Now that the "Game of the Century" is over and everyone is looking forward to the rest of the season, its time to take a brief look back at the game and a look into what is coming. The Pats/Colts game came with a lot of hype and a lot of action. Both teams played extremely well and, as we usually see in the NFL, a turnover is the play that seals the deal.
Its all over now with the Patriots leaping over their last true hurdle in what will end up being a spectacular season. Watching and hearing about what the Patriots have been up to all year, there should be little doubt that they are going to push that gas-peddle even more.
The Patriots remaining schedule starts with a Bye Week this weekend, three (3) away games, and four (4) home games. The away games are at Buffalo, at Baltimore, and at NY Giants. The furthest is Buffalo at 458 miles away. Their home games, which should all be easy wins, come against Philadelphia having an off year, Pittsburgh, who will be the only chance of a loss, the NY Jets, who can't decide which QB is best for them right now, and the 0-7 Miami Dolphins.
At this point in time (week 9 before the Monday Night game between Pittsburgh & Baltimore), New England's opponents have a combined record of 23-32, and its probably a safe bet that it'll be 24-33 after this evening's match up.
There's talk that the Ravens will give them trouble in Baltimore during their Monday night showdown. As a fan, "Any given Sunday" drops into my head, but this Ravens team has had an inconsistent year. I don't see this being nearly as tough of a match-up for Brady and his Boys as Pittsburgh will, and with that game at home, New England will have the home-field advantage.
The green light is on. Belichick has not shown any signs during games of slowing down, so why start slowing down now?
Sorry Shula and the rest of the 1972 Dolphins, you will have to save that champagne for another celebration.
Monday, November 5, 2007
Sorry Shula, No Champagne this Year
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Even now I think it's bold to say that the Patriots are even a coin flip to win out during the remainder of the regular season. For three quarters, the Pats were pretty much held in check, and with so many people studying every detail of every second of game film, I think a lot of teams around the league are going to be able to learn a lot from the Colts' loss. Why, even a simpleton such as myself can spot a few key tactics to use:
- Jam all receivers at the line. Take the occasional penalty if need be, but don't let Brady and those receivers get into a rhythm.
- Double team Randy Moss at all times, and earnestly, not assigning two guys to the side of the field that Moss is on. Have one guy underneath and one guy over the top, and keep him bracketed like that.
- Guard the sidelines. Brady loves the out patterns for easy first downs.
- Play like the Patriots on offense. They've got talent all across the defense, but they seemed susceptible to the short to medium passing game. Exploit that. (It is for this reason that I think the Eagles could be more of a test for New England than people expect; they thrive on the short passing game)
None of those away games are gimmes, and the one you didn't assess might be the toughest one, playing in New York against the Giants. If any team can put Brady on his ass, it's the G-men. And, as I mentioned on the radio show, I wouldn't be surprised if the Dolphins took Brady out to the woodshed, even if they lose. So Brady could be sufficiently tenderized by the time Strahan and Umenyora get a hold of him.
Plus I really hate the Patriots. I hope they lose sometime soon, and then frequently. And I hope Brady and Belicheck have some sort of gay sex accident together and they're both bed-ridden for years.
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