Posts Tagged With: New England Patriots

Championship Sunday

ccham

After this Sunday there is one more game. The one that everyone is striving for. The Super Bowl. Players dream their entire lives of paying in the big one. But today. Today is when the legends are made. Today is the money round.

The Drive. The Catch. Those did not happen on Super Bowl Sunday. They happened in the Conference Championships.

The Seattle Seahawks and the Green Bay Packers are up first in Seattle. The Seahawks are fierce at home, the ’12th man’ not a small reason why. Few believe the Packers with a limping Aaron Rodgers have much of a chance. Then again, Rodgers is the best quarterback in the NFL today.

That is not the reason I believe the Packers will pull it out, no the Pack will win because of Eddie Lacy. I watch Lacy run and I do not see Eddie Lacy, I see ‘Sweetness’. Something about the way he moves and spins and throws himself into the end zone simply makes me think of the great Walter Payton. It is the presence of Eddie Lacy that will let Rodgers be Rodgers and lead his team to victory.
Green Bay 27-20

In the evening we have Andrew Luck versus Tom Brady. Some seem to want to connect this game to the Indianapolis Colts-New England Patriots rivalry of the past. It simply does not fit. That was Peyton Manning against Brady, two titans facing off. The teams are different, the showdown is different. Now it is the a question of the changing of the guard. Andrew Luck is the future, clearly. The question is if the future is now?

Luck has been special during this years playoffs and he will need to be special again to upset the Patriots. The more important factor is the Colts defense. Last week they played phenomenal against the Denver Broncos and Mister Manning. Can they do it again? If they can prevent yards after catch today they can limit the Patriots offense. Outside of Rob Gronkowski there is not one receiver on the Patriots that should concern the Colts deep, but stopping Gronk is a tall order.
Indianapolis 37-31

No one can predict what will happen today. If they say they can they are liars.

Time to sit back and enjoy.

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Categories: Aaron Rodgers, Andrew Luck, Denver Broncos, Eddie Lacy, Football, Green Bay Packers, Indianapolis Colts, New England Patriots, NFL, Peyton Manning, playoffs, Quarterbacks, Seattle Seahawks, Tom Brady | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Miami Dolphins vs. Baltimore Ravens: Five Things

Al Diaz/Miami Herald

Al Diaz/Miami Herald

When the Miami Dolphins came out to a 10-0 lead against the Baltimore Ravens Sunday I felt pretty good, that feeling did not last. Of course I felt good the defense had stuffed the Ravens offense for three straight drives, the offense seemed to be able to move the ball on Baltimore’s defense as well. All seemed well.

It was not.

The cracks began to show and you saw what followed. The Ravens dominated the rest of the way, outscoring the Dolphins 28-3.

So here are Five Things.

1. The season is not over, it just feels like it is. Mathematically the Dolphins still have a shot at the playoffs, a shot. Most likely they need to win out, which means beating New England in Foxboro.  They will need a lot of help. A lot of teams need to lose at least once in the next three games. I hate depending on other teams. They should have just taken care of business themselves.

2. Defense: Where did the run defense go to? Once upon a time the Dolphins boasted a top-ten run defense, not anymore. Getting pushed off the line of scrimmage, bad angles, missed tackles just plain bad. They have given up over-650 yards in the last three games. That makes things even easier for upper echelon quarterbacks like Joe Flacco, what will it do against Tom Brady.

3. Injuries: These are players that left the field at some point Sunday- Jared Odrick, Koa Misi, Jelani Jenkins, Samson Satele, Charles Clay and Louis Delmas. Add those names to Branden Albert, Knowshon Moreno, Dannelle Ellerbee, Michael Thomas, Will Davis, Jamar Taylor and Courtland Finnegan. The team is looking like a mash unit. The loss of Branden Albert hurt the offensive line badly but the secondary may have been hit the worst.  Delmas may be gone for the season and only Finnegan looks to return anytime soon to help. RJ Stanford was one of our starting corners this week, let that sink in.

