Tag:New England Patriots
Posted on: October 19, 2009 9:06 am
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Posted on: October 19, 2009 9:05 am
 

That Was Depressing...

Saints vs. Giants:

Looks like the Giants aren't as good as I thought!  Their defense was almost non-existent, and Eli did not look comfortable.  I can't even begin to express how disappointing that loss was.  And what the heck is wrong with Brandon Jacobs?  Bradshaw continues to play pretty well, but Jacobs just doesn't have the magic that he had last year.

Now I hate it when Patriots fans make excuses for why their team lost, so I'll try not to be "that guy," but there are a few (and I mean very few) good things to take away from this game.  First, the Giants have been so terribly banged up in their defense, that I think they could have held the Saints to a little less points.  Aaron Ross and Michael Boley both didn't play, and Kenny Phillips is out for the season.  Also, that is one brutal stadium to play in.  My hat is off to those Saints fans, they are truly the 12th man.

I also think that the Giants needed to be knocked back to Earth.  After playing 5 teams that probably won't make the playoffs, they needed some good competition, and they certainly got it from the Saints.

Also, the Eagles lost!  To the Raiders!  Are you kidding me?  I'm hoping the Eagles are truly THAT bad, because they play them in Week 8.

Other thoughts about the week:

Where to start?  I'm absolutely loving how well Favre is playing.  I've loved this guy since I was young, and can't stand it when people think he's "washed up" and an "egotistical maniac."  The guy was completely exploited by the media and his "indecision" was completely overexaggerated by the media.  Anyways... what a great game.  Many will point to the Vikings win as lucky, but being lucky is just a product of being well-prepared, and it seemed as though the Vikings were able to outplay the Ravens defense, at least early on.

I honestly don't think that the Ravens are as bad as their record indicates at 3-3.  The one thing they really have going against them is the strength of their division, even with the loss of the Bengals.  Just like that, the Steelers are tied for first!

As for the New England/Tennessee game... what the heck?  I originally got really angry at the Patriots for running up the score, but from what I can tell they actually tried to lay off, but the Titans defense was THAT bad.  I guess we can finally say that the Titans are just a bad team.  Brady looked comfortable too, which is a scary thought.

Bad Bad Games:

I've got to go back to the Eagles game, solely because I think it's hilarious.  It's great when Eagles fans think their defense is so fantastic, and then JaMarcus Russell, the worst QB in the NFL, puts up over 200 yards on you.  How can Andy Reid let that happen to Philly?  That was not McNabb's fault either, he had zero time in the pocket and their receivers did a poor job getting open.  The Raiders pass defense is actually a little above average.

Speaking of teams that shouldn't have won, how about those Bills?  They played poorly and didn't quite deserve to win, but Sanchez gave away that game.  Fitzpatrick wasn't great, but do you consider playing him instead of Trent Edwards?  At least Fitzpatrick tries to make plays to put them in a situation where they can win. 

Finally, it's nice to see Matt Cassel get a win, even if it is against the Redskins.  He is a pretty good quarterback but has no run support.  The Skins are just terrible too, from top to bottom.

Broncos vs. Chargers:

Since I have no allegiance to either team (besides fantasy players), I hope this is a close game.  Or perhaps a blowout so I can go to bed early.  Either way, I'm excited for this game, mostly because I want to see if the Broncos can go to 6-0 against a bitter AFC West rival.  They are the real deal, but can be considered one of the top 3 teams in the league if they win. 

Next Week:

Look at these great games... Minnesota at Pittsburgh, Chicago at Cincinnati, New Orleans at Miami, Arizona at New York Giants, Atlanta at Dallas.  Plus, who doesn't want to see how many points the Colts can put up against the Rams?  Should be an interesting week, and I'm sure I'll somehow find a way to drown my sorrows from the Giants loss!


Posted on: September 25, 2009 10:25 am
 

Week 3 Picks

After an 8-8 finish last week against the spread, I've landed at a mediocre 16-15.  Here are my picks for next week!

