Tag Archives: Indianapolis Colts

New England Patriots: Belichick Lost Faith In Brady!

You can disagree all you want, but if, as Bill Belichick claims, he meant to kick-off starting O/T against the New York Jets Sunday there can only be one reason. He lost confidence in Tom Brady’s ability to pull off another miracle comeback, and that’s sad. Brady has made a career out of pulling the team out of the fire, often with limited resources.

The officials meet New York Jets' Darrelle Revis (24), teammate Calvin Pryor (25) and New England Patriots' Matthew Slater (18) and teammate Rob Ninkovich (50) for the coin toss before the overtime period resulting in highly questionable Patriots decision (AP hoto/Peter Morgan)
The officials meet New York Jets’ Darrelle Revis (24), teammate Calvin Pryor (25) and New England Patriots’ Matthew Slater (18) and teammate Rob Ninkovich (50) for the coin toss before the overtime period resulting in highly questionable Patriots decision (AP Photo/Peter Morgan)

Those making the claim that he was playing it smart because the defense was playing well (428 yards) and the offense looked stagnant are missing the point. You probably are right in his reasoning, but how many times does Brady have to carry the team on his back to victory for the Head Coach to trust him to do it again?

Instead, by electing to kick, Brady never had a chance to touch the ball. No one can predict what would have happened if the Pats had elected to receive. They may very well have still lost…but at least you gave it your best shot by putting the ball in the hands of the greatest QB in NFL history.

After the game Belichick stuck by his call and said he wouldn’t have changed his decision. “We just didn’t play good enough defense.”

No one takes Rob Gronkowski (87) down one on one ( New York Jets' Antonio Cromartie (31) (AP Photo/Peter Morgan)
No one takes Rob Gronkowski (87) down one on one ( New York Jets’ Antonio Cromartie (31) (AP Photo/Peter Morgan)

Always outspoken Rob Gronkowski had this to say “You always want a shot to score,”  “It is what it is.”

And finally, the always politically correct Tom Brady said “Whatever coach decides, that’s what the team does,”

Jet’s receiver Brandon Marshall was shocked by the call. “After the game Josh McDaniels came up to me, my old ball coach in Denver, and I asked ‘What were you guys thinking?’ Marshall said, via CSN New England. He explained to me the situation a little bit but I didn’t believe him.”

As the Head Coach said “I clearly thought that was our best opportunity, so that’s why we did it. I didn’t like the way it worked out, but to me that was the right decision for our team at that time.”

History Repeats Itself

It reminded many Patriot long timers of a call Belichick made on November 11, 2009. New England was ahead of Indianapolis 34-28 with 4th and 2 at their own 28. With just over 2 minutes remaining common sense said punt, but instead the Head Coach went for it… and failed on a controversial call. The  Colts took over and scored an easy TD to win 35-34.

Later Belichick said “I thought it was our best chance to win (sounds familiar). I thought we needed to make that one play and then we could basically run out the clock. We weren’t able to make it.”

A few other factors came into play in that game:

  1. They were facing Payton Manning in his prime and didn’t want to give him the ball with an opportunity to win
  2. The New England defense was struggling after the offense built a 17 point lead (In other words he didn’t trust it to hold the lead)

Former Patriots disagreed vehemently with the call – Rodney Harrison called it “the worst coaching decision I’ve ever seen Bill Belichick make.”

Tedy Bruschi said, “The decision to go for it would be enough to make my blood boil for weeks. … I would look at this decision as a lack of confidence in our ability as a defensive unit to come up with a big play to win the game.”

Sorry fans, but it was a bad call in 2009 and just as bad Sunday!

On To Miami

The good news is, the loss really didn’t cost the Patriots their chance to host all their post-season games up to the Super Bowl. A win Sunday in Miami and the season has been a complete success no matter what happens between the Broncos and Bengals. Achieving 100% of their goals for the regular season is astounding considering the injuries they have overcome.

