And so you finally hear from me. I figured you'd probably
been getting sick of the hype and didn't need to hear it from
yet another source (me). I really hate this two week break,
though it probably favors the Pats. Sunday just can't get
here fast enough!
First let me say that the Patriots are not playing well right now.
If you're comfortable with the offense putting up only 21 points
while Brady throws 3 picks in the AFC Championship, then you're
quite the optomist. There is NO DOUBT in my mind that if San Diego
was healthy they would have won that game. Three red zone trips
would not have resulted in three field goals if San Diego had a
healthy Tomlinson and a healthy Gates. Sorry Pats fans, that's
truth. No one finds the end zone more than Tomlinson. I just
hope that the Pats defense doesn't get cocky after holding a
battered Chargers team to 12 points. Rivers had Knee surgery 5
days before the game!!!!
If you're the praying type, give one up for Joe Andruzzi. The
former Patriots O- lineman, winner of 3 super bowls with the
Pats is fighting for his life. He's got an extremely aggressive
form of Cancer and he may not make it.
On a lighter note, I'm starting to believe the latest Patriots
conspiracy theory. Tom Brady's boot was a hoax. Did anyone
see Tom limp at all during the SD game? Not during nor after
did he limp. The media would have see it when he came out for
his post game press conference or while he was on the stage at
midfield accepting the AFC Championship Trophy. Still there was
not one mention of it. Then all of the sudden he shows up in
NYC with a boot and a severe limp. That same night he's out at
a night club in cowboy boots not limping. Then he's missing the
media portions of practice last week. On Monday he practices
with the ankle very heavily taped and moves gingerly. Tuesday
he shows up to media day without the limp. He pracitces with
no tape on the ankle, no sign of a limp or injury on Wed. The
injury report comes out and he's Probable for a shoulder for the
100th time in a row or however many years he's been probable for
a shoulder injury. What better way to draw attention from Randy
Moss and any other spygate story than to create the biggest
diversion of all? I'm just saying.
I love Brady's response to the Buress prediction. "We're only
going to score 17 points?! Is Plax going to play defense too?"
While I was watching Brady's response the bottom line is scrolling
that the Pats have scored more tha 17 points for 24 straight
games. Good one Plax.
Not everyone is picking the Pats. More 'experts' are starting to
pick the Giants to win. But they've got the lamest excuses for
Noted Pats hater Chadiha (Giants 24-23) says,"If the Giants can
shut down Moss and harass Brady, the game won't even be close."
My favorite is ESPN.Com NFL Editor Sheldon Spencer (Giants 27-23)
who says,"A Patriots' rally falls short inside the Giants'
10-yard-line in the final minute." That sounds just like Brady.
Now on to the Super Bowl.
Based on the play of the Pats lately, I'm not feeling overly
confident about SB XLII. Eli knows he can pass against the Pats
secondary. The D line knows it can get to Brady. The Giants
have nothing to lose. The Pats have everything to lose. Face
it, the Pats go down in history as the greatest team ever or the
biggest choke team ever. It's not fair, but it's the perception.
Even Brady feels that pressure. Did you hear him say it's the
biggest game of all of their lives? One that they will never
forget for better or worse. THAT is pressure.
All that being said, there are some things that make you feel
pretty good about this game as a Patriots fan.
-Yes the first meeting was pretty close BUT the Pats played
wihtout the right side of their starting O-line, they literally
dressed no tight ends, more than likely they're not going to give
up another kick return TD and more than likely Manning isn't
going to throw 4 TDs and only 1 Int.
-Belichick is a rediculous 17-2 when facing a QB for the second
time in the same season.
-Brady always bounces back from a crappy performance with a monster
-Eli is WAY over due to start throwing picks. He's only gone two
games in a row with out a pick ONCE IN HIS CAREER. Now he's gone
three without a pick and you can't expect him to make it FOUR.
He'll be good for at least 2 interceptions.
-Weather will be a positive factor. When was the last time the Pats
played a meaningful game in decent weather? Looking back at the
schedule, it has to be @ Indy's dome. Bad weather against the Bills,
Eagles, Ravens, Steelers, Jets, maybe Miami at home was decent,
Giants, Jags and San Diego. All lousy weather. Now your putting them
in an environment where they scored 38,38,34,34,48,49 and 52 points.
-Maroney should be able to run on the Giants. First of all, the Pats
ran for a meager 1.7 yds per carry in the first meeting. Do you
think the Giants players are concerned about the Pats running game?
I already touched on the fact that nearly half the Oline was out and
they had no TE's to block. If the Giants are forced to play with an
extra defensive back (nickel) to double Moss, the Pats will be able
to run all day against 6 defenders in the box.
HOW I SEE IT....
I think the Giants have to throw everything they've got at the Pats
early and often. That means going for it on 4th down, taking shots
at deep balls, and using every play in their playbook - reverses,
halfback passes, flea flicker, you name it. That means blizing
anyone and everyone from anywhere and hitting Brady a lot - even
if they have to take a late hit penalty. They may even get an
early lead, but eventually they just won't be able to keep up.
The Pats will have long, sustained drives. They'll mix in power
running with screens, draws and the occassional attempt deep. But
I think the meat and potatoes of the O will be Brady getting rid of
the ball underneath to Welker, Faulk, Stallworth, Watson before a
pass rush can get to him. On defense, the Pats will be weary of the
deep ball, and will probably sit in their soft zone and try to stop
the run. Eli will drive them up and down the field like every team
does. The Pats will find a way to stop more drives than the Giants
D will stop.
The Pats score on 7 of 9 or 8 of 10 possesions. The Giants just
can't score that much. Still, the Pats always find a way to make
their games too close for comfort.