Wednesday, December 8, 2010

New look Pats hush doubters, expose Jets in front of national audience

Randy who?
When the Pats traded Randy Moss, I wrote that the effect would be "devastating." That was before the Patriots traded for Deion Branch and unleashed secret weapon Danny Woodhead. Now, the only thing that is "devastating" is the Patriots offense- which has steamrolled opponents the last month to the tune of 40 points per game. Tom Brady has not thrown a pick in 228 consecutive attempts, and most importantly, the Pats are 4-0. They have taken care of business against the AFC North leading Steelers, the defending AFC Champion Colts (who recently have lived up to their dictionary definition: Colt- "a young, uncastrated male horse, in particular one less than four years old." Low blow? Perhaps, but Peyton Manning has looked more like an uncastrated baby horse than an NFL quarterback the last couple of weeks), the defending cellar dweller Lions (OK, "defending cellar dweller" isn't an accepted term- it just sounded better that saying "the Lions"), and the (used to be, before they decided to choke on Monday Night Football) number one seed in the AFC- New York Jets.

That is one hell of a run.
Not quite as wild a run as Forrest Gump's sprint around the world, but close

In 2001, 2003 and 2004, the Patriots started getting hot when the weather started getting cold. This team is doing the same. The schedule doesn't let up though, with a trip to the surprise NFC North leading Chicago Bears, followed by a home game against the dangerous Green Bay Packers- led by budding superstar Aaron Rodgers. To say that the Pats have locked up the number 1 seed would be silly. But they certainly have earned the attention of the rest of the league, and look like the best team in the NFL following their explosive 45-3 dismantling of the poor New York Jets.

And you wonder why they call him "the Belly"
I, along with the rest of the United States (except maybe Rex, or as he was called in the Boston Globe, "the belly") expected a tremendous, hard-fought battle between the two marquee teams in the AFC. Boy were we wrong. The Pats used a balanced attack on offense to pick apart what was believed to be one of the toughest defenses in the NFL. The offense has so many weapons, it seems almost unstoppable. Mighty Danny Woodhead had a fantastic revenge game with 104 receiving yards on only four receptions, BJGE had a strong game with two rushing touchdowns, and Tom spread the ball around to Branch, Welker and Hernandez to keep the Jets defense on their heels. One of the big storylines going into the game was the question of who superstar cornerback Darrelle Revis would cover. Well it didn't really matter. With this offense, there are too many options for Revis to shutdown the passing game. If he covered Branch, Brady hit Welker. If he covered Welker, Brady found Branch or Hernandez.

It really was an offensive clinic.

Mark Sanchez reminded Jets fans of Vinny Testaverde
And what about the defense? They were fantastic. With the help of erratic second year QB Mark Sanchez, and some extremely questionable play-calling, the defense played its best game of the year. Sanchez looked uncomfortable in the cold all night; You think he misses Southern California yet? Offensive Coordinator Brian Schottenheimer, as he has done a few times this year, outsmarted himself. For the first time I've seen, the Jets opened the first two possessions in a shotgun, spread-em-out formation. Not a terrible idea- to spread out the porous Patriots secondary. But the Jets are a run-first offense. Maybe Schottenheimer got caught up in all the talk about the Jets being an explosive offense with former Super Bowl MVP Santonio Holmes leading the charge. Not surprisingly, the Jets didn't score on those two possessions. Sanchez brought back some awful memories for Jets fans of chicken armed quarterback Vinny Testaverde, making some atrocious throws both short and long. On their third possession, the Jets ran the ball five times in a row, got into field goal range, and scored their only points of the game. The Pats responded by going to little man Danny Woodhead for 35 yards, which set up a Brady four yard strike to Brandon Tate. By then, it was 24-3, and the Jets were forced to become a one dimensional offense. It was also right about the time that a drunk Jets fan stumbled into our section, asked "is this my seat," and then (in the most obvious plot development ever) tripped over a cup holder and fell onto about five different people. The poor guy got up and just walked away confused as to what had just happened to him.

It reminded us all of Mark Sanchez.

Nothing like the icing of a Patriots cake
Speaking of Sanchez, Brandon Spikes picked off a horrific throw at the five yard line on the Jets first possession of the third quarter, and everything after that was just icing on the cake. 

What does this game mean? Are the Pats the best in the business, or are the Jets just really, really bad? As is usually the case, it is a little bit of both. Let's start with the Jets. Maybe they were just a tad overrated going into the game. Because, as we all know by now, the Jets had only one win against a team with more wins than losses (week 2 against a completely different Patriots squad), and had only won one game convincingly (the next week against the immortal Buffalo Bills). Needless to say, this team isn't as good as their record says they are. Probably stuck with a 5 seed in the playoffs, this particular Jets team looks like it can pull off one upset (is beating the Jags or Chiefs even considered an upset?) before being put in its place in round 2. I've been saying this all year: the Jets can not win with Mark Sanchez at QB. Yes, he will probably be a good QB in a few years, but the Jets are built to win now, and he does not give them a chance. He is too inconsistent and throws way too many (dreadful) interceptions. You think Mark Sanchez is winning a game in Arrowhead Stadium, Heinz Field and Gillette Stadium in January? I didn't think so.

On to the Pats. Are they the best in the NFL? The answer is yes, but not by much. The Falcons have figured out ways to win a few really tough games, and sit atop the NFL with the Patriots at 10-2. There are 3 teams that I think would give the Patriots trouble right now: Baltimore, Atlanta and Green Bay. The Pats already manhandled the Steelers and Jets, while the wheels have completely fallen off in Indianapolis. Philadelphia is very inconsistent, and we have yet to see Michael Vick stay healthy for more than six or seven games (and he takes an absolute beating every week). Green Bay, Baltimore and Atlanta all have some terrific defensive playmakers to complement their balanced offensive attacks (except Green Bay- they have no running game, but Rodgers is playing so great that it doesn't even matter). What we have with the Pats is an offensive juggernaut and a young defense which gives up yards in bunches, but clamps down when it has to (or comes up with that big turnover they haven't got since the days of Bruschi, Law and McGinest). Brady is playing the best football of his career, and he has an almost unlimited arsenal of weapons at his disposal. King William Belichick is having one of the finest coaching years of his life (who thought the Pats would get the number 1 seed? If you answered yes to that then you are either a liar or an idiot), and the NFL is just wide open enough for the Pats (with their 32nd ranked defense) to go to the Big Game in Dallas.

But don't book your tickets yet, there is still a lot of fun football left to be played- starting this week in Chicago against the ferocious Bears.

Get ready for one hell of a Super Bowl run
Buckle up, this is going to be one hell of a ride.


  1. this is one of your worst blogs EVER! IWDA for u to step up ur game next time!

  2. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA ill give u a shout out next time...if you behave yourself