NFL: Week 8 Picks

It’s almost November, which means it’s time for the real teams to show who they are. This is a post-Thanksgiving league, but teams with good records and flaws will start showing them about now. One team that is minimally flawed is the New England Patriots. Last night, they showed why it’s so hard to beat them.

Obviously, everything revolves around Tom Brady on offense. The guy is unbelievable, and at age 38, he’s somehow playing better than he ever has. He recently said he wanted to play ten more years. At this point, it’s kind of hard to say he’s crazy for saying that, isn’t it? I’ll believe Brady can keep playing at this level forever until I see him deteriorate, and he hasn’t yet.

Gronk caught his 61st career touchdown pass last night. that is one fewer than Shannon Sharpe, who played eight and a half more seasons. Once Gronk passes Sharpe, which he will do shortly, he will have more touchdowns receptions than any other tight end in the Hall of Fame. He’s changing the game.

Despite injuries upon injuries upon injuries, Belichick keeps finding a way to make this offensive line work. Just when it looks like they have an injury that they can’t sustain, they fix it without you even noticing.

Blount and Dion Lewis are perfect complements in the backfield. Lewis is so valuable both as a receiver and as a runner. He’s so quick that he can create space where there’s none. But at the end of games, when they need to run out the clock with a power running game, Blount is there to drop the hammer.

You might point to the Patriots defense and say it’s not as good as last year because of the personnel. I would tell you to watch them actually play. The secondary has yet to be an issue, and they’ve played against Big Ben and Andrew Luck, and most recently shut down Ryan Tannehill who was on fire. Their pass rush abused the Dolphins offensive line last night, and Jamie Collins is the best player in the NFL that no one knows about. He’s one of the best overall athletes and the league, and he’s excellent at playing in space.

The overlooked part of the Patriot’s team that is a complete testament to Belichick’s coaching is their special teams. It’s not just the fact that Stephen Gostkowski is arguably the best kicker in the league. Edelman and Amendola steal a lot of yards on punt returns. They’re shifty and know how to create space the way Lewis does. And their punt coverage is superb. I’m looking very intently, and I cannot find a glaring flaw in this team. They are heavy Super Bowl favorites until they prove they shouldn’t be. On to this week’s picks.

Lions (+3.5) over CHIEFS

Andy Reid and Jim Caldwell get sent to London. I think this is a great punishment for coaches that don’t know how to manage the clock. I think instead of a game clock they should take Big Ben and put it in the middle of the field, and tell both coaches to figure it out. Also, I’d be in favor of giving Reid an extra four timeouts per half just to see how he wastes them. But in all seriousness, these are two bottom ten teams in the league, and I’ll take the points.

FALCONS (-7) over Buccaneers

I think the Falcons offense will wake up against a Buccaneers defense that let Kirk Cousins go 80 yards in less than 2 minutes to win the game last week. Seriously, an offense that features Julio Jones, Matt Ryan, Devonta Freeman, Roddy White and that improved offensive line should score more than ten points this week. Then again, that offense only scored ten points against the Titans, who are an atrocious team outside of their quarterback.

BROWNS (+6) over Cardinals

Let’s backtrack a little bit on the Cardinals offense of Carson Palmer, Chris Johnson, and Larry Fitzgerald being an elite offense in 2015. But seriously how good would it have been six years ago? This is still a good team, but you saw them struggle to put the Ravens away at home last week, and Cleveland is a tough out. Plus Arizona is much better at home than on the road, and with a long flight I expect the Browns to cover.

RAMS (-8) over 49ers

This is going to be a long day for Colin Kaepernick. The only time he looks good is when he doesn’t have a pass rush, and the Rams have the best defensive line in football. I expect Kaepernick to be on the ground all day and Todd Gurley to run all over the San Francisco defense that has a ton of holes.

Giants (+3) over SAINTS

I’m really glad the Saints won two games no one expected them to win and now they’re getting too much respect. Let’s not sleep on the Giants. They beat the Cowboys by a touchdown, but because that wasn’t a big enough difference everyone’s jumping ship. This is still the best team in the NFC East, I expect them to roll in this one.

Vikings (+1) over BEARS

The Vikings could still be a playoff team. I don’t care that the Bears are at home, they shouldn’t be giving points to anyone. Minnesota’s offense is beginning to emerge as they now are finding who their playmakers are, guys like Stefon Diggs. Just because the Bears were on a bye last week doesn’t mean they’re a different team, this is still a horrible defense and Jay Cutler is an accident waiting to happen.

RAVENS (-3.5) over Chargers

Now that we’ve accepted the Ravens are a bad team, I think they’re a pretty good bad team. They hang around in games, they run the ball pretty well, and don’t act like Flacco can’t make plays. Most importantly, he’s at his best when he needs to be, and that’s when he has the ball in the last two minutes with a chance to tie or win. Also, congratulations to Phillip Rivers on his eighth child, you now have enough kids to get your own reality show. Also congratulations on being the best replacement for Ben Roethlisberger my fantasy team could’ve possibly asked for. You the real MVP.

Bengals (+1) over STEELERS

Big Ben is back, and while this is a much more compelling game because of that, don’t go too crazy. The Steelers are 2-4 in the first game after Roethlisberger comes back from an injury, and he’s averaged under 200 yards per game in those games. The Bengals are coming off of a bye and have the most complete roster in the league. While Big Ben makes this a more even matchup, the Bengals still have the edge.

Titans (Even) over TEXANS

It sounds like Mariota is going to play, and if he does I think the Titans are the better team. But, do yourself a favor and don’t go anywhere near these two horrible teams. Don’t watch this game, don’t bet on this game, don’t even think about this game. I already want to throw up, let’s move on.

RAIDERS (+3) over Jets

All of a sudden this is a really good game. I’ve been on the Raiders all year, and I will continue to be after seeing how they jumped on San Diego early last week. Had he been a part of last year’s class, Amari Cooper easily could’ve been the top rookie receiver last year (you hear that OBJ?). The Jets played really well against the Patriots last week, but they fell short, and now they have to fly cross country after an emotional let down. I’m grabbing the points and the better quarterback in this one.

Seahawks (-5.5) over COWBOYS

Maybe Dez plays, maybe he doesn’t, but does it really matter? Matt Cassell may throw down the field occasionally, something Brandon Weeden had absolutely no interest in doing, but he’s not Tony Romo. I’ll lay the points with a hobbled Dez going against a rejuvenated and desperate Legion of Boom, and I expect Russell Wilson to make Greg Hardy look silly on the other side of the ball.