Game Notes:

  • The Patriots sat their walking wounded with the exception of Dant’a Hightower. It cost them, but was worth it to give Devon McCourty, Patrick Chung, Danny Amendola and Julian Edelman another day of rest.
  • The loss of McCourty & Chung was noticeable throughout the game and particularly in O/T when confusion in the secondary resulted in a 48-yard completion to Jets receiver Quincy Enunwa on the second play of overtime
  • Not a bad game by Brady, but also not one of his best. 22 for 31, 231 yards, 1 TD & 1 bad interception when he and Gronkowski seemed to be on a different page.
  • Steven Jackson made his 1st appearance in a Patriot uniform. As expected he looked a little rusty, carrying the pigskin 7 times for 15 yards
  • Brandon LaFell was the forgotten man with just 1 reception for 9 yards
  • James White had the only TD by the offense (leading to Belichick’s O/T thought process?)
  • A strip sack fumble caused by Jabaal Sheard resulted in 7 by the
    Jabaal Sheard (93) strips the ball from New York Jets quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick (14) (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
    Jabaal Sheard (93) strips the ball from New York Jets quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick (14) (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

    defense when Jamie Collins recovered the ball and ran it 14 yards for New England’s 1st TD

  • The Patriots were 1 for 10 on 3rd down, leading to their demise (hurry back Edelman & Amendola)
  • The defense gave up 428 net yards while the offense could muster just 284

So, now it’s time to move ahead. It will be interesting to see who suits up against the Dolphins. With Sebastian Vollmer going down the offensive line is once again in shambles, so it is anyone’s guess as to who (whom???) plays where.

Sebastian Vollmer (76) is carted off the field during the first half (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)
Sebastian Vollmer (76) is carted off the field during the first half (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

Follow me on Twitter @SnowdonBob

 

 

NFL WEEK 11 PICKS

Obviously, the Jaguars beat the Titans on TNF.

Raiders (0) over LIONS –

The Oakland Raiders need this win more than anything.  They are tied with Kansas City in the AFC South, and they MUST win this game if they want to have a chance to make the playoffs.  Detroit is 4th in their division, so they aren’t really playing for anything, except the win.  While the game is in Detroit, the Raiders have more pressure to win the game, and more heart.  I believe the Oakland Raiders will win the game.

 FALCONS (-6) over Colts

This is a MUST win for both teams. The game is in Atlanta, so the Falcons will have home field advantage.  I had a hard time making this pick, however I do believe the Atlanta Falcons will come out with the win.  First off, Andrew Luck is not expected to play, which will make it much harder for the Colts to win.  Second, I just don’t see the Colts defense stopping the Atlanta offense.  It will be very hard to stop Devonta Freeman, who is playing at his best this year.

EAGLES (-7) over Bucs

This is also another MUST win for both teams if they want to have a shot at making the playoffs.  However, I am picking the Eagles to win this game.  While the Eagles have their issues which I’ll explain in a bit, I just don’t see a Jameis Winston led team being able to pull out the win.  Part of the issue is Tampa Bay’s defense which is not great at all.  The Eagles biggest issue is, Mark Sanchez.  There are obviously more factors, but last week the Eagles played a great first half, then Sam Bradford got hurt of course, and Mark Sanchez subbed in.  Then, in the fourth quarter, when you have to be clutch, Mark Sanchez could not finish the game.  I think this will be a very close game, but the Eagles will be able to pull out the win.  Mark Sanchez will throw at least one interception, and I think the reason why the Eagles will win this game is because of their running game, especially with DeMarco Murray in the backfield.

BEARS (0) over Broncos

With the Bears coming off a HUGE road win against the Rams last week, they will be ready to come out and battle the Broncos at home on Sunday.  It will be a lot harder for the Broncos to win without Peyton Manning, as Brock Osweiler will be the starting quarterback for the Broncos.  However, I am picking the Denver Broncos to win the football game.  Many may disagree, however, in my opinion, I think the Saint Louis Rams made some mistakes which caused the Bears to win the football game.  The Chicago Bears will lose this week to the Broncos as reality will set in.

