Sunday, October 01, 2006

WEEK 4 PICKS