4. Mike Wallace. Many fans are upset about the lack of shots deep by the offense. Wallace should be a weapon deep but watching the game it does not look like Ryan Tannehill has the time to even attempt a deep pass let alone complete one. The bigger concern is the occasional lack of effort by Wallace. Commentators claim that Tannehill missed a touchdown pass to Wallace in the second half. That simply did not happen. The ball was right where you want it away from the defender towards the pylon, the receiver has to make that play. If Wallace had tried to get to the ball and could not that would be one thing, he gave up on the play. Gave up. Unacceptable.

5. Coach Joe Philbin has been criticized for a lack of emotion. He is so even-keeled sometimes you wonder if he has a pulse. The problem is when he does not seem to get the team ready to play. Watching the second half I found myself wondering if the team knew how important this game was. That is on the coach. Yes there are three games left and a slim chance to make the playoffs still exists but this game mattered. It would be nice if the coach understood that.

Yes there are other things to complain about. Bad calls from the officials: two questionable ineligible man down field calls and the reversal of a game changing fumble. The team inexplicably giving up on the run in the second half. But that is nitpicking. The team got beat down. We all saw it. Only one question:

What happens next?

On to New England.

Categories: AFC East, Baltimore Ravens, Football, Miami Dolphins, Mike Wallace, NFL, Ryan Tannehill, sports | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Patriots not quite done.

The Cincinnati Bengals had one job Sunday night. And they failed to do it.

The Bengals came into Sunday nights game at the New England Patriots on a three game winning streak. They had been impressive. After the way the Patriots looked the previous Monday night against the Kansas City Chiefs many expected the Bengals kick them while they were down. That simply did not happen.

The Patriots beat the Bengals 43-17.

They did not just beat them they dominated.  The Patriots did not do anything special. There were no trick plays, no new offense. It was simple. They ran the ball down the Bengals throat for 22o yards. If you run for 200 yards and have an hall-of-fame quarterback you are going to win.

This is what happens with the Patriots. They get brutally embarrassed one week. Next week they are bullies. They dominate and go out of their way to pound the point home.

The most disappointing part of the Patriots winning for me: I was hoping for a just amazing press conference from Bill Belichick after another loss. I was hoping to see him just sit there and refuse to answer legitimate questions once again. I was hoping to see in any of the beat writers would have the stones to actually question Belichick on you know anything. A man can dream can’t he?

Are the Patriots back?

No.

Have the issues they had the first few games magically disappeared?

No.

They simply won this one game.

This is why they stick around. When the Patriots are down opposing teams just do not do what is necessary. They need to kick the Patriots while they are down. The Bengals should have stood on their throat.

They did not do their one job.

 

Categories: Cincinnati Bengals, New England Patriots, NFL | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Miami Dolphins Week 2: The Great White North, The Buffalo Bills

mblogo

Last week was a great win. The Miami Dolphins did everything in their power to give the game to the Patriots in the first half. Three turnovers by the Dolphins turned into 20 quick and easy points for Tom Brady and the Patriots. On top of that the entire starting linebacking corps was out with injuries by the end of the first half. Then came the second half. The entire team stepped up and absolutely dominated. The defense only allowed three, count them three first downs. The offense shoved the ball down their throats. It was a domination. It was not perfect but it was a good start.

That was last week. It was wonderful. Now forget it. It is over. It is in the past. Time to move on.

The game against Buffalo that is what is important now. I felt great about our chances against New England, with Buffalo I have concerns. It all comes down to how the Dolphins play.

Did they learn anything from last season?

One of the big problems we had as a team last year was playing to our opponents level. If they were great like the Patriots the team stepped up to their level. Unfortunately that also meant underperforming against teams we should have dominated. On paper the Dolphins are a better team than the Bills, they were last year too. Last year the Bills beat the Dolphins twice. So the question is do we play to their level or play to our level, our ability and dominate like last week?

As far as the game. It is not about our passing game or our running game. It is not about the Bills receivers or even E.J. Manuel their second year quarter back. The game will be decided by the play of Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller. The Buffalo Bills running backs killed Miami last year. If our defense cannot tackle them, cannot contain them the game is over before it starts. That is my one and only concern. Stop Jackson and Spiller, everything else will take care of itself.

Not too tall a task.

Time for these Miami Dolphins to prove last week was not just a great win. Time for last week to simply be the beginning of something special.

Categories: Buffalo Bills, Football, Miami Dolphins, NFL | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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