Rams (+2.5) over RAVENS

This may be a difficult game to pick based on the stat sheet, but it is quite easy for me.  I am picking the Rams to win the game.  The Rams are 2nd in their division and need to come out with the win if they want to have a chance at making the playoffs.  As for the 2-7 Ravens, it would be a good win, but it wouldn’t do much as they have very little chance of making the playoffs.

DOLPHINS (0) over Cowboys

I think the Dallas Cowboys are not mentally tough enough to beat the Dolphins.  Each week the players are getting in fights with the media, firing snarky comments at their opponents, and they just lose.  They are currently on a seven game losing streak.  To make matters worse, they are playing on the road against the Miami Dolphins who are not consistent, but are a much better football team in my opinion.  This is an easy pick.  I pick the Miami Dolphins to win the game.

Redskins (+8.5) over PANTHERS

The Panthers will come out with the win this week.  They are the better football team overall, and Carolina is the home team.  Washington is 0-4 on the road so far this season, so I don’t think they can just come into Carolina and win.  I am picking the Carolina Panthers to win the game.

Chiefs (-3) over CHARGERS

While the Chargers are the home team in this game, I still believe the Chiefs will win.  This is a division game, so lots of things can happen, but the Chiefs NEED to win this game if they have any chance at making the playoffs.  I don’t think it will be a blowout, but Philip Rivers and the Chargers just are not playing well at all this year.  I am picking the Kansas City Chiefs to win this game.

VIKINGS  (0) over Packers

The Packers NEED to win this game, and so do the Vikings, but the Vikings are the home team, and Green Bay is 2-2 on the road this season.  Things in Green Bay just haven’t been clicking these last 3 games, and it is time for them to turn it around.  I think it will be a close game, but in the end Aaron Rodgers will have a great performance, and the Packers will get their much needed win.  This is a very hard pick to make, but in the end I am picking the Green Bay Packers to win the game.

49ers (+13.5) over SEAHAWKS

For this game, Seattle is the home team.  The 49ers are 0-4 on the road this season, and Century Link Field is a very hard stadium to play at.  I believe the Seahawks will pull off the win, especially because Colin Kaepernick has been placed on season ending IR, which will make it very tough for the 49ers.  Seattle’s defense will play a great game, and Seattle’s offense will put up just enough points to pull out the win.  However, it should be close.  I am picking the Seattle Seahawks to win the game.

Jets (-2.5) over TEXANS

While the Texans are the home team, and it will be tough for the Jets to win the game, but they will come through.  The Houston Texans just haven’t shown me enough this year.  They are pretty inconsistent to say the least.  And this isn’t the Rex Ryan coached Jets, this is the 2015 Jets, who have proven to be much better than last year’s squad.  I am picking the New York Jets to win the game.

Bengals (+5) over CARDINALS

This is going to be a tough game.  The Bengals lost to the Texans last week, and now they are going on the road to play the Cardinals.  While the Bengals are a great road team, I just don’t see their defense playing well.  Obviously Arizona has a great defense, with Patrick Peterson at the DB and Tyrann Mathieu at safety.  So, I think Cardinals’ defense will make it tough for the Bengals to score points, and it will be easier for the Cardinals to score on the Bengals defense.  I am picking the Arizona Cardinals to win the game.

PATRIOTS (-8.5) over Bills

Rex Ryan is all hyped up about that win over his former team, the New York Jets.  While the Bills did play a good game and got a good win, Rex Ryan gets all cocky when he wins games.  In week one, after Rex Ryan and the Bills got a good win against the Colts, he started talking smack about the Patriots and how he was going to beat them.  Once again, the Bills won the previous week and Rex Ryan is getting all cocky again.  Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots will shut him up, as they did week 2 on the road in Buffalo.  If that isn’t enough, the Patriots are also the home team.  I do think this will be a close game, but in the end, I am picking the New England Patriots to win the game.