New York Giants (-6.5) over Tampa Bay.  The Bucs are allowing way too many yards and points, and will probably be playing catch-up most of the game.

Green Bay (-6.5) over St. Louis.  The Packers are going to be very angry about their loss last week, and McCarthy will make sure this isn't a close one.

Kansas City (+9) over Philadelphia.  Kevin Kolb doesn't get it done here, and Cassel will be looking for his first win in a Chiefs uniform.

Atlanta (+4) over New England.  The Patriots aren't scoring do to poor timing.  Though this game will probably close and could be won by the Pats, I'll take the points.

New York Jets (-2.5) over Tennessee.  I like the Jets run defense against Chris Johnson, which is the key to the game.  But will the Titans really fall to 0-3?

San Francisco (+7) over Minnesota.  The 49ers could be the surprise of the year, and the Vikings really haven't been challenged yet.  Look for Shaun Hill to take these guys by surprise.

Jacksonville (+4) over Houston.  Despite their recent success, the Texans defense is giving up way too many points, which is exactly what MJD wants to see.

Washington (-6.5) over Detroit.  The Redskins offense has to start clicking at some point, and this would be their opportunity to do so.

Baltimore (-13.5) over Cleveland.  This is the only team I'd give up this many points again.  Plus, the Ravens are all-around one of the best teams in the NFL.

New Orleans (-6) over Buffalo.  This mas more to do with the Saints offense than the Bills defense.  Brees is just too good.

Cincinnati (+4) over Pittsburgh.  Another tough division game for the Steelers, and I think it'll end with them winning by a field goal or less.

Chicago (-2) over Seattle.  Without Hasselbeck, I'm looking for the Seahawks to return to 2008 form, if only temporarily.

Miami (+6) over San Diego.  Both teams are struggling, but the Dolphins looked better last week against a great Colts team.

Denver (-1.5) over Oakland.  Can the Broncos really go 3-0?  Against this team they can.

Indianapolis (+2.5) over Arizona.  This is going to be a fun one to watch, very high-scoring.  I trust Peyton more than Warner in this game, seeing as both defenses can't stop much.

Dallas (-9) over Carolina.  The Cowboys are going to be very angry about last week and put up 30+ points.  I don't think the Panthers can catch up.
Posted on: September 24, 2009 7:23 pm
Edited on: September 25, 2009 9:45 am
 

Power Rankings, Week 2

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Considering half of my previous top 5 lost, my rankings have been somewhat turned upside down!  This was a pretty crazy week in the NFL, so enjoy!

32) St. Louis Rams (32).  7 points in two games is not very good, even if your defense stepped it up in the second game.  They have a tough one against an angry Green Bay team next week.

31) Detroit Lions (31).  They didn't face an easy opponent in the Vikings this week, and their first win in awhile will come sometime this season.  Stafford needs to play better.

30) Cleveland Browns (29).  That was pitiful against the Broncos.  The question shouldn't be Anderson or Quinn, it should be McCoy, Tebow, or Bradford.

29) Kansas City Chiefs (30).  They were close to beating the Raiders, and they certainly stopped their offense for most of the game.  Hopefully Cassel will be able to turn those games into more wins.

28) Jacksonville Jaguars (25).  They couldn't stop Kurt Warner in any way.  A crucial game in Houston awaits them, and could possibly redeem this slow start.

27) Tampa Bay Buccaneers (22).  They don't have a heck of a lot going for them, and after they face the Giants they have a heck of a division schedule to play.

26) Oakland Raiders (24).  Although they're 1-1, the Raiders are still going to need to clean up their offense.  The defense looked solid.

25) Washington Redskins (17).  Yeah, they won, but that's about it.  They're offense is terrible and they might face a loss to... yes, the Lions.

 

24) Denver Broncos (27).  Definitely the worst 2-0 team in the NFL at this point.  Their defense looks much better though, and we'll see how Orton performs down the stretch.

