Archive for September, 2005

A little more injury detail

Friday, September 30th, 2005

According to the Globe this morning, Light has a broken fibula (has already been operated) on and Faulk has “a broken bone in his foot”. Let’s hope it’s not a lingering Lisfranc injury like Ty Law had last year.

Thoughts on the Chargers

Thursday, September 29th, 2005

I’m not sure what to expect this week against the Chargers. They are very scary, considering the state of our banged-up secondary. Between big TE Antonio Gates and RB Ladanian Tomlinson (who has looked scary-good so far this year), the Chargers definitely have the potential to rip off some big plays. And it only takes a few big plays to ruin all the good work the defense might do.

I hope the revamped OL can give Brady the time he needs, because I won’t be surprised for this one to turn into an old-fashioned AFL shoot-em-up.

Losing Faulk (even with his fumbles) is going to hurt. He’s great on screen plays and is a nice change of pace back, especially on draws and other misdirections. He’s not a burner, but he is shifty. Perhaps surprisingly given his fumbles, he has nice hands receiving passes. I hope Pass and Zereoue can pick up the slack. Pass has picked it up since Weis threw him under the bus in the pages of Patriot Reign
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Brady for MVP

Thursday, September 29th, 2005

So says SI’s Don Banks, anyways.

Week 3: Patriots 23, Steelers 20 (2-1) (2-0) (0-0)

Thursday, September 29th, 2005

Whew!

What a nailbiter! We were away for the weekend and watched it after we got back, finishing up around 11:00pm. I wasn’t even close to tired until after midnight after all that adrenaline.

To answer one pending question, yes, they certainly still have heart. But how much longer can heart make up for injuries? Harrison is gone for the season and probably his career. Light is gone for at least six weeks. Rumors are that Faulk (how did he get hurt on that catch, anyways?) will be out for 4-6 weeks. Gay is considered likely to be out for a couple more weeks. Same for Poole. It’s just crazy.

And yet they pulled it out this week. I was encouraged by how they came down the field on the opening drive and was encouraged by the way Dillon banged it in. And then they give it all back in one play. I still think Samuel would have saved the TD if Wilson hadn’t Tebucky’d him off the play. That’s the sort of thing I’m even more worried about with Harrison gone. Then I thought it was all over when Light was carted off and Brady was immediately sacked twice with two rookies on his left. Amazingly, the combination of the rooks settling down and Cowher being too stubborn to do anything as logical as making in-game adjustments fended off the pass rush. Though the running game never really got going, the Pats were moving the ball well (outgained Pittsburgh roughly 450 to 270). But the red zone turnovers. Arrrrgh! Faulk’s fumlbeitis returned, costing us at least 3 and giving Pittsburgh 3. And Brady having bad luck when a pass rusher stuck his arm out at just the right angle to turn a throw from the Pit 8 into an easy pop fly. But Seymour and the DL crew were able to turn it up and crush the Steeler offense. They shut down the running game and held Big Ben to under 50% completion rate while sacking him 4 times. They could have sacked him something like 8 or 10 times if they didn’t miss the tackles. Finally, they were able to pull ahead, ultimately by 7. Time to relax? Nooooo, thanks to the (not so) special teams, allowing close to a 50 yd kickoff return after the Pats went up by 7. Forced to be aggressive against the battered secondary, Pittsburgh was able to move the ball before being forced to 4th-and-11. And then…ARGH. Former Steeler (and maligned by Steelers fans) Chad Scott got baited into a long pass interference penalty setting up an easy TD off play-action. Tied. Amazingly, the special teams provided a boost, with rookie Hobbs returning the kickoff 34 yards to the Pats’ 38. Brady calmly went to work and the rest was history. Speaking of Brady, he was 12-12 for 168yd in the 4th quarter.

I’m feeling a bit better about Dillon. It was pretty clear most of his inability to run was due to the OL’s inability to block (which still isn’t good, mind you). He also seemed to be moving faster and harder. Both his TDs were nice power displays.

Harrison gone, Light out for at least a month

Monday, September 26th, 2005

Jerome Solomon of the Globe and Bob Lobel of WBZ-TV are both reporting that Harrison is gone for the year (and maybe career) with a torn ACL and that Light is out for at least a month with a fractured bone below the knee.

Damn!

UPDATE:
Harrison tore his ACL, MCL, and a PCL. Gotta believe that coupled with his age makes this a career-ender. 🙁 🙁

Week 2 injury report: it’s 2003 all over again

Wednesday, September 21st, 2005

And let’s just hope the season ends the same way, too…

  • Banta-Cain, Tully LB Questionable Knee
  • Davis, Andre’ WR Questionable Foot
  • Gay, Randall CB Questionable Ankle
  • Gorin, Brandon T Questionable Thigh
  • Green, Jarvis DE Questionable Shoulder
  • Johnson, Bethel WR Questionable Thigh
  • Miller, Josh P Questionable Shoulder
  • Neal, Steve G Questionable Back
  • Poole, Tyrone CB Questionable Ankle
  • Sanders, James S Questionable Ankle
  • Scott, Chad CB Questionable Shoulder
  • Starks, Duane CB Questionable Thigh
  • Brady, Tom QB Probable Right Shoulder

Opponents through 2009

Wednesday, September 21st, 2005

With the re-alignment after the NFL expanded to 32 teams, the opponents of fourteen of the sixteen regular season games are entirely set by formula. Below is the list, omitting divisional games. An abbreviation like “AFCN” means “some AFC North team, determined by the previous year’s finishes”. Home games are before the “|”, away games are after it.

  • 2006: HOU, IND, CHI, DET, AFCW | JAX, TEN, GB, MIN, AFCN
  • 2007: CLE, PIT, PHI, WAS, AFCW | BAL, CIN, DAL, NYG, AFCS
  • 2008: DEN, KC, ARI, STL, AFCN | OAK, SD, SF, SEA, AFCS
  • 2009: JAX, TEN, ATL, CAR, AFCN | HOU, IND, NO, TB, AFCW

(via El Glob)

So the Colts have to come to the Razor again next year.

Something bugging Brady?

Wednesday, September 21st, 2005

Some people have pointed out online that Brady seems more volatile this year. And having read that, I definitely remember pre-season articles talking about him getting really jazzed up himself when making bad plays in practice. Then there was that sequence with Dillon in the Oakland game, and then in the Carolina game we had hands-on-head, slumping, etc.

Now, I’m not one of the mediots who thinks “bad body language” demotivates the entire team, so in that sense I don’t care about what Brady was doing. But I do wonder if Brady, especially with Weiss gone and no replacement OC, is overdoing the self-pressure thing. Sure, getting frustrated about a bad day is normal (and make no mistake about it — if Brady had been sharper, they likely could have won, even with all the other idiocies that happened in that game), but you can’t let it get to you.

As I said in a previous post, the upcoming game against Pittsburgh is going to be an important test in many ways. If the bad and questionable stuff continues, I think it’ll be time to be worried.

Interesting FO discussion on replay challenges

Tuesday, September 20th, 2005

In the context of an article on BB’s lack of challenges on Sunday, there’s a good discussion going on at Football Outsiders.

Troy Brown better not throw out his defensive playbook

Tuesday, September 20th, 2005

According to Reiss’s blog:

Cornerback Randall Gay walked through with the aid of crutches and a large black sock up his left leg. He wasnt putting any pressure on the leg.