 

 

Perfectly Dominant, but for how long?

bostonglobe.com
bostonglobe.com

Every great story hits a half way point, for the 2015 New England Patriots that half way point is quickly approaching with the arrival of the Washington Redskins this Sunday. How has the Patriot journey come thus far and where will it eventually lead? After a rough start to the 2014 season, the Patriots fought back with an impressive array of wins and eventually won the Super Bowl beating the Seattle Seahawks 28-24. What would be an end to one journey begot the start of another: Redemption. Not that anyone needs to be reminded ,but the Patriots 2015 post Lombardi afterglow was vehemently destroyed by the NFL due to allegations made by the Indianapolis Colts that the Patriots were playing with deflated balls in the AFC Championship game.

goodell-egg

The NFL proceeded to drag both Quarterback Tom Brady and the New England Patriots through the mud with unproven allegations of scheming and cheating. Roger Goodell attempted to suspend Brady for the first four games of the season, comparing his suspicions to an actual act of PED use as basis. Tom Brady won his case in court and prepared to take the field more determined than ever. Many questioned whether Tom Brady and the Patriots could still win amidst this controversy and the unfortunate departures of an elite secondary tandem consisting of Darrelle Revis and Brandon Browner. Taking a look at the first half of the 2015 NFL season, did the Patriots falter or prevail?

at Gillette Stadium on September 10, 2015 in Foxboro, Massachusetts.

Week 1 vs. Pittsburgh Steelers: The New England Patriots battled AFC rival the Pittsburgh Steelers at Gillette Stadium.  The Patriots started off slow allowing Pittsburgh running back DeAngelo Williams to run rough shod over their defense. Much to the chagrin of the Pittsburgh faithful , Tom Brady got his offense rolling and had it not been for a garbage time touchdown by Ben Roethlisberger late in the 4th quarter the final score of 28-21 would not have looked as hotly contested. Keeping the off field shenanigans rolling, Pittsburgh head coach Mike Tomlin was quick to complain of headset failure and accused the Patriots of cheating. The NFL, to their credit, cleared up the accusations by pointing out that both teams had issues due to weather.

Generated by  IJG JPEG Library
Generated by IJG JPEG Library

Week 2 vs. Buffalo Bills: The Patriots were eager to prove that week one’s victory was no fluke but heading into Buffalo looked to be a daunting task. Rex Ryan, former head coach of chief division rival the New York Jets, was leading the charge in Buffalo and after an impressive thwomping of the Indianapolis Colts in week 1, the Bills were ready to show they could put an end to the Patriots AFC dominance. The Bills came out red hot and scored a touchdown on their first drive. The Patriots looked to be in dire straits but Tom Brady led his team back with a vengeance throwing for an impressive 466 yards and three touchdowns. The Bills had a total of 14 penalties and despite a fourth quarter rally were just outplayed by a better, more disciplined team losing 40-32.

Week 3 vs. Jacksonville Jaguars: Tom Brady became the fourth Quarterback in NFL history to throw 400 touchdowns when the Jacksonville Jaguars came to Gillette Stadium. There really is no way to paint this picture without indicating how dominant the Patriots were against the lowly Jaguars. Tom Brady and company put up a total of 51 points against a team that quite frankly was lucky to score the 17 points that they did.  As the old cliché goes, the Jacksonville Jaguars were playing checkers while the New England Patriots were playing chess.