 

23) Cincinnati Bengals (28).  There's that offense we've all been waiting for!  Can they beat the Steelers next week?

 

22) Miami Dolphins (23).  Their wildcat offense worked like magic, and Pennington was efficient as ever... but they lost.  In the AFC East, 0-2 won't cut it.

 

21) Seattle Seahawks (16).  No Hasselbeck = no success.  They'll need him back soon in order to challenge the Cards and 49ers for the division.

 

20) Carolina Panthers (14).  This team just can't put together a win.  A tough game against a very angry Dallas will decide whether they have enough to make a playoff run.

 

19) Dallas Cowboys (15).  Romo will bounce back, but what about their pass defense?

 

18) Arizona Cardinals (21).  Warner returned to better form, and Hightower has emerged as a great pass target.  Can Kurt hold up throughout the season?

 

17) Chicago Bears (19).  That was a much better team against the Steelers, but I'm still not buying the hype without a decent receiver and no Urlacher.

 

16) Houston Texans (26).  Their offense was brilliant, but their defense did almost nothing against both the Jets and Titans.

 

15) Buffalo Bills (20).  They're a fumble away from being 2-0, and should probably be higher on this list.  Let's just hope they don't blow it in typical Bills fashion.

14) Tennessee Titans (11).  Definitely the best 0-2 team out there, but the Jets could make that 0-3.

13) Philadelphia Eagles (10).  Kolb certainly isn't the answer, and they'll have to wait until McNabb gets back to improve their record.

 

12) New England Patriots (2).  No defense and an uncomfortable Brady.  They're no longer the class of the AFC, and must regain it to have a chance in a tough division.


11) San Francisco 49ers (18).  Frank Gore certainly bounced back from a bad first game and led them to a victory.  Can they do the same against the Vikings?

10) Green Bay Packers (6).  They have a dynamic offense, but dropped passes and poor defensive play lost them the game.  A gimme against the Rams awaits them next week.

9) San Diego Chargers (5).  Once again, the Chargers have all the weapons of a championship team, but manage to flounder against a good team.

8) Minnesota Vikings (9).  2-0, but they haven't faced a tough opponent yet.  A crucial battle of the unbeatens comes along next week, and we'll see how they handle it.

7) New Orleans Saints (13).  That offense is just ridiculous.  Their defense could use improvement, but the Saints strategy of "the best defense is a great offense" has worked so far.

6) New York Jets (12).  They've beaten two tough opponents and face another one against the Titans.  Does Sanchez know he's a rookie?

5) Atlanta Falcons (7).  A very complete team.  The play the Patriots next week, and could solidify themselves as the class of the NFC with a win.

4) Baltimore Ravens (8).  What's not to like about this team?  Everything is clicking for them right now.  Key matchups week 4 and 5 against the Patriots and the Bengals.

3) Pittsburgh Steelers (1).  I'm not really sure what happened against the Bears, but that running game needs to get better.  It looked like they really missed Polumalu.

2) Indianapolis Colts (4).  Peyton was Peyton, but their run defense needs some work.  It'll be a shootout next week against the Cardinals.

1) New York Giants (3).  Though their run defense did nothing against the Cowboys running game, Eli Manning was able to mirror it on offense.  A soft spot in their schedule may keep them here for a few weeks.

 

I had a very tough time doing the middle 10, but I think it worked out pretty well.  Let me know what you think!



Posted on: September 15, 2009 8:43 pm
 

Week 2 Power Rankings

Though it's hard to gauge how good teams really are after one week, I've drafted my Power Rankings for the upcoming Week 2.  Enjoy!

32) St. Louis Rams (28).  They could give the 2008 Lions a run for their money.  The only shining light is that their defense was only slightly below average.

31) Detriot Lions (30).  I don't care if they put up 27 points, they were playing a terrible Saints defense.  Stafford didn't play well either.

30) Kansas City Chiefs (32).  They gain two spots only because they put up 24 points against a great Baltimore team.  It will be interesting to see how Cassel does in his return.