Packers (-2.5) over BRONCOS

If only the Broncos had a quarterback right? Their defense has been spectacular. They deserve all the credit they’ve gotten for this 6-0 start. But they did give up big plays to the Browns two weeks ago, I think Aaron Rodgers can make a few more. Hopefully Cobb and Adams got healthy over the bye week, and to be perfectly blunt, Peyton usually spots teams seven points at some point in the game. Also, don’t bet against Aaron Rodgers in night games.

Colts (+7) over PANTHERS

I am 100% banking on the signature Andrew Luck backdoor cover in this one. The Panthers deserve to be undefeated in the sense that they’re better than all of the teams they’ve played so far, but the offense struggles to make plays despite the tremendous play of Cam Newton. His receivers were at least partially responsible for all three of his interceptions last week. But defensively Thomas Davis and Luke Kuechly are the best linebacker duo in the league right now. Hopefully Luck is healthy enough to do something about it.

For college football fans or just degenerate gamblers who will bet on anything, I’m in a weekly college football pick ’em. Here’s my picks for this week: Washington State (+11), Notre Dame (-10), Florida State (-20.5), New Mexico State (+5.5), Tulane (+32), Florida, Colorado State, and FI(Not A)U straight up.

NFL Record Last Week: 8-5-1

NFL Record Overall: 49-55-5

College Football Record Last Week: 5-3-0

College Football Record Overall: 31-25-0

NFL Week Eight Power Rankings

There is no secret sauce when it comes to winning football games in the NFL. A solid quarterback, a coach who halfway knows what he is doing, and players that don’t puke on themselves when the situation is at its biggest. I’m completely astounded by the dysfunction I witness on a weekly basis around the league. Whether it is keeping your emotions in check, protecting the football, or just basic clock management, you’ll see teams that resemble the Little Giants more than a professional football team. Thankfully, I’m from New England and we aren’t susceptible to such idiocrasy. Somehow, we make teams outthink themselves and completely unravel during the biggest moments. Todd Bowles decided to NOT call timeout when the clock was running with New England deep in their territory, blitzed everyone in the Tri-State area but Hillary Clinton, and leave Gronk uncovered for the game winning touchdown. It was a ho hum, keep it moving, one step closer to hat & t-shirt day for the Patriots. Next up, we have the Southeast Sashimi on short rest.

1) New England Patriots – Tom Brady told everyone he barely washes his jeans. So, that new bottle of laundry detergent I got is getting dumped down the drain immediately.

2) Green Bay Packers – Coming off a Bye week.

3) Cincinnati Bengals – Coming off a Bye week.

4) Carolina Panthers – The Panthers are for real it seems, and Sage Rosenfels doesn’t like Cam Newton. I feel your pain Sage.

5) Denver Broncos – Coming off a Bye week.

6) Arizona Cardinals – Arizona SHOULD have blown the doors off of a struggling Baltimore team, but didn’t.

7) New Jersey Jets – Brandon Marshall had a chance to make Sunday’s game a lot more interesting, and I hope Phil Simms and Boomer emasculate him on Inside the NFL this week.

8) Atlanta Falcons – Atlanta’s defense won them a game in Music City. They beat the Selfie King, so measure that how you will.

9) New Jersey Giants – If the Giants can get any sort of running game going, they are going to be tough to beat come January. Their defense is starting to really come together.

10) Seattle Seahawks – Has Petey and Russell recovered to what Malcom Butler did to them in February? I am not too sure they have.

11) Minnesota Vikings – Minnesota is winning football games without Adrian Peterson playing like Adrian Peterson. They should be a playoff team when the time comes.

12) Miami Dolphins – OK Sashimi, we’ll see if you are for real come Thursday in Foxboro.

13) Philadelphia Eagles – How many times can you run a delayed hand off and throw the ball into the flat? My Lord, are the Eagles painful to watch. I can only imagine how it looks to a Philly fan.

14) Pittsburgh Steelers – It is clear as day the Steelers need Big Ben back to make any kind of noise in the AFC. After the undefeated teams in the conference and the Jets, it is a complete dumpster fire.

15) Oakland Raiders – Don’t look now, the Raiders won a road game! Amari Cooper all but has the AFC ROY on his mantle already.

16) Buffalo Bills – Buffalo lost to Gus Bradley’s Jaguars in London. This was the team that Rex said nobody is going to want to play and he was building a bully. I assume he meant a litter of French bulldogs?

17) San Diego Chargers– Outside of Indianapolis, they may be the most disappointing team in the AFC. Danny Woodhead and Philip Rivers fantasy points won some folks a good chunk of change over the weekend I assume.

18) St. Louis Rams – Todd Gurley may already be the best running back in his conference. I’m a million, billion percent serious.

19) Indianapolis Colts– Chuck Pagano was happy how his team played in the 2nd half? My Lord are they delusional. For the record, I think me calling Irsay a drug addict was why he blocked me on social media.

20) Dallas Cowboys – Greg Hardy belongs in a jail cell, not on an NFL field.

21) New Orleans Saints – The Saints won a game not played under the lights of primetime. Someone sound the alarm. Who Dat Nation!

22) Kansas City Chiefs – Eric Berry should clear some space for Comeback Player of the Year award on his mantle. This dude is an inspiration to all.

23) Cleveland Browns – That Cleveland offense we saw the week before was nowhere to be found. The Browns run defense looks like some sort of Swiss cheese you’d see on a cheap appetizer platter.

24) Chicago Bears – Coming off a Bye week.

25) Washington Redskins – Kirk Cousins made some Fan Duel players very happy campers with the onslaught of offense he threw on the Bucs.

26) Jacksonville Jaguars – I really wish the Jags brought the white trash pools with them over to London. Either way, they left Harry Potter’s homeland with a victory.

27) Tampa Bay Buccaneers – The Bucs defense let them down and Lovie Smith is searching for answers.

28) Detroit Lions – The Lions went back to being the Lions again. Fat Face really didn’t do himself any favors for the millionth time in a row.

29) San Francisco 49ers – The Niners are just about at rock bottom, and need to rebuild from the ground up. It starts with the quarterback.

30) Houston Texans – Someone needs to get Ryan Mallett a functioning alarm clock.

31) Baltimore Ravens – Harbaugh using “deception” and failing at it, makes everything a little sweeter today.

32) Tennessee Titans – It is amazing the Titans are still alive in the race for the putrid AFC South.

New England Patriots: The New Tom Brady

Let’s start with stating the obvious, Tom Brady is not from this planet. He is a real life “Superman.”