Week 4- Bye

jerry-jones

Week 5 vs. Dallas Cowboys: With Tony Romo hurt for a good portion of the season and Dez Bryant out with an injury as well, it’s tough to label this victory as something that the New England Patriots can hang their hat on. Heading into Dallas, the Cowboys were ready to unleash newly acquired pass rusher and all around despicable human being, Greg Hardy. Known for his violent and masochistic ways, Greg Hardy was returning to the NFL for the Cowboys after being released by Carolina and serving a four game suspension for violating the NFL’s personal conduct policy. Hardy made several unprofessional overtures in regards to Tom Brady’s wife Gisele in order to get into the Patriot signal caller’s head.  Sadly, one elite defenseman is not enough to stop the New England Patriots as the reigning, defending Super Bowl Champions crushed the Brandon Weeden led Cowboys and held them without a single touchdown in a 30-06 victory.

via bleacherreport.com
via bleacherreport.com

Week 6 vs. Indianapolis Colts: Heading into Lucas Oil stadium the New England Patriots preached that this game was just “the next game on the schedule”, for fans it was to be something much more. The Indianapolis Colts’ general manager Brian Grigson was the man who brought the entire circus known as Deflategate to the NFL and ultimately the Patriots door. Had it not been for the Indianapolis Colts and their attempts to desecrate all that New England had worked for in 2014, the narrative on the Patriots would simply be Champions. Fans had the Patriots running away with this battle with scores of 70 -10 but the football Gods had different plans. The Indianapolis Colts put up a hell of a fight during the first half cutting off the field and taking away Brady’s short throws, ultimately giving the Colts a 1 point lead heading into the 3rd quarter. The second half brought forth the Indianapolis Colts that have proven to be what they are made of this season.  After what was possibly the worst fake punt play in history, the Colts succumbed to the New England Patriots, 27-34.

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

Week 7 vs. The New York Jets: When the New York Jets came to Foxboro they came to play some football and show the Patriots that they were no longer the doormat of the AFC. Gone were the brash Super Bowl predictions from a loud mouthed former head coach, now led by reserved head coach Todd Bowles, the Jets had a 4-1 record and were looking to overtake the current AFC leaders. The rancid under belly to this game of course ties back to Darrelle Revis returning to the Jets after a Super Bowl winning stay in New England. Revis, who is arguably the best cornerback in the NFL, can take an average defense and make them look fantastic by taking away a side of the field and freeing up more players for other assignments. The Jets were the number one rated defense about to take on the number one rated offense led by Tom Brady. The Jets played their hearts out and Ryan Fitzpatrick looked like a superstar for the first three quarters with 295 yards and two touchdowns. Ultimately, fortune shined upon the Patriots showing just how clutch Tom Brady is, as he led his team to victory in the fourth quarter with a pair of touchdowns and left the Jets on the losing end with a final result of 23-30. It would later be revealed that the Jets had the NFL sweep their locker room for bugs and look into a trio of on field Patriot personal. Nothing came of either situation but it is rightly apparent that the Patriots are in their opponents heads.

10-29 Ninkovich hits Tannehill (Photo: Keith Nordstrom Patriots.com)
10-29 Ninkovich hits Tannehill (Photo: Keith Nordstrom Patriots.com)

Week 8 vs. The Miami Dolphins: After trouncing the Titans 38-10 and the Texans 44-26, the newly invigorated Miami Dolphins felt they were ready to take down the undefeated New England Patriots. When Joe Philbin was fired and Tight End Coach Dan Campbell took his place he simplified both the offense and defense to immediate success. With the two headed beast of Cameron Wake and Ndamukong Suh now getting more comfortable, surely they would be giving Tom Brady fits. In a game which can only be looked at as a comedy of errors from the Dolphins side, they showed little of that renewed tenacity.  The Patriots dominated the Dolphins in every aspect of play, winning by a score of 36-07. As for Suh and Wake?  Suh was practically a non factor where as unfortunately for Cameron Wake, despite looking quite impressive on that October evening,  his season will now be spent on injured reserve.

In the coming week New England will be taking on the Washington Redskins as they reach their true half way mark to the season. Washington hasn’t played well and from a spectator’s point of view this game looks like another slam dunk for the Patriots. If the Patriots do manage to defeat the Washington Redskins as expected, who will eventually present a challenge? Next week, the Patriots head to New York to face a rival which has ripped away two Super Bowls from Bill Belichick and Tom Brady’s mantle. Eli manning is not a great quarterback but for some reason he tends to have the Patriot’s number. Could the Giants be the team that takes down the undefeated Patriots?