29) Cleveland Browns (31).  AP ran all over them, but they managed to initially make a game out of it.  Quinn will only get better, hopefully.

28) Cincinnati Bengals (23).  The Broncos defense is supposed to be bad, yet they only score 7 points.  They should have won, but even if they did they would still be down here.

27) Denver Broncos (29).  Though they barely won, they still need to vastly improve in order to challenge the Chargers for the division.

26) Houston Texans (16).  Boy was I wrong last week.  They looked terrible against the Jets, and Andre Johnson almost had no effect.  They have to bounce back next week.

25) Jacksonville Jaguars (24).  I don't know what to make of this game to be honest.  Their defense heldn the Colts to 14 points, but their offense looks very bad.

24) Oakland Raiders (27).  Great showing against San Diego.  I'm still not convinced they're an above average team, but I could very well be proved wrong in the next few weeks.

23) Miami Dolphins (20).  Turnovers killed them, which is something they avoided last year.  I don't see them repeating as division champs.

22) Tampa Bay Buccaneers (26).  Just like the Jaguars, I don't know where to place this team.  Dallas passed all over their defense, but they're offense looked better than anticipated.  Cadillac Williams looked amazing.

21) Arizona Cardinals (18).  Warner looked old.  They could easily lose 3-4 division games this year if they continue to play like that.

20) Buffalo Bills (22).  They were a fumble away from winning, and showed that their offense exists.  They should bounce back from that agonizing defeat next week against the Bucs.

19) Chicago Bears (15).  There's not a heck of a lot going for them after losing Urlacher and Cutler's terrible performance.  Less turnovers, more wins.

18) San Francisco 49ers (25).  Great win against the former division champs.  It may be them and the Seahawks contending for the top spot this year.

17) Washington Redskins (14).  They didn't show up offensively.  Campbell looked good at times, but their running game struggled.

16) Seattle Seahawks (19).  Hasselbeck is back.  Their defense really showed the Rams who's boss, but they'll face a tougher 49er defense next weekend.

15) Dallas Cowboys (21).  Tony Romo and Roy Williams showed that they meant business.  With a win next week they could be the team to beat in the NFC.

14) Carolina Panthers (6).  Wow, Jake Delhomme was bad.  If he plays poorly next weekend, they'll be looking for someone else to step up.

13) New Orleans Saints (13).  Same story as last year: their offense looked great, their defense looked bad.  They should not have let the Lions score that many points.

12) New York Jets (17).  Mark Sanchez and Rex Ryan may save this team.  If they can win against the Pats next week, they could legitimately make a run at the playoffs.

11) Tennessee Titans (9).  Chris Johnson was held to minimal yardage, which hurt them.  The defense did look good, especially against the run.

10) Philadelphia Eagles (12).  What a blowout.  Their defense proved me wrong and make have taken Delhomme's starting job from him.

9) Minnesota Vikings (10).  It was close early on, but Peterson showed why he was ranked the best running back in the game.  Statistically, Favre played very efficiently.

8) Baltimore Ravens (11).  Although they played the Chiefs, Flacco seems to be avoiding the sophmore slump.  Ray Rice was stellar.

7) Atlanta Falcons (7).  Great win.  Matt Ryan looked solid, and the Gonzalez acquisition paid off.

6) Green Bay Packers (8).  Their offense should have scored more, but Rodgers clicked when he needed to.  How about that defense!

5) San Diego Chargers (4).  Though it was a close game, that will be the toughest division battle they face all year.  Hopefully LT will show up next week.

4) Indianapolis Colts (2).  I'll give them a mulligan for that close victory.  Their defense played well against MJD, but their offense needs to be more consistent.

3) New York Giants (5).  The score didn't indicate how well the Giants played against the Redskins.  They've got to improve their pass defense within the two-minute warning.

2) New England Patriots (3).  This may very well be more than they deserve, but we'll see how they fare against the Jets.