Tom Brady is Superman

After Sunday’s 30-23 win over the New York Jets even the most skeptical Brady hater has to be in awe of the unhuman things he is doing in his 16th year as an NFL Quarterback. Brady literally took the team on his back and refused to lose. We all knew he didn’t need any help in passing the ball, but:

  • 10 (or more) drops and he still throws for 355 yards
  • 2 TDs
  • 0 interceptions
  • 1 rushing TD
  • If that’s not enough he also leads the team in rushing for the 1st time in his career…at the age of 38

C’mon fans of the Steelers, Jets, Colts, Ravens (and on and on and on), admit it, you have to respect what this man has done. I know you may not be willing to admit anything publicly. Deep inside you still think he had to be cheating to do what he has, otherwise you’d have to admit your team actually lost to a “human” and you don’t want to do that. Among your fellow fans, when you belly up to the bar, you still mock him and talk about deflated footballs.

But when you take a moment and are honest with yourself you would love to have Tom Brady QB your team. You know it…I know it…and, don’t feel bad, your team feels the same way.

Is Tom Brady better now than he has ever been? 

Brady fires away in 30-23 win over the Jets (Photo: David Silverman Patriots.com)
Tom Brady fires away in 30-23 win over the Jets (Photo: David Silverman Patriots.com)

You can click on the above green link to find and compare Brady’s career statistics and decide for yourself. So, the question is, what more can he do? What is left to challenge the greatest QB in the history of the NFL (that will trigger some debate)? Commissioner Roger Goodell and NFL owners provided the motivation he needed -or maybe he didn’t – to rejuvenate him for the 2015 season by questioning his honesty and integrity. His response has been to quietly embarrass them and their position. Hell, even the most avid Patriot fan has to admit he has surpassed any expectations we had for this season. Think about it:

  • 2,054 yards passing in 6 games
  • 16 TDs with just 1 interception
  • 2 rushing TDs after going the past two seasons with 0

With a mobility in the pocket that he has never shown before he looks like a “new” Tom Brady.  Don’t get me wrong, he has always been great, but this year he has moved into a new stratosphere. It’s not hyperbole, it is a fact and the eye test backs it up. Game-by-game he meets and exceeds expectations.

Brady brings out the best of everyone around him

Brady and Gronk celebrate TD in 30-23 win over the Jets (Photo: David Silverman Patriots.com)
Brady and Gronk celebrate TD in 30-23 win over the Jets (Photo: David Silverman Patriots.com)

Please don’t tell me he doesn’t have the weapons that other great QBs have. It doesn’t take anything away from what Mr. Brady has done this year to acknowledge the greatness of Rob Gronkowski (or Randy Moss in 2007). Julian Edelman and the now healthy Danny Amendola aren’t anything to laugh at, and Dion Lewis has emerged as a top tier running back/receiver.

Danny Amendola makes an acrobatic catch in 30-23 win over the Jets Photo David Silverman
Danny Amendola makes an acrobatic catch in 30-23 win over the Jets (Photo: David Silverman Patriots.com)

However, with that said, Brady makes everyone on the offense look better. The ensemble that makes up the offensive line attests to what he is capable of doing. If you can name the starting five linemen for last night’s match-up with the amazing pass rush of the rejuvenated Miami Dolphins without looking it up, congratulations.

Credit the quick release (fastest in the NFL) of Tom Brady with the fact we’re not in panic as each weeks latest super team lines up on the other side of the ball. Speaking of which, I don’t know about you, but I’m tired of hearing how all these teams are suddenly able to “challenge” the Patriots dominance in the NFL. Before they can challenge they have to show they can beat the best…and so far no one has done that.

Follow me on twitter @SnowdonBob

NFL Week 7 Picks

Here is where I would brag about getting two straight Thursday night games right, but considering I only got three games right last week I think I’ll hold off on any bragging of any kind. Here’s the main takeaway from last night’s game however.

The Seahawks will struggle to make the playoffs. They didn’t play that great, and they have major flaws offensively. Their offensive line is inconsistent, they can’t run the ball against good teams, and their weak receiving core is highlighted when they have to make plays. This is a classic case of a young team, with everyone trying to make it, coming together with a driving force to prove themselves, and they were very successful the last three years. Now that’s worn off, they’ve gotten paid, and the hunger is gone. Right now they have seven guys, Russell Wilson, Marshawn Lynch, Jimmy Graham, Richard Sherman, Kam Chancellor, Earl Thomas, and Bobby Wagner taking up approximately 762% of their salary cap (again, that’s an approximate number). So what’s occurred as a result? They have no depth. And believe me, it’s only going to get worse. Their going to have to let some of these guys go in the near future, and Pete Carroll might start thinking that the Legion of Boom isn’t as formidable as it once was, and that USC job is there for him again and he avoided all of the penalties. On to this week’s picks, which can’t possibly be worse than last week.

JAGUARS (+4.5) over Bills

Leave it to Rex Ryan to ruin a potential Super Bowl contender. The Bills are littered with talent, and it looked like they found a quarterback that could get them somewhere. Rex sprinkles his magic, they think they’re going to win the Super Bowl after three games, they scuffle a little bit, and now Sammy Watkins, Mario Williams, and Marcel Dareus are all complaining. Way to go Rex. Meanwhile the Jets seem to be doing just fine without you. Also, here’s to hoping for Gus Bradley’s sake he doesn’t get left in London with Joe Philbin. Maybe the FFCA (Fired Football Coaches Association) can open a location out in London if he does. You hear that Jon Gruden? I’m expanding your corporation for you. Your welcome.

REDSKINS (-3.5) over Buccaneers

I stand by everything I said about the Redskins last week. They were banged up and still were going to cover the spread against the Jets, who will be a playoff team this year, until late in that game. This week they’ll be a little healthier and I like them a lot at home against a very shaky Tampa team.

Falcons (-5.5) over TITANS

I’m not at all worried about this Falcons team. Any Thursday night loss I think can be explained away as being a weird short week where most teams don’t play well. Julio Jones played hurt last Thursday but now he’s had ten days to heal up (and he still had almost 100 yards receiving last week), and this team is stacked with offensive talent. The Titans were dominated last week and it sounds like Mariota won’t play. I love the Falcons in this one.

COLTS (-4) over Saints

I have to say, I was pretty impressed with the Colts last week. Other than Chuck Pagano stupidly trying to outcoach Belichick, they had a great gameplan for a compromised Andrew Luck and played with some pride. I think their gameplanning with Luck’s shoulder being hurt actually helped them. They ran a lot of three and five step drops with him with timing routes designed for him to get rid of the ball quickly. That’s a lot better than just letting Luck drop back, have everyone go deep, and let that horrible offensive line get run over while Luck tries to buy time and chucks it down the field as he gets clobbered. Maybe they’ll do more of this, and I’m expecting no horrible fake punts in this one.

Vikings (-2) over LIONS

Perhaps the Lions figured out that their best offense is to just have Stafford throw 60 yard bombs to Calvin Johnson every play, but I expect them to lay an egg offensively this week against a decent defense as they’ve done so many times this year. I can’t tell if this Vikings team is good or not, but I know the Lions aren’t, and I’m happy to only give two points to Jim Caldwell in this one.

