Yesterday’s game against the Steelers was supposed to give us an indication on where this particular Patriots teams stands in relation to the elite of the NFL.
We certainly know now, don’t we. After getting thoroughly abused in the second half, the Patriots are who we thought they were!!! Sorry. Channeling my inner Denny Green there.
The Patriots are an above average team with too many injuries, lacking last year’s MVP, and in need of a tremendous amount of help just to get into the playoffs. They are not part of the elite any longer. They are old and slow on defense, porous on the offensive line and apparently handed out cement gloves to Randy Moss before the game.
Maybe it was just a bad game, but turning the ball over 5 times in a half speaks to more than just a bad game. I could understand Cassel losing the ball once on a sack, but twice? On the same exact play? Learn from your mistakes, Matty! Any comparisons between you and Brady have been put to rest, that’s for sure.
Sadly, yesterday was a perfect chance for the Pats to get back into the division race. The Jets got trounced by Denver of all teams. A win would have created a tie at the top (although I think the Jets would have the tie breakers). Basically, the Patriots need to finish with a better record than both the Jets and Dolphins to take the division.
And taking the division is looking like the only way this team will make the playoffs. Figure Baltimore, Indy and the Dolphins as their major challengers for the wild card spot. Considering the Pats have the lousiest conference record (5-5) than any of those teams, things are looking bleak. Winning the division outright appears to be their best bet.
There is still a chance, of course, but after yesterday’s debacle I can’t see this team going very far even if they make the playoffs. Not that I should be complaining much. I didn’t expect to be even discussing the Pats’ playoff chances after Brady’s knee imploded.
I guess I should be glad there is still a chance the Jets could crumble, the Dolphins could go back to being last year’s crappy team, and the Pats use the Steelers game to motivate and fix themselves.
I should be, but I’m not. Yes, I’m a spoiled brat.
Onto other thoughts.
- I’m very glad to say I didn’t gain any weight over the break. Considering all the food I had to eat, this is a very good thing. I lost only .2 pounds, but I’m betting others put on weight. Time to kick things into a higher gear over the next 3 weeks. Need to get to 193 (less than 10 pounds) by the 22nd. I think I can, I think I can…..
- Not that it mattered much since I’m out of playoff contention, but I played my best man in fantasy this week and lost by a whopping 7 points. I killed him earlier in the season, but considering Welker got his bell rung (and then some!) and never returned and Tim Hightower is regressing before our eyes, I held up pretty well.
- Part of that is because Westbrook scored four times for me on Thursday. Funny what happens when a team gets the ball to it’s best players as often as possible. It really isn’t rocket science, people.
- Speaking of Thanksgiving games, they lived up to the turkey day reputation. By that I mean they all sucked.
- I got to watch most of the highly entertaining Carolina – Green Bay game yesterday and can’t help but feel bad for the Packers. They seem to do everything right and just can’t buy a win. The best lousy team in the league. Wasn’t their defense supposed to be good this year?
- If losing Tom Brady weren’t enough to kick off his fantasy season, my buddy also has Plaxico Burress on his team. Topping his behavior problems, injuries and lack of production is Burress’ inability to figure out how the safety works on his own gun. That the Giants are 11-1 with this tool on their team is a testament to their focus and talent. If I were Tom Coughlin, I would tell Burress to take the rest of the year off. Wouldn’t want him to accidentally shoot Jacobs in the foot while they’re changing in the locker room.
- Teams getting it together at right time: Tampa Bay, Carolina, Minnesota, Indy (although it’s hard to take them seriously as a threat after that Cleveland game), Baltimore and possibly Dallas (the Pittsburgh game this Sunday will give a clearer picture about them).
- Teams faltering at the wrong time: Jets (looked abysmal against a weak defensive team), New Orleans (destined to be .500 until they invest in their defense), Washington, Green Bay, Patriots, Arizona (although it looks like they still have their division wrapped up).
- Teams that can start thinking about next year: Detroit, St Louis, Philly, Buffalo, Seattle, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Jacksonville, Houston, Kansas City and the entire state of California.
Other random thoughts from the weekend:
- We had friends over for Thanksgiving for the first time (as opposed to just family) and it was much more fun. One of them got so drunk she wished me a Merry Christmas on the way out the door. This led to much laughter and her husband wishing the neighbors a Happy New Year on the way to the car. Plus, my kids and their kids love playing with each other so they were out of our hair most of the day. It was lovely.
- Is this what the younger generation has become? Invading and randomly killing hundreds of people in an Indian hotel because of some thousand year old grudge or some anti-American hatred they probably don’t even understand. More than ever I’m convinced those guys need to get laid in the worst way. Why do you think most American males aged 18-24 (the age of the terrorists) stay out of trouble? Cause they’re getting some! Or trying to! The ones that don’t either become Columbine-type gunmen or invade random hotels to kill innocent people.
Pussy: The ultimate peace keeper.
- Unsurprisingly, the initial Black Friday estimates are far and away higher than ‘experts’ predicted. Once again the economic gurus are wrong. Can we now strip them of all credibility? Will the media now stop reporting on whatever it is they predict? Will the media now stop over reacting to every DOW Jones drop or bad economic indicator and start looking for the positive signs that are all around us?
Of course not. No news like bad news to get the ratings up.
- Lastly, don’t look now but the Red Sox just signed another Japanese pitcher. Oddly, the contract is only for 3 years and $3 million which could turn out to be an historic bargain or a complete waste of money. He’s only 21 years old and is expected to begin the season in the minors, but with a name like Tazawa how could he not become huge? Look for a marketing tie in between Warner Brothers and the Red Sox when jerseys start showing up with Taz on it. It’s inevitable.
Today’s distraction: 54 ‘Mind Blowing’ digital paintings. Most of these are impressive, but quite a few of them are of hot, fictional girls and can’t help but believe they were created by guys still living at home and getting up the nerve to ask out that cute girl at work.