1) Pittsburgh Steelers (1).  Ben Roethlisberger was poised with no running game and constant pressure.  No matter who is injured on their defense, they have the depth to recover.

Posted on: September 8, 2009 4:38 pm
 

Patriots Hype 2009

Pete Prisco had the nerve to rank the Patriots on top of his power rankings for this year, despite the fact that he has said in the past that the Superbowl champ earns that spot until the first games are played in the next season.  Figures. 

I actually love it when people hype up the Patriots.  Boston fans are quite possibly the most annoying people on Earth, and it's just perfect when they choke in the end.

Pete's reasoning for ranking the Patriots so high is... well, Tom Brady.  This is obviously based off of his 2007 performance, because the guy hasn't really played since then.  So much has happened since their 18-1 season, however, and that's not necessarily good for Patriots fans.

As I've said before, a season-ending knee injury is nothing to laugh at, and I don't care whether you're Tom Brady or Jason Sehorn, you're not going to be the same person when the surgery is over.  Brady still might be a top 5 quarterback, but he'll never be in the same mindset that he was two years ago.  Stepping up in the pocket is not going to be as comfortable as it used to be.  Plus, last time I checked the Patriots offensive line isn't as good as it was in 2007.  Too many roster moves, too many injuries.

Don't get me wrong, the Patriots very well could still win the Superbowl, but come on here.  It seems to me that the Steelers or Chargers are much more poised to win the AFC.  They haven't had much of a change in their starting 22 players, and they've both relatively young.  Brady and Moss are past their primes, Seymour and Bruschi are gone, and Josh McDaniels is ruining Denver.  Pete should put the Patriots in the 3-6 range.

So let me have it Patriots fans, tell me why you're team is better than the rest of the world.
Posted on: September 2, 2009 10:43 pm
 

Preseason Power Rankings

Since the large majority of starters will not be playing in the fourth preseason game, I figure that now is as good a time as any to make my first power rankings of the 2009 NFL season.  They may slightly contradict earlier posts because of recent developments (Flacco being a stud, the Brandon Marshall saga, Favre, etc).  Anyways, here we go:

32) Kansas City Chiefs.  You know it's not looking good when you're starting QB may be out for a month and your offensive coordinator gets fired two weeks before the season.  Can we really expect too much from Larry Johnson?

31) Cleveland Browns.  This team just bothers me.  Dropped passes, inconsistent run game, and a Swiss cheese defense won't help Brady Quinn if he gets the nod.

30) Detroit Lions.  Sadly, this is a compliment.  They're making strides towards bolstering their offensive line, and not drafting another wide receiver.  Hopefully Stafford will be the bright light at the end of the very dark tunnel.

29) Denver Broncos.  What a mess.  Without Cutler, their passing attack is less intimidating.  Now, Brandon Marshall may not even be in a Bronco uniform.  These players just don't seem to like Josh McDaniels.

28) St. Louis Rams.  There is potential in St. Louis if three things happen: Jackson stays healthy, Bulger stays healthy, and Spagnuolo is able to motivate the defense.  If one of these things goes wrong, however, it'll be another disappointing season.

27) Oakland Raiders.  They are a very young team that, if healthy, could challenge the Chargers.  Russell needs to step it up and McFadden needs to complete 16 games.  Their organization is holding them back.

26) Tampa Bay Buccaneers.  This depends completely on quarterback play.  If Leftwich is able to lead their offense down the stretch, they might find themselves in the playoffs.  Facing them is a tough division, a below average defense, and uncertainty at running back.

25) San Francisco 49ers.  Too many question marks will keep them out of the playoffs this year.  Given a few more years, Mike Singletary may restore 49er glory.

24) Jacksonville Jaguars.  Though he wasn't the starter, the loss of Fred Jackson will force Maurice Jones-Drew to carry the ball more.  They also don't seem to have the all-around consistency to be a major threat.

23) Cincinnati Bengals.  Just like the Rams, they need three things to happen: Carson Palmer must play 16 games, Chad Ocho Cinco has to mature, and Cedric Benson must earn his paycheck.  Oh, and the defense needs to show up.  Four things.

