The Haphazard Blog

Stretch Run Patriots Update

by on December 5, 2010 6:00 PM, under Football, Patriots, Sports

I haven’t recapped the last 2 games so I thought I’d write up some thoughts on those games and some other Patriots related things heading into the big game tomorrow night. That game could very well determine which team gets a playoff bye and which one will be on the road.

Once again, the Patriots-Colts game started late. There was 13:06 left in the 1st quarter when it finally switched. The NFL also moved the Patriots-Bears game to 4:15 next week. Initially, I thought woe is me, but luckily the Chiefs also play the late game on CBS so my game will be on NFL Sunday Ticket.

Some quick thoughts on the Colts game. Wes Welker on a linebacker = bad idea, he easily juked him for a TD. Once again, the Patriots start out well and build a lead only to collapse at the end. Only difference this time is Peyton Manning is struggling of late with his new receivers. (On a side note, does this add another point for Tom Brady in the Brady-Manning debate? Brady was so close to another Super Bowl in 2006 with Reche Caldwell as his #1 receiver. Manning still has Reggie Wayne and is still playing badly.) They really gave the Colts hope by not scoring that final touchdown and settling for a field goal. Kyle Arrington playing defensive end? Is Bill Belichick announcing he has given up on OLBs creating any pressure at this point. Arrington has give up over 100 pounds to every offensive lineman. The Patriots so badly need a OLB pass rusher. It isn’t just the Colts who can make comebacks against the Patriots. They are really struggling (detailed here). I suppose it makes sense given how bad their pass defense is and that’s all a team does when down big. I wonder why no team has decided, they can’t rush us, let’s pass all day. Patrick Chung doesn’t make a really effective slot corner. How bad is Darius Butler he can’t play the slot either? James Sanders once again came up big to save a win.

Finishing up with some quick thoughts on the Lions game. It was a game on a very short week. Late game Sunday, travel on Wednesday to play the early Thanksgiving game. They started out slow with Brady taking a lot of hits and getting sacked. The Lions were up 17-3 at one point and it was looking like a long day at times. Perhaps another bad loss like the Browns game. The main positive was they weren’t turning it over. They seemed to figure out the pass protection problems and before you knew it, they were scoring 4 TDs to really put a stamp of authority on the game. Alphonso Smith was abused all day–run over by BenJarvus Green-Ellis, run in circles all day by Deion Branch. Smith had 3 missed tackles on 1 play. I wonder what has caused the emergence of Rob Gronkowski and the disappearance of Aaron Hernandez. What will happen when they are both playing so well and are on the field together? Devin McCourty has been playing real well these last couple of weeks. He could get into the defensive rookie of the year conversation if he continues to play this way.

Tomorrow it’s the Jets again. The Jets say they are built to beat the Patriots, but I think that was the season opening Patriots. (And really, they stumbled on it because they wanted Darelle Revis to cover Randy Moss when Antonio Cromartie was the better match-up.) But I think the Patriots are built to beat the Jets now. There is no elite WR, just quick small guys. They will be wasting Revis on covering one WR while the other will play against a guy who isn’t as quick on the other side. Brady is playing a lot smarter football now and I’d really be surprised to see them lose this game. The Patriots say football starts on Thanksgiving and the Patriots have a tough road to finish the season. The Jets (9-2), Bears (9-3), Packers (8-4) and 2 more division games. It’ll be a good test to close out the season. Also, if they do get the inside track to win the division, they have to keep winning to ensure they get the top seed.

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