Steelers (-2) over CHIEFS

The Steelers have done an excellent job of surviving without Big Ben, and have actually gone 2-1. Now they play a putrid Chiefs team with no running game to speak of, and no deep passing game. Maclin probably won’t play, and the way to beat the Steelers is through the air. Landry Jones looked good in relief of Vick last week, I expect him to be a little better with a full week to prepare. Also, the AFC stinks, and you can pretty much write the Steelers in as a Wild Card team at this point, and if Roethlisberger can play against the Bengals next week, then there’s still a lot to be decided in this division.

Browns (+6.5) over RAMS

The Browns are not a very good team, but they are a tough out. They have a good defense, can run the ball a little bit, and have some decent receiving threats in Travis Benjamin and Gary Barnidge. I also like the Rams a lot. They have a lot of deficiencies, but they know what they do well and what they do well they do really well. They run the ball well, Todd Gurley is a beast, and they have a stout defensive line that gives opposing quarterbacks problems. I expect this to be a low scoring game and I’m taking the points.

DOLPHINS (-4) over Texans

The Dolphins are a different team post-Joe Philbin. As I accurately predicted last week, they are a talented team, capable of being the playoff contender we all thought they’d be before the season, they just need to play like it. Also, the Texans are horrible. I’m not impressed with a 31-20 win over the Jaguars. They are offensively challenged, and one week doesn’t change that. I expect the Dolphins to roll at home.

Jets (+7.5) over PATRIOTS

The Patriots are the superior team, but they don’t have a great defense. Their pass rush is good, but the Jets strength is running the ball, and they will try and shorten the game and control the clock. It’ll be interesting to see if the Patriots are able to take away the run, and force Ryan Fitzpatrick to beat them. If they can, then it is going to be an ugly day for the Jets. But if the Jets can control the line of scrimmage and do well running the ball, then they’ll keep the game close, and I’m grabbing the points.

Raiders (+3.5) over CHARGERS

The Chargers are extremely reliant on Philip Rivers, and now his best weapon, Keenan Allen, is banged up. They have no run game to speak of, and their defense is shaky at best. Oakland is coming off of a bye, and should play a lot better against a Chargers defense that is giving up nearly 27 points per game.

GIANTS (-3.5) over Cowboys

I think there might be a little bit of a revenge game factor in this one. The Giants had the Cowboys beat in Dallas until they wet the bed on the one-yard line and gave Tony Romo the ball back. Now the Cowboys are starting Matt Cassel due to Brandon Weeden’s horrible play. We have no idea whether Cassel has any sort of grip on this offense, and he just got cut by Buffalo this year. I like the Giants to bounce back from an awful Monday night game in this one.

NFL Week Seven Power Rankings

It wasn’t the blood bath I was hoping for, but the Colts trying to pull off the Annexation of Puerto Rico made it all worthwhile. Indianapolis showed a little bit of pride and finally dropped their nuts after being shoved into a locker in the previous billion meetings. My boys came away with a victory on the road and sit atop the AFC, per usual. However, a tough game looms at home this weekend when a rejuvenated Jets team comes to town. This matchup places the number one offense in the league against the number one defense in a game that will play much closer than people think. The defensive front of the Jets is arguably the best in the league and let’s not forget about number twenty-four in the secondary. Granted, they still have the Amish King running the show on offense, but Todd Bowles led an Arizona defense into Foxboro a few years back and shocked the Patriots. Not sure if this has crossed anyone else’s mind, but we are almost halfway through the regular season. Winter is coming…

1) New England Patriots – If you don’t think Ernie Adams had something to do with the Colts calling that play, you’re lying to yourself.

2) Green Bay Packers – The Denim King proved he was human throwing a few interceptions two weeks back, and the defense let up a quarter-mile worth of passing yards. Yet, the Pack is still undefeated.

3) Cincinnati Bengals – The Bengals have the deepest roster in the NFL. Fact, not opinion. Can the Ginger keep up his stellar play when the elements come into play?

4) Denver Broncos – Denver’s defense and special teams has outscored the offense. I picked them to win the Super Bowl, but I don’t think they keep this pace up when the weather declines.

5) Carolina Panthers – Cam Newton did something he hasn’t done since he came into the league. He earned my kudos.

6) Arizona Cardinals – The Cardinals lost to Mike Vick and Landry Jones. Plain and simple. I won’t and can’t buy a Carson Palmer led team.

7) New Jersey Jets – Sheldon Richardson is licking his chops for Sunday’s game in New England. Hey Snacks, so is TB12.

8) Atlanta Falcons – The Falcons ran into The Kings of Primetime. Not many people beat the Saints in their own building when the stage is at its biggest.

9) Philadelphia Eagles – When is Chip Kelly going to realize running Demarco Murray laterally out of the pistol is not the best way to use his skillset?

10) Pittsburgh Steelers – Welcome to the NFL Landry Jones. Big Ben should be 100% healthy before he laces up the cleats again, and the organization will be foolish to allow him to do otherwise.

11) New Jersey Giants – I’ve never seen a quarterback make more horrible decisions in my life than Eli Manning. I mean these are the dumbest of dumb throws.

12) Seattle Seahawks – Russell Wilson’s pocket awareness is as sharp as a spork they give to prisoners.

13) Buffalo Bills – The locker room is already starting to unravel halfway through Rex Ryan’s first season.

14) San Diego Chargers– If 502 passing yards isn’t winning you football games, something is wrong on the other side of the ball.

15) Indianapolis Colts– I call it, The Annexation of Puerto Rico.

16) Dallas Cowboys – Bye Week

17) Minnesota Vikings – The Vikings offensive line needs to improve, regardless of the team winning games. AP is the cog that makes that engine go.

18) Miami Dolphins – The Fish seemed to play with a little bit of fire for their new coach. Maybe the Oklahoma drill actually works?

19) Cleveland Browns – Captain Mike must have been sick after that game on Sunday. He had multiple chances to put the Broncos and Manning away, and his team puked on themselves.

20) St. Louis Rams – Bye Week

21) Oakland Raiders – Bye Week

22) Chicago Bears – Alshon Jeffery’s return is going to be huge for the Bears offense. They need more out of the running game from Matt Forte to be competitive though.

23) New Orleans Saints – Brees delivered per usual for the Kings of Primetime.

24) Kansas City Chiefs – The Chiefs may not win more than four games this year. The team is a mess in all three phases of the game.
25) Houston Texans – Deandre Hopkins may be the best receiver in football in only his second year.

26) Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Bye week.

27) Washington Redskins – Gruden making excuses for the weather being too windy for his quarterback is not a good look.

28) Detroit Lions – Fat Face won a game! Fat Face won a game!

