Archive for the 'game preview' Category

I’m predicting 21-17, Pats

Friday, January 6th, 2006

Today is going to be such a long day (though the return of Battlestar Galactica tonight will make it go a little faster), as we drag on toward the showdown tomorrow.

Last I checked, the Pats are favored by 7 1/2. If I bet on football, I’d take JAX and the points (which is why I don’t bet — betting against my team would ruin my enjoyment of the game). While the Pats certainly could win by 8 or more, I think it’s more likely to be a three or four point affair — say 21 to 17.

I think JAX will prevent the Pats running game from getting going and they’ll get good pressure on Brady and get quite a few solid hits on him (of course, who hasn’t done that this year? sigh). And I think the Pats will do the same to the Jags. So it’ll come down to the passing game and the performance of the QBs, receivers, and secondaries. The Pats clearly have the QB advantage, but JAX receivers have the advantage over our secondary.

It should be an entertaining game, but it’s gonna be nerve-wracking as hell.

Go Pats!

Brady downgraded to questionable

Wednesday, December 14th, 2005

Wednesday’s injury list:

Offensive tackle Matt Light (ankle) — doubtful
Offensive tackle Tom Ashworth (knee) — questionable
Quarterback Tom Brady (right shoulder, shin) — questionable
Running back Corey Dillon (calf) — questionable
Fullback Heath Evans (shoulder) — questionable
Running back Kevin Faulk (foot) — questionable
Tight end Daniel Graham (shoulder) — questionable
Safety/cornerback Artrell Hawkins (thigh) — questionable
Receiver Bethel Johnson (pelvis) — questionable
Offensive tackle Nick Kaczur (shoulder) — questionable
Running back Patrick Pass (hamstring) — questionable
Cornerback Asante Samuel (infection) — questionable
Safety Michael Stone (ankle) — questionable
Tight end Benjamin Watson (head) — questionable

The upcoming test

Monday, December 12th, 2005

Sure, the Pats have looked like world-beaters the past two weeks, but who have they played?

I’m very interested in the Bucs game because it will be a good test. The Pats will be playing a winning team which is fighting for a playoff spot. This is important because the Pats are 2-5 against winning teams (those two wins being against Pittsburgh and Atlanta an eternity ago). If they don’t show that they can take on winning teams, the playoffs (assuming they make it) will be One Game to Ignonimy, not Four Games to Glory.

This is past ridiculous

Sunday, November 13th, 2005

Pats have announced that Givens and Ashworth are out for the Phins game.

The one potential bit of good news about this game is that Seymour made the trip down.

Yes, I’m being Ol’ Gloom and Doom

Friday, November 4th, 2005

If the Colts can’t win the game Monday night, they don’t deserve to ever beat the Patriots. I’ve been a Pats fan since 1976 and I still expect the Colts to have an easy win:

  • The rumblings in the press are that Seymour still won’t be able to play. Bye-bye any hope of a pass rush.
  • It’s looking more like Dillon and Pass will be out. Can re-signing Mike Cloud be anything other than an act of “my god, we need to have at least one theoretical running back” desperation?
  • To sign Cloud, they cut safety Arturo Freeman. Ought to be interesting to see who plays alongside Wilson.

So let’s see — the Pats will have no running game, will have no pass rush, and won’t be able to blitz because there’s no way their secondary will be able to cover the Indy receivers one-on-one.

I never bought into any of the hype the past two playoff seasons of how the Patriots had no chance against the Colts, because the facts of how the team was playing didn’t support the hype. But it’s different now — the Pats D is clearly and unrefutably much degraded. Now add two rookies on the left side of the OL and that the starting RB will likely be someone signed a couple of days before the game…

The most likely result is a Colts win by at least two touchdowns (something remiscent of the San Diego debacle). The only way I can see the Pats winning this game is in a shootout. Now, from what we saw from STL before Bulger went down, the Pats certainly could win in a firefight, but, sad to say, it’s not likely.

Hey — I fervently hope I’m wrong, but it’s hard to ignore reality.

Pats work out another RB

Thursday, November 3rd, 2005

This doesn’t give me the greatest of feelings:

The Patriots continue to explore contingency plans at running back.

Accounting for the possibility that Corey Dillon (ankle) and Patrick Pass (hamstring) might not be ready for action against the Colts - thus leaving them with only newly signed Heath Evans at running back - the team worked out free agent Olandis Gary on Tuesday.

The 5-foot-11, 218-pound Gary has played for the Broncos (1999-2002) and Lions (2003). He missed last season with a shoulder injury. Over his career, hes rushed for 1,998 yards and 11 touchdowns in 48 games, with more than half of the yardage coming his rookie season in Denver.

Gary has also been productive in the passing game, catching 59 passes for 415 yards.


Injury list is out

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2005

Add Dwight and Watson to the list…arrrrrgh! And Seymour and Dillon were not seen in the portion of practice open to the press (though Gay and Troy Brown were).

Offensive tackle Matt Light (ankle) — out
Running back Kevin Faulk (foot) — out
Receiver Troy Brown (foot) — questionable
Running back Corey Dillon (ankle) — questionable
Receiver Tim Dwight (rib) — questionable
Cornerback Randall Gay (ankle) – questionable
Receiver David Givens (knee) — questionable
Defensive lineman Jarvis Green (shoulder) — questionable
Defensive lineman Marquise Hill (ankle) — questionable
Outside linebacker Willie McGinest (finger) – questionable
Fullback Patrick Pass (hamstring) — questionable
Safety James Sanders (ankle) — questionable
Defensive lineman Richard Seymour (knee) — questionable
Defensive lineman Ty Warren (hip) – questionable
Tight end Benjamin Watson (knee) — questionable
Quarterback Tom Brady (right shoulder) – probable

The return of the big play

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2005

In addition to Seymour, I think another thing the Patriots have to get back for this game is the big play. I don’t mean long scoring strikes (though those would be nice). I mean things like getting INTs or forcing fumbles at key times, getting big punt and KO returns, etc. All of that has been sorely missing so far this year.

Seymour, please!

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2005

To win the Indy game we really need to get Seymour back. One of the keys in the past wins has been to get pressure on Manning and make him move, preferably without blitzing him. Since Seymour has gone down (and, to be fair, sometimes even before) the Patriots have gotten no pressure on enemy QBs. Manning cannot be allowed to have all day back there or the results will be disastrous. Blitzing isn’t the answer, either, as our secondary isn’t good enough to lock up the receivers during a blitz.

And then there’s Starks.

It appears he has two styles of play — attempt tight coverage and be beating long, or give a 7-10 yard cushion. If I were Dunghill, I’d tell Manning to throw for Starks’s man every time until the
Pats proved they could deal with it.

Bruschi return closer?

Friday, October 28th, 2005

All the buzz is that Tedy will be playing Sunday in some capacity. The most concrete news is in Jerome Solomon’s notebook column in the Globe today, where he quotes an anonymous source on the team saying that the equipment manager has order new number 54 jerseys for this Sunday’s game.

We’ll know something by Saturday afternoon, since the team has a 16:00 deadline tomorrow if they want Bruschi active for the game.