under a minute inside the New England red zone gave the Patriots the victory.

New England (3-1) won for the 18th straight time that Brady has started a game at Gillette Stadium.  The Patriots travel to Denver to take on the 4-0 Broncos, who are led by former offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels.

(AP Photo) (AP Photo)

Re-Shuffling The Deck, Pats Waive Burgess

New England Forced To Make Roster Moves

The New England Patriots waived newly acquired linebacker Prescott Burgess in order to sign free agent defensive lineman Terdell Sands.  Sands, who was with the Oakland Raiders in 2008, worked out for the Patriots last week and is being brought in due to the recent ankle injury to defensive stalwart Vince Wilfork.

The monstrous Sands will join Ty Warren, Mike Wright, Myron Pryor, Ron Brace, and Jarvis Green as the other defensive linemen.  The Patriots do not lose a draft choice with the release of Burgess due to the condition that Burgess had to be active for a certain number of games to enforce that a draft pick switching hands.  

 

Patriots & Taylor Run Past The Falcons

New England Soars Past Dirty Birds(AP Photo)

For all the negative hoopla that surround the New England Patriots after their 16-9 loss to the New York Jets last weekend, the Pats answered their critics by silencing any skepticism with a 26-10 thumping of the Atlanta Falcons at Gillette Stadium. 

New England shut down a dynamic Atlanta offense led by Matt Ryan, Michael Turner, and Tony Gonzalez.  The Patriots held Ryan to 199 passing yards and Gonzalez to only one reception.  Tom Brady and the offense led a balanced offensive attack and held the ball for nearly 40 minutes as they won their 16th straight game against an NFC opponent.  Fred Taylor went over the century mark, rushing for 105 yards and a TD.  

New England (2-1) ran the ball 39 times and threw 43 passes in a well orchestrated offensive attack as the Pats finally looked to be clicking on almost all cylinders.  The red zone offense was a little shaky in the first half, settling for field goals on more than one occasion but the Patriots will look to string together two straight wins as they host Joe Flacco the Baltimore Ravens next weekend in Foxboro.  Wes Welker was once again inactive for Sunday’s game, for the second week in a row, with a knee injury.  Randy Moss made up for the lack of Welker’s presence with 10 catches and 116 yards receiving, his 61st career 100-yard game.    

Added Depth, Will It Help?

Patriots Add Depth To Linebacking Core

With a serious need to address one of their weaknesses, the New England Patriots acquired linebacker Prescott Burgess from the Baltimore Ravens in hopes of shoring up a depleted and thin linebacker position. 

The Patriots, in exchange for Burgess, sent a conditional seventh-round draft choice.  The former University of Michigan grad enters his third season in the NFL and has appeared in 10 career NFL games, all with the Ravens.  Burgess, who stands at 6-foot-3, 247 lbs, will join the likes of Gary Guyton, Adalius Thomas, Eric Alexander, Tully Banta-Cain, and Pierre Woods as the other linebackers on the 53-man roster looking to make up for Jerod Mayo’s absence.

The absence of Mayo, who is sidelined for six to eight weeks with a sprained right medical collateral ligament, forces the Patriots to move towards a 4-3 scheme and this past sunday a base 4-2-5 defensive lineup.  Burgess has never started a game in the NFL but has had enormous upside since being recruited by Michigan.  New England hopes that due to an abundance of linebackers in Baltimore, Burgess can thrive in a new situation with the Patriots who so desperately need help at the linebacking position.  

Patriots Week 2 Loss V.S. Jets -(Amsey 5)

Amsey 5- Creativity need not apply
1) Two words.  Screen Pass.  Not the Wes Welker errrrrrrrrrrr Julian Edelman bubble screen that averaged 3 yards per catch today but a true to form screen pass. The Jets were blitzing the bejesus out of the Patriots and unless I was zapped by the Men In Black movie mind erasing device, I didn’t see a single one.  The Jets brought 7 and 8 consistently.   The only way to make it stop is throw a screen pass. Oh by the way, we have one of the best in the business out of the backfield in Kevin Faulk. I may not always be spot on but in this instance I am absolutely right. This is why they lost the game today. The Jets defense played great but the Patriots had no creativity in countering the onslaught. Brady threw 50% of his passes today on the run or off of his back foot. Not exactly the prototypical throwing style that we’ve come to know and love from him.
2) Running back by committee flat out doesn’t work.  Why? Why do it? Why not stick with Taylor on first and second down and Faulk on 3rd down. Let Maroney do kick off retuns (poorly) and Morris do special teams and back up Taylor if he needs a break. To bring in running backs at random times doesn’t allow for any of them to get into the flow of the game. To see what the defense is doing. To see who is tiring on the defensive side of the ball. It is flat out inane.
3) I am thoroughly impressed with the play of Mike Wright. He is no Richard Seymour but he comes on the cheap. To be an un-drafted free agent from Cincinnati and become a starter in the NFL is very impressive. However one area of major improvement for him is to get off the ball when it is snapped. If anyone has DVR’d the atrocity that we witnessed today, go back and watch all of the defensive snaps that he is in for.  Wilfork is off like dart and Wright is delayed getting up and going. It may be only a split second, but in the NFL, that split second allows the offensive lineman to get off the ball and downfield on a running play or get his back pedaling going for a passing play. For examples see Exhibit A, Jets running game today.  He plays with heart but now he’s got to play quicker. 
4) 9 minutes to go 3rd and short and the Patriots run a strung out running play to the short side of the field. I don’t even have a pun or insight to provide here. I just find it absolutely insane to try that play without a pure speed back.   The Jets line got fantastic push and yet another Patriots drive was stopped dead in its’ tracks.
5) The formation that I want to see forever is 4 wide.  Edelman and Welker in the slots. Moss and Galloway (or someone with a pair of hands and knows which routes to run and knows what Brady is thinking and doing) on the outside.  With Fred Taylor in the backfield for first and second down and Kevin Faulk for 3rd down.  With those 4 outside, you need to have at least 1 safety rolling to Moss’ side of the field. Assuming man coverage, a team couldn’t send more then 6 rushers against 6 blockers. Welker always gets open. Edelman proved that he can too.  Let’s show this formation a bit next week against a tough Atlanta team
BONUS points)
a) From a positive note, at least we didn’t have to listen to Phil Simms today
b) More from the glass half full department: Gostkowski is my fantasy kicker
c) Pat Chung made a huge impact on the game today.  Meanwhile in Green Bay Ray Malaluga was a beast. No, I won’t let this go. 
d) For those of you not fortunate enough to have the Sunday Ticket Super Nerd errr Fan package, I was lucky to see something none of the rest of you will. When Chad Ochodicko scored his touchdown, he found some Bengal fans to leap into the stands.  Nearby Packer fans wisely flipped the camera the bird, thereby rendering the shot useless for the public to see. Good job taking the camera off the idiot and back on the field.  What is not known is whether or not the fan was ejected. He  should have been given a suite.
e) Sanchez is the real deal. Take the training wheels off the kid.
f) I can’t believe that Kerry Rhodes was right. The Jets did embarrass the Patriots today.
g) Did Jets fans really start a Brady sucks chant?  3 Super Bowls in nine years VS. the last significant win in Jets franchise history was Super Bowl 3.  Typical New York class.