29) Jacksonville Jaguars – Not only do the Jaguars stink, they have to make their annual trip across the pond to get beaten by the Bills on Sunday.

30) San Francisco 49ers – I’m happy for Tomasula. We all laughed at his EBS issues in his presser a few weeks back. The Niners put their foot on the gas Sunday against the Ravens, finally. Plenty of pun intended.

31) Baltimore Ravens – Oh Baltimore, you will be 1-6 by this time next week. Life is good.

32) Tennessee Titans – Mariota has a slight MCL sprain. The Selfie King may be taking the snaps for the next few weeks.

The Jets Finally Pose A Threat To The Patriots In The Divison

After dominating the AFC East division without any competition for four years now, the New England Patriots finally have a legitimate competitor in the New York Jets. Coming into this season, many, including myself, expected the Buffalo Bills to be a serious threat to the Patriots because of Rex Ryan’s defensive mind and the depth they have on the defensive side of the ball. As it turns out, Rex has seemingly lost control after the week two loss to the Patriots, and things are starting to unfold because of his reckless demeanor. The Dolphins simply just spent money carelessly in the offseason, leaving them extremely thin in many parts of their roster. The Jets however, shipped out the rambunctious Rex Ryan and brought in another defensive mind with former Cardinals defensive coordinator Todd Bowles. This time, the head coach is much more soft spoken, but he looks to have a strangle hold on the team and has one thing that Ryan never had in New York, control.

Despite their 4-12 record last season, the Jets still had a very talented defensive front that could get after the quarterback. The front seven consists of elite players such as Muhammad Wilkerson, Sheldon Richardson, David Harris, Calvin Pace, and they also added defensive tackle Leonard Williams out of Southern California in the first round of this year’s draft. Many projected him as the best overall player in the draft. The Jets secondary did a complete 180 in the offseason by going from having one of the league’s worst pass defenses to having potentially the best. When you bring back Darrelle Revis who is arguably the best cornerback of all time and without a doubt the best right now, your defense already changes completely for the better. Then you add a big bodied corner with Antonio Cromartie who can match up with tight ends, and Buster Skrine as a nickel back next to Revis, your secondary becomes lock down.

profootballspot.com
profootballspot.com

On the other side of the ball, the Jets have added fire power as well. They acquired Brandon Marshall from Chicago via trade this offseason to compliment Eric Decker. The combination has been very effective through five games. Marshall already has 37 receptions, for 511 yards, and four touchdowns. In addition, Chris Ivory is a very physical running back who has also gotten off to a great start averaging 5.5 yards per carry. The only glaring issues on the Jets roster is the most important in the game, and that is at quarterback. Ryan Fitzpatrick is one of the most inconsistent quarterbacks we have seen in a long time.

He played so well for a few weeks in Buffalo they rewarded him with a contract extension. After that he played so bad they were forced to release him after one year. He has not been terrible this year, however Bills fans will tell you that a collapse is on the horizon. Jets fans are just crossing their fingers that their defense can carry them to the point where Fitzpatrick can’t lose them the game.

This week, the New England Patriots have to take on the 4-1 New York Jets at the friendly confines of Gillette Stadium. It will without question be their toughest test up to this point, especially if Marcus Cannon and Ryan Wendell are not able to go. As a Patriots fan you should feel very uneasy about rolling out Cameron Fleming at right tackle going up against this Jets front. Not only can the front get to Brady, but Revis and Cromartie can neutralize Julian Edelman and Rob Gronkowski and force Brady to hold onto the football longer.

NFL.com
NFL.com

Now, one thing that puts both teams at a disadvantage is that both coaches are unfamiliar with each other. The last time Bowles squared off with the Patriots was in week two of the 2012 season when his Cardinals beat the Patriots 20-18, with the defense sacking Brady four times. I have full confidence that Bill Belichick, Josh McDaniels and the Patriots coaching staff will put together a masterful game plan to move the ball against the Jets defense and hold their offense in tact. Nevertheless, Patriots fans need to know that the Jets are a threat in the division, not the laughing stock that we are used to. That could very well help the Patriots come January as they will be battle tested.

New England Patriots: Halloween Arrives Early In Indy!

Let’s be honest, the Sunday night match-up between the New England Patriots and the Indianapolis Colts didn’t go as planned.

  • No, not because the Patriots only won by 7 points, 34-27 (should have been 34-21, but Colts scored a garbage time TD).
  • It wasn’t because LeGarrette Blount “only” ran for 93 yards.
  • It wasn’t even because Julian Edeleman actually dropped three passes, one leading to a pick six by the Colts.

It was because…are you ready?…the Colts thought it was already Halloween and decided it was going to be “trick” not “treat” night at Lucas Oil Stadium.

There were ghosts, goblins, witches and lots of tricks

The ghosts of years past were in the air and on the field as the Colts received the opening kick-off and marched 90 yards with

Julian Edelman scores as he's hit by Colts strong safety Mike Adams (29) and inside linebacker D'Qwell Jackson (52) . (AP Photo/AJ Mast)
Julian Edelman scores as he’s hit by Colts strong safety Mike Adams (29) and inside linebacker D’Qwell Jackson (52) . (AP Photo/AJ Mast)

relative ease to take a quick 7-0 lead.

New England returned the favor with an 80 yard drive of their own, culminating withJulian Edelman scoring his fourth receiving TD of the season, knotting the game at 7-7

Things settled down for a while before the witches stepped in and put a hex on Edelman, causing him to injure his finger and start dropping passes. The most damaging drop occurring in the 2nd quarter, when a Tom Brady pass bounced off #11’s hands into the waiting arms of Mike Adams, who scampered 14 yards down the sidelines to give the Colts a 14-10 lead.

The pass was Brady’s 1st interception of the year, but the blame fell squarely on those damned witches as they made the perfect pass bounce off the usually sure hands of the hexed Edelman.

At this point the Goblins entered the head of Indy Head Chuck Pagano. As visions of sugar plums danced in his head, oh wait a minute…back-up, that’s Christmas. Thinking this was time to spring surprise #1 of the game, the infamous on-side kick, Pagano and his special teams coach went for it.

It was just the 2nd quarter, but surely this would surprise New England Head Coach Bill Belichick. As the ball squirted from hand to hand before falling under the prone body of Patriot Josh Kline it looked like the greased pig contest we’ve all seen at the State Fair. As bodies un-piled the officials took the still inflated ball and loudly proclaimed “New England’s Ball.”

…But wait, there’s more

Pagano was in shock. My God, how could that be, he thought, as his head spun (kinda like in the movie The Exorcist). Knowing exactly what to do, he grabbed the red flag from his sock and hurled it on the field to challenge the play.  “Upon further review their was no clear view of the fumble recovery, therefore the initial call stands” blared through the PA system.