22) Buffalo Bills.  The absence of Marshawn Lynch will cripple them early on, and having TO may not make up for it.  If they can get better in November and December, they could make a run for a Wild Card.

21) Dallas Cowboys.  If Roy Williams is plagued with injury throughout the season, the Cowboys can kiss their playoff hopes good-bye.

20) Miami Dolphins.  Though they had success last year with the wildcat, most teams have begun to figure out how to dismantle it.  They also won't have the luck they had last year with no injuries to their starters.

19) Seattle Seahawks.  This could be a surprise team out of the dismal NFC West.  Hasselbeck looks healthy, and T.J. Houshmanzedah will help.

18) Arizona Cardinals.  Despite them making the Superbowl last year, many doubt this team (including me).  Warner is a risk at his age, and their running game is rarely utilized.  Plus, their defense is abysmal. 

17) New York Jets.  Their defense looks great, and their running game will get better if Leon Washington gets more touches.  Sanchez may not have an immediate impact, especially with the lack of a star receiver to help him out.

16) Houston Texans.  They're one year away from making it into the playoffs for the first time ever.  If Shaub stays healthy, that may come a year earlier.

15) Chicago BearsJay Cutler will give this team what the Bears franchise has always needed: consistency at quarterback.  Forte, Hester, and Olsen will see huge returns.

14) Washington Redskins.  Campbell looks much better, and Haynesworth on defense will have a large effect on the NFC East.  They just may not have enough to get the Wild Card spot with such a tough division.

13) New Orleans Saints.  Their offense ranks in the top 3, while their defense ranks in the 15-25 range.  Improve the defense, improve the record.

12) Philadelphia Eagles.  Most people have them ranked higher, but they've lost so much on defense.  Outside of Vick, they have had quite a few valuable pickups on offense.  Vick won't make an impact until his second year back.

11) Baltimore Ravens.  I thought Flacco would have a sophmore slump, but he's looked great in preseason.  Their biggest setback is their loss of Rex Ryan on defense.

10) Minnesota Vikings.  Put aside Favre, and you still have one of the best runningbacks and defenses in the league.  Throw in a veteran that knows the system, and you may have at least a division title.

9) Tennessee Titans.  Losing Albert Hayensworth may not be too much of a detriment, the system made him good, not the other way around.  Kerry Collins is another year older, though.

8) Green Bay Packers.  They could be the sleeper pick to win the conference.  Rodgers is in MVP form, and their transition to the 3-4 defense went much smoother than expected.

7) Atlanta Falcons.  Most people focus on Matt Ryan, but their defense appears to be improving the most.  Injuries and holdouts at receiver could hurt them, but Gonzalez may cancel that out.

6) Carolina Panthers.  Their only real weakness is inconsistency at quarterback.  Despite Delhomme's poor playoff performance, however, he was solid during the season.  Their running attack is one of the best in the league, too.

5) New York Giants.  Their receivers will either be the end of them or bring them to the Superbowl, since Eli Manning needs a deep threat.  Canty, Bernard, and Boley will add tremendous depth to their already stellar defense.

4) San Diego Chargers.  With Merriman and Cromartie back from injury, their defense will take a major step forward.  Rivers, Gates, Tomlinson, Sproles, Jackson, Chambers... get ready.

3) New England Patriots.  While everyone is focusing on Tom Brady, they've quietly added key players to their defense.  The loss of their offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels and a surgically-repaird knee could keep them out of the Superbowl this year, however.

2) Indianapolis Colts.  Most people forget they won their final 9 regular season games last year.  Manning comes into this season healthy, but without Tony Dungi they'll have to work under a new system.

1) Pittsburgh Steelers.  This is not just because they won the Superbowl.  20 of their 22 starters are back, plus the coaching staff remains intact.  A fairly easy schedule almost guarantees a playoff spot and division title.  Plus, their defense is nasty.
 
 
 
 
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