After facing the Giants, it’s on to perennial adversary; the Peyton Manning led Denver Broncos. As of this writing the Denver Broncos have the most intimidating defense in the NFL and on paper present the Patriots with their greatest challenge. Adding fuel to the fire is that the Broncos’ game will be held in Denver which is traditionally a tough place for any visiting team to get a win.  If the Patriots can get past Denver there does not appear to be too much resistance on the horizon with the exception of a trap game from the Eagles in week 13 or a possible upset in the Meadowlands when the face the Jets on their home turf.

The New England Patriots are currently undefeated at 7-0 and with the looming shadow and obvious circumstantial comparisons of 2007 hanging over their heads, its plausible that they could enter the playoffs at 16-0.  Tom Brady is playing the best football of his entire career, his offense is incredible and his defense is better than most will ever give them credit for. As the half way point of the season reaches to a close this Sunday I think it’s safe to say, the New England Patriots haven’t lost a step. In fact, the defending Super Bowl Champions keep getting better, while ridiculous accusations of cheating and treachery are losing any and all credibility.

New England Patriots: This Isn’t Missouri, Fans

History tells us that Missouri is the “Show Me” state. The original phrase is widely credited to Missouri’s U.S. Congressman Willard Duncan Vandiver in 1899 when, in a speech he said, “I am from Missouri. You have got to show me.”

Cartoon from gobobby.us
Cartoon from gobobby.us

So, “Show Me” New England

How many times do the New England Patriots have to prove themselves to their own fans? New England has now become the “Show Me” area.  Each week the “show me” statements are repeated by fans of the Super Bowls champs. Need a few examples? How about this for starters:

  • At the start of the 2015 season fans were in full “show me” mode when the Patriots lost some key players. In particular Shane Vereen, Brandon Browner and Darrelle Revis. Add in the injury to last year’s surprise, Brandon LaFell, Tom Brady’s aging body and – drum roll – it was time for the Patriots to step up and show the doubters (don’t kid yourself, there were many) once again that they could compete with the upper tier in the NFL

On top of that, the Buffalo Bills were reported to have the best defense in the NFL, the NY Jets had a new Head Coach and a world of talent on defense (Mr. Revis had turned traitor and moved his island to where the money was) and Miami…my God, they had signed Greg Jennings (Pats fans wanted him in New England), the world’s greatest pass rusher Ndamukong Suh, CB Brice McCain and a host of 2nd tier players.

Was it possible that all three teams had pumped up their game while the Patriots, on paper, had deflated theirs? (I’m sorry, but the devil made me say that)

Ben Roethlisberger complains about Patriots goal line formation move drawing the Steeler offside
Ben Roethlisberger complains about Patriots goal line formation move drawing the Steelers offside

1. The first test was the Pittsburgh Steelers with Ben Roethlisberger and Antonio Brown to challenge a secondary that, at best, was suspect. With Brady freed from his four game suspension the question was, can he overcome his off season distraction? The Patriots, playing at Gillette Stadium, were a 7 point favorite going into the game, but everyone was concerned…c’mon team, time to “Show Me.” Final Score: Patriots 28 Steelers 21…and the game wasn’t that close.

2. …But wait, that win was nice, but now the Patriots had to travel to Buffalo with Rex Ryan churning the upstate New York fans into a frenzy (what’s new) because he had the best defense in the NFL and the team was just plain mean! A road game

Buffalo Bills free safety Aaron Williams (23) tackles New England Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman (11) in the end zone during the second half of an NFL football game Sunday, Sept. 20, 2015, in Orchard Park, N.Y. Williams was injured on the play as Edelman scored. (AP Photo/Bill Wippert)
Julian Edelman scores to help beat the Bills (Sunday, Sept. 20, 2015, in Orchard Park, N.Y. AP Photo/Bill Wippert)

against a rabid fan base chomping at the bit to chew up and spit out the team with the Elvis logo. Buffalo players had spittle drooling from the corner of their mouth as the two teams took the field. New England fans didn’t want to admit it…but they were worried. It was “Show Me” time again, as Brady’s offensive line was in a shambles and the Bills pass rush was unstoppable. Final Score: Patriots 40 Bills 32…and once again the score was deceptive as New England rolled to win #2.