Six plays later Blount rumbled 38 yards “giving” the Patriots back the lead, 17-14.

LeGarrette Blount runs for a 38-yard touchdown after the Colts botch an on-side kick (AP Photo/AJ Mast)
LeGarrette Blount runs for a 38-yard touchdown after the Colts botch an on-side kick (AP Photo/AJ Mast)

The Colts scored another TD and the Patriots a last second field goal as the hectic half ended 21-20 and everyone took a deep breath…and believe me, they would need it.

The Play Of The Game

The Colts kicked off to start the second half and Rob Gronkowski scored his first TD in the last 3 games to put New England up 27-21. With the same score and 1:14 left in the 3rd quarter the Colts went to a play that makes the Seahawks Super Bowl loss pass look a great call. And here it is in all it’s glory:
Possibly The Worst Play In NFL History?

You have to give Pagano credit, per Ian O’Connor, ESPN Senior Writer, after the game he said “I take full responsibility for that,” as if he had any other choice.

As far as the Patriots being unprepared for either that play, or the earlier onside kick, here is Coach Belichick’s post-game response “We expected this to be a gadget game in the kicking game,” The man has his team prepared for almost everything, yet other coaches continue to try to trick plays that look foolish.

Talk About Athleticism – Meet Jamie Collins

After the Colts scored their final TD with 1:26 left in the game the Halloween Theme continued when Patriots LB Jamie Collins had the most athletic play of the game…with a little help from the ghosts of games past. Check it out. If you look real closely, you’ll see them pushing him up and over on this extra point attempt http://www.nfl.com/videos/nfl-cant-miss-plays/0ap3000000560794/Can-t-Miss-Play-Collins-hurdles-line-and-blocks-PAT

Right about now Colts fans are spouting the line “it was a moral victory”…or “we gave them the game”. No matter what, one thing is obvious…the Baltimore, oops, Indianapolis Colts were running scared even though they held the lead at halftime 21-20. Play calling was in respect for what the Patriots could do and in fear of what the night would bring.

Follow me on Twitter @SnowdonBob

Week 6 NFL Picks

Let’s all celebrate, because I finally picked a Thursday night game correctly last night. Hurray! I had the Saints +3.5, and I’ll be honest, I watched baseball last night instead of the game. Seriously, the quality of play on Thursday nights is horrible. Take out the first game where the Patriots and Steelers both played a relatively good game but obviously it wasn’t a short week. The Chiefs turned it over five times in a sloppy Week 2 game. The Giants couldn’t score touchdowns in the red zone against the Redskins. The Michael Vick-led Steelers blew a game to the Ravens where the Ravens didn’t play very well. There was the Brian Hoyer/Ryan Mallet shit show against the Matt Hasselbeck-led Colts last week. And then last night, the 6-0 Falcons looked sloppy offensively and lost to Drew Brees throwing without a shoulder. So yeah, quality has been bad, and a lot of underdogs have won, so I took the Saints at home playing against a hobbled Julio Jones and a Falcons team coming off of an overtime game against the Redskins. The only good thing from last night’s game? The fantasy phenomenon that is Devonta Freeman. I say this as a proud Freeman owner in two different leagues, especially in my league where I blew my first two picks on DeMarco Murray and Jeremy Hill. So, if you’re reading Devonta, thank you very much for all of the touchdowns, and please keep them coming. On to the picks.

Redskins (+6) over JETS

Do people really think the Jets are six points better than the Redskins? Are we still in the mindset we went into the season with that the Redskins were the worst team in the league? And if the answer is yes, then why have we accepted the Jets as a real team and not the Redskins? Let’s look at this unbelievable 3-1 Jets team. They beat the Browns, the Colts, lost to the Eagles, and beat the Dolphins. Great job on your 3-1 career record Todd Bowles, you don’t get to lay six points against a team that beat the Rams and Eagles and gave the Giants and Falcons tough games.

Cardinals (-3.5) over STEELERS

As a Ben Roethlisberger fantasy owner who has started Derek Carr the last two weeks, I really hope Big Ben plays, but there’s no way he comes back after just two weeks. I know the guy is big, he’s strong, and he’s tough, but he’s not playing, and if he does he won’t be anywhere near 100%, which while it might still be better than Michael Vick at 100%, isn’t going to fair well against an opportunistic Cardinals defense. I think Vick may have gained some confidence with that last drive on Monday night, but the Cardinals are a real team that are very well coached and should give that offense fits.

VIKINGS (-3.5) over Chiefs

Let’s admit it, the Chiefs are not a good team. Their one win is against the Texans, and that might be one of the five worst teams in the league. They’re 1-4, and just blew a game against the Bears. Jamaal Charles is now out, not that he was helping this offense very much, and they can’t drive the ball 80 yards against anybody. The Vikings are a borderline playoff team, I’ll take them at home only giving 3.5.

BILLS (+3) over Bengals

The Bengals proved something last week. When they were down 24-7, it looked like this was the old Bengals that baited you into buying into them only to implode in a big game like they always do, but they came back and won. But this week, they’re due for a letdown. The Bills are banged up offensively, but defensively they gave Mariota problems last week, and I think they keep this game low scoring and I’ll take them getting three at home.

Bears (+3) over LIONS

Seriously, why are the Lions laying three points to anybody? This seems like a similar situation to the Redskins. Detroit was supposed to be a borderline playoff team going into the year, and people haven’t moved past that. They are bad. Their offense looks horrible, and when Jay Cutler’s playing, the Bears are an okay team. The Lions shouldn’t give anyone points, especially when Cutler’s playing.

Broncos (-4) over BROWNS

Don’t get me wrong, the Browns are a tough out, but I think Josh McCown’s run of excellence comes to an end against this Denver defense. The Bronco’s offense is 30th in the league, but they should get a boost against a Browns team that just gave up 30 points to a bad Ravens offensive line. Maybe they can finally run the ball a little bit.

JAGUARS (-1) over Texans

You know who might be good? Blake Bortles. People kind of wrote him off after a shaky rookie season, but this year he’s completing almost 60% of his passes, thrown for close to 1300 yards, and has ten touchdowns to four interceptions. Last year, he threw 11 touchdowns and 17 interceptions. The improvement is there, and the Texans would die for that quarterback situation right now. And by the way, the Texans could have that quarterback situation, but with the number one pick they drafted Clowney, when they already had J.J. Watt, and he’s played a total of nine games so far and has been playing hurt this year. Great move Houston.

Dolphins (+1.5) over TITANS

The Dolphins should start playing better. This is a good team, but they quit on their coach before the season started. That’s over, and they should be playing harder and closer to their capability this week. Coming off of a bye, and playing against a struggling Titans offense, I’ll take Miami getting points.

