Monday, December 20, 2004

For the third time in his career as a New England Patriots, Tom Brady had a terrible game and is the most repsonsible for the Patriots losing. The first was in 2001 against Denver. The last was last season against Buffalo. It happens some times. Alot of other players contributed to this loss though. Rodney Harrison had an absolutely idiotic pass interferance call on a pass that he could have intercepted had he simply turned around. Dexter Reid had a mistep on a special teams coverage play that resulted in a 72 yard punt return that set up a Miami field goal. All night, the Patriots simply could not stop Jason Taylor from screwing up the Pats offense. The play calling was not as good as it has been nor as it should be.

Here are some things that contributed to the Pats loss in no particular order:
1. The Pats have no-one good to return kicks or punts
2. No Tyrone Poole, no Ty Law
3. Troy Brown on coverage far too often
4. 6 Patriots drives that did not achieve first downs
5. 4 INTs by Brady
6. Not running the ball late in the game
7. Brady throwing the ball as he fell instead of taking a sack and punting
8. Containing Walker on the 72 yard punt return

Even though the Pats lost, the Man of the Game is Corey Dillon. He ran for 121 yards, and a TD. He also had 2 receptions, one for a score.

The Pats play New York next week and have to win in order to get home field advantage throughout. They also need the Steelers to lose twice.

A win next week will ensure a 1st round bye.

I like this pickup alot. The deal is $25M over 3 years. He is 30 but is nowhere near the oldest pitcher on the team. There really wasn't any other move Theo could pull off with the resources he has.

As far as this offseason goes, I think we have improved at shortstop, improved slightly in the long-relief department, and our rotation has gotten somewhat better at the #3 spot and somewhat worse at the #2 spot. We've lost some depth and the Varitek situation is a silly, stupid mess. The Yankees, meanwhile, have added the top pitching free agent in Carl Pavano, and are looking to trade for the guy that shouldv'e won the NL Cy Young, Randy Johnson. They're also talking to the top hitting free agent, Carlos Beltran. I think we all knew this would be coming. Johnson refuses to go anywhere but New York (BTW, Fuck him if the World Series Champions aren't good enough for him) and we all knew Steinbrenner would go out and spend tons of money. Meanwhile, the Red Sox have an actual budget, although it may be large, it cannot compete with the limitless resources of the Yankees. We don't have any pitching prospects to trade for guys like Hudson or Mulder. If we sign Varitek, I think we'll be a slightly better team than last season, but I don't know if we will have improved as much as New York.

Sunday, December 19, 2004

I forgot to mention the Patriots 12th win of the season. The loss of Pedro really affected my thought process. I didn't see the game because Ithaca sucks. I was pretty sure we'd win though. Cincinatti is not that good on the road and Gillette is a fortress. Some might say the game was too close but marign of victory isn't important when you're 12-1.

The Man of the Game is David Patten. He had 5 receptions for 107 yards and a TD. Brady also had a good day throwing for a pair of TDs. Dillon had 88 yards and a TD against his former team. Alot of the retards in the national media thought the Bengals would completely dominate him. They were wrong, again. Fauria had a solid game with 3 receptions and a TD. Vinaterri added 5 more points. Miller averaged 54 yards a punt including a 69 yarder. Bruschi had 12 tackles, Harrison had 9 and a forced fumble, Brown and Samuel each had INTs.

Pats take on Miami on Monday Night Football. Ty Law and Dexter Reed are each doubtful. Law really wants to play though and could come back soon. The question is, how good will he be when he returns. The following players are questionable:
OLB Matt Chatham (Hamstring)
CB Randall Gay (Arm)
WR David Givens (Ankle)
TE Daniel Graham (Rib)
WR Bethel Johnson (Thigh)
ILB Roman Phifer (Calf)
CB Tyrone Poole (Knee)
CB Asante Samuel (Shoulder)

I still think we are going to win.

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