3. After dismantling the Jaguars and Cowboys and going 4-0 it was time for the game fans had been waiting a year for.  The ol’ tattle-tale, whiny Indianapolis Colts. Andrew Luck returned after missing two games with an injured right shoulder, but everyone was predicting a blowout and Brady taking revenge on the team that caused his worst off-season in 16 years in the NFL. It wasn’t to be. At halftime the Pats trailed 21-20 and things weren’t going as expected.

In the second half New England pulled the game out…but not without some help from the Colt’s coaching staff calling the worst play in NFL history (yes, even worse than Pete Carroll’s Super Bowl disaster). Result: Patriots 34 Colts 27. Once again, fans showed some concern and the time had come for a true test.

Danny Amondola makes an acrobatic catch in win over the Jets (Photo David Silverman, Patriots.com)
Danny Amondola makes an acrobatic catch in win over the Jets (Photo David Silverman, Patriots.com)

4. The NY Jets, the new darlings of the NFL, were coming to Foxborough. Yeah, I know, you’ve heard this before, the NFL’s top ranked defense. A Jets win and the two teams would be sharing first place in the AFC East. Man, what could the Patriots do with a battered OL and just 18 players dressed on offense? Time for Superman, Tom Brady, to step up and “show me” he could carry the team to win #6. The Jets sacked Brady three times and otherwise made him uncomfortable in the pocket to take a 13-10 halftime lead.

The Patriots were passing on nearly every down and being questioned about their play calling as the second half began. Time for Mr. Brady to “show me” why he is the greatest QB in the history of the NFL…and he did. Against this supposedly great defense he completed 34 passes for 355 yards, threw for 2 TDs and ran for another while the defense stopped the feared Jets running game (Chris Ivory, who entered as the AFC’s leading rusher, was held to 41 yards on 17 carries) on the way a 30-23 win.

5. You would think the Jets win would calm the waters, but it wasn’t so. Suddenly the Miami Dolphins were playing up to expectations after firing their Head Coach, Joe (Tiger) Philben, and putting Tight End Coach Dan (Gung-ho) Campbell in charge. He was an emotional guy and the players loved the fact Campbell was giving them a free hand to play the way they wanted to. In his first two games as Head Coach the ‘Fins destroyed Tennessee and Houston (two NFL powers!), running up 82 points and the combination of Suh and Cameron Wake were suddenly sacking everything but the groceries. After wiping the field with Miami, 36-7, the Patriots ran their record to 7-0.

10-29 Nink sacks Tannehill (Photo: Keith Nordstrom Patriots.com)
Ninkovich and Jones sack Tannehill (Photo: Keith Nordstrom Patriots.com)

Show Me More

Common sense says, after going 7-0 with no real challenge, New England fans would be ready to relax a bit. No need to get worried about the future. Well, that’s just not the way we New Englanders react. We’re not happy unless we have something to worry about. After Denver slaughtered Green Bay Sunday night, holding Aaron Rodgers to 77 passing yards, and now trading for TE Vernon Davis, the “show me”ites are back.

Problem is, there are still 3 games to go before the Patriots travel to the mile high city (Nov. 29) for their Sunday Night battle. So, before that happens Washington, NY (Giants) and Buffalo have to “show me” they are up to the task of staying on the field with the current Super Bowl Champion New England Patriots.

This weeks worry is that the Skins is a trap game…so once again it’s time for the best team in the NFL to show everyone that there is no such thing as a trap when Bill Belichick is your coach.

Follow me on Twitter @SnowdonBob

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

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.

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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