SEAHAWKS (-7) over Panthers

Everybody loves the 4-0 Panthers, and everyone is skeptical about the 2-3 Seahawks, but allow me to go through the Panthers 4-0 record. They have beaten the Jaguars, Texans, Saints, and Buccaneers. I’d like to say congratulations on your undefeated record against teams with a combined 6-15 record. Now go on the road and beat the Seahawks with no weapons (outside of your tight end who will have to deal with Kam Chancellor) against a pissed off Seattle defense and good luck trying to stop the Seahawk’s offense that put up 24 points on a good Bengals defense last week and has Marshawn Lynch coming back. The Panthers will also have a banged up Luke Kuechly. Prove something to me Cam Newton.

PACKERS (-10.5) over Chargers

Normally the Monday night loser is an automatic the following week, but this year they are just 1-4 against the spread the following week. The one win was the Vikings, who played in a weird double header that started actually ended on Tuesday morning on the east coast, so maybe it wasn’t a Monday night loser. In addition to being 5-0, the Packers are also 5-0 against the spread this year. Coming off of two shaky offensive performances, I expect them to get things under control again this week.

Ravens (-2) over 49ERS

This will be a closer game than you think. The Ravens are 1-4 because they are as good as a 1-4 team, and the 49ers have been decent defensively. The Ravens have no pass rush, and as you saw last week on Sunday night, Colin Kaepernick looks competent when he doesn’t have to make quick decisions. However, San Francisco is still a mess, and the Ravens have a severe advantage at coach and quarterback, so I’ll lay a couple points.

Patriots (-10) over COLTS

You’ve heard the narrative all week. This is the revenge tour for the Patriots. There’s no way they lose to the Colts. They’ll probably score 95 points in this game. I can’t disagree with any of that, but let me pose one question: How is this a revenge game for the Patriots? They steamrolled the Colts last year, in the playoffs and the regular season, they steamrolled them in the playoffs the year before, and they steamrolled them in the regular season the year before that. Do the Colts have any pride? Do they feel embarrassed at all? Do they just walk out onto the field, knowing the Patriots are just going to keep hammering away with big running backs and let them rush for 200 yards and 4 touchdowns? Do they care? Are they professional football players? Don’t they have the best young quarterback since Brady/Manning? I’m calling you out Colts. I want to see something. Prove to me that you are NFL players and that it bugs you at least a little bit that you routinely get embarrassed by the Patriots and everyone expects it to keep happening.

Giants (+5) over EAGLES

The Eagles looked good last week, but this is too many points to give. The Giants are one of the most underrated teams in the NFL. Despite all kinds of injuries on defense, their secondary is still strong and should give Sam Bradford problems. The Eagles will have to run the ball effectively to win this game, and their secondary will have to play to the best of its capabilities, or else Eli should shred them. Look at the weapons at his disposal right now. Even if Odell Beckham is hurt, Larry Donnell is an emerging tight end, Reuben Randle is an effective receiver, Shane Vereen is the best receiving running back in the NFL, and Rashad Jennings and Andre Williams complete a loaded backfield. 5 points is too much in this one.

For college football fans or just degenerate gamblers who will bet on anything, I’m in a weekly college football pick ’em. Here’s my picks for this week: LSU (-9.5), Michigan State (+8), USC (+6.5), TCU (-20.5), Alabama (-4), Oregon, Air Force, and South Florida straight up.

NFL Record Last Week: 6-8-1

NFL Record Overall: 39-39-3

College Football Record Last Week: 4-4-0

College Football Record Overall: 21-19-0

New England Patriots: And The Winner Is….

Sunday night the New England Patriots continued the “2015 Tom Brady Revenge Tour” against the Indianapolis Colts, the team that jump started the worst off-season for a player and team since…since….oh yeah, that other tight end decided that life was too dull to just play football (Hint: He’s in jail for murder).

The Patriots won with relative ease, 34-27, and had opportunities to run the score up, but refrained from doing so. So, let’s take a quick look at who the “Deflategate” winners and losers were after week 6 of the 2015 season.

Surprise Winners

New England Patriots mascot Pat Patriot, and fans cheer during an NFL football send-off rally at City Hall in Boston (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
New England Patriots mascot Pat Patriot, and fans cheer during an NFL football send-off rally at City Hall in Boston (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

  • New England Patriot Fans

We all want to be martyrs because “our” team got beat-up soooooo bad in the off-season. But how can fans be losers when New England is 5-0 and remains as the favorite to win their 5th Super Bowl and second straight.  It is easy to feel everyone hates us, but c’mon, it’s not everyone.  The Patriots are now getting the respect they deserve with no one (except Pittsburgh Head Coach Mike Tomlin) thinking they would be dumb enough to be cheating this year.

Should they go all-the-way even the biggest, most avid haters will be forced to admit it is legit. Just think, the silence will be deafening from all those losers who want to blame the Patriots for all their team’s ills.

  • The NFL

The NFL may be losers and buffoons in court, but all the off-season publicity, more bad than good, kept them in front of the media and the sport on the front page year-long. No other sport came close to the coverage Roger Goodell and his band of pirates got. Ratings up, attendance remains outstanding and the $$$$$ keeps rolling in.

Are you ready for this?????

  • Tom Brady

All right, wait a minute. Don’t bring in the guys with the strait-jackets…think about it. Tom Brady is probably the most self-motivated player in the NFL, but really, after winning his 4th ring do you legitimately think he would have had the fire-in-the-eyes he has this year .? He had nothing more to prove until the NFL lit his fire (cue up the late Jim Morrison and the Doors. If you don’t get the musical reference, ask someone over 40).

Hell, at this time last year many were calling him old and feeble. This year he’s been rejuvenated. Is it his guru? His diet? Or, could it be, he wants to make Commissioner Roger Goodell look like the pompous ass he is as he hands Brady the MVP and Super Bowl Trophies again…while the greatest QB in the NFL smirks and walks away?

Big Losers

  • Indianapolis Colts (3-3)

Andrew Luck's offensive line has been bad again (Photo: Getty Images)
Andrew Luck’s offensive line has been bad again (Photo: Getty Images)

Instead of Super Bowl contenders, as predicted by NFL experts, the Colts have become a shell of what they were in 2014. Injuries to Andrew Luck, ILB Jarrell Freeman, RB Tyler Varga. DT Arthur Jones & on & on have lowered expectations. Luck played Sunday, but it didn’t help. Prior to Sundays performance, he had been hexed with a poor offensive line, a 56% completion rate, more interceptions (7) than TDs (5) and a QBR of 65.1 Yes, they are 3-3, but their three wins are by a total of 12 points against Tennessee, Jacksonville and Houston. They played the Patriots tougher than expected, but other than their final drive they were shut out in the second half after leading at halftime (sound familiar).

  • Baltimore Ravens (1-5)

This time its Queen’s turn as “Another One Bites The Dust.” Baltimore was also among the Super Bowl contenders that has fallen apart early in the season. What goes around, comes around. Most football fans in New England believe the Ravens urged the Colts to “check their balls” in last years playoffs. That was after Head Coach John Harbaugh complained the Patriots used an illegal formation (not true), confusing the poor Raven players and coaches in their loss the week before the Colts went down. Despite confirmation by officials that the Patriots formation was within the rules, the Ravens whined so much the rules committee tweaked the rule for 2015.

Bottom line: The Ravens Head Coach did not know the rules and Bill Belichick did. Oh, by the way, Baltimore used a similar formation this year!

  • Robert Kraft/ New England Patriots

In a naïve move Mr. Kraft felt that Commissioner Goodell would see the error of his ways and drop the persecution/prosecution of his adopted son, Tom Brady and, without a fight, gave-up draft picks and $1M dollars to “make Deflategate go away.” ‘Nuff said!.

It will take the full year before a complete evaluation of “Deflategate” winners and losers can be analyzed, but so far the results sure are promising.

Follow me on Twitter @SnowdonBob

The 2015 Indianapolis Massacre

of the 2015 AFC Championship Game at Gillette Stadium on January 18, 2015 in Foxboro, Massachusetts.
Revenge; It’s an emotion that everybody has felt in their lives at least once. It’s a yearning or desire to see someone or something receive their comeuppance for the wrong doings that they have thrust upon your life. Is it healthy? Typically, revenge is never a healthy exercise as once your means of extracting your vengeance has played out, your left feeling empty regardless of the outcome. Where you once had this goal of annihilating someone or something, you are now left with anger and nowhere else to disperse it. On Sunday, revenge will in fact take place, but on which side of the field?

The New England Patriots and The Indianapolis Colts have had a heated rivalry since Peyton Manning, then quarterback for the Colts, and Tom Brady first squared off on September 30th, 2001. Sure, both teams had been involved in a number of games prior but this game is typically looked at as the moment when they were considered on an equal playing field. Over the following years the New England Patriots highhandedly defeated the Colts nine times, only losing five games one of which did not involve Tom Brady. During the 2012 season a surgically repaired Peyton Manning “moved on” to the Denver Broncos  as the Indianapolis Colts who had  allegedly tanked the 2011 season, got their future NFL all star quarterback  Andrew Luck with the number one draft pick.

143695675-football-nfl-draft-indianapolis-colts-qb-and-gettyimages

Certainly Andrew Luck would turn the tide for the Colts with his youth and exceptional skills doing what Manning could never do, consistently beat the New England Patriots. Since Luck’s arrival the Patriots have tacked on another four (Dominant) wins over the Colts. Most recently the Patriots won the AFC Championship in 2014, beating the Colts 45-7. 45-7? Certainly the New England Patriots must have cheated to have gained such a lopsided win over a team which had just defeated the Manning led Denver Broncos in the divisional round one week earlier. Enter the three ring circus known as Deflategate where several balls on both sides of the field had lost significant air pressure, but due to the NFL ‘s investigative ineptitude and unsubstantiated reports, everything fell on New England’s shoulders. After all how could The New England Patriots have destroyed the Colts in such a dominant fashion? All anybody needs to see is the three games played prior and the resulting scores. On November 18th, 2012 The Patriots won 59-24, on January 11th 2014 the Patriots won 43-22 and on November 16th, 2014 the Patriots defeated the Colts 42-20. The Patriots scored over 4o points in every one of those games.  No amount of depleted ball pressure can force the idea that the Colts defense is good enough to stop Tom Brady and the Patriot’s offense.

140892850-peyton-manning-listens-as-indianapolis-colts-gettyimages

It’s sad and painfully obvious that the Indianapolis Colts are a desperate team run by meddling Coach and a drug addicted billionaire who promised their fan base the moon when they brought Andrew Luck into the fold. They have managed some epic wins but they always seem to get destroyed by Bill Belichick’s New England Patriots. If you can’t beat them on the field, how else can you defeat them? With the help of the Baltimore Ravens, the Indianapolis Colts seemingly conspired with the NFL to set up a sting operation to take down New England. The Colts brought the air pressure situation to the NFL and got Roger Goodell and company rolling with the Defaltegate scandal. All of this of course led to the findings that the Patriots and most importantly, Tom Brady were more probable than not generally aware of deflated footballs. Indianapolis of course, was never cited for their deflated footballs, as that was quickly dismissed and brushed to the side. The Colts were finally able to do off the field what they could not accomplish on the green, destroy Tom Brady, stomp on the man’s legacy and drag the 2014 Super Bowl champions through the mud. Seemingly Jim Irsay’s organization had finally gotten some measure of revenge against their ever dominant rivals.

via bostonherald.com
via bostonherald.com

What the Indianapolis Colts didn’t realize is that much like on the field, Tom Brady would prevail.  After an off season’s worth of tattling and over punishment sent the Patriots way, finally it all comes down to the one place that the Colts seem to always be at a disadvantage, the football field. This Sunday the New England Patriots will be playing at Lucas Oil Stadium against Andrew Luck and his newest offensive weapons Running Back Frank Gore and Wide Receiver Andre Johnson. Will their new veterans be enough to stop Tom Brady, Rob Gronkowski, Dion Lewis and Julian Edelman? Will Indianapolis finally get their revenge where it counts most, on the field? Yes, their new toys, with the help of established wide receiver T.Y. Hilton may cause some trouble for the Patriots but overall the Colts have done little to beef up their defense which, as noted earlier, has given up 40+ points in the last four games against the Patriots.

Even though they will never admit it outwardly, this is a game the New England Patriots want to use in order to epitomize what their 2015 season is all about. They don’t want to just destroy the Colts they want to embarrass them and make an example of them to the entire NFL. Revenge is a strong emotion, one that both the Patriots and their fans carry with them as they enter enemy territory this Sunday. Does revenge in fact leave a vacancy once the act of retribution has been administered? Luckily for New England and all of Patriot nation, football is a sixteen game season and the Indianapolis Colts are merely game five.

Will we see New England pull out all the stops and sacrifice everything to send a message to their opponents this Sunday? More than likely it will be business as usual because recent history indicates that is all it needs to be. The Patriots want revenge, but basing your entire season on a week six game is something akin to the Colts hanging a banner for being a 2014 AFC Championship finalist. Its short sighted and clearly means nothing in the hunt for a Lombardi trophy. That being said, It’s quite possible that the next banner that the Colts will place in their rafters will read: Lucas Oil Stadium home of the 2015 Indianapolis Massacre.

Image: Google image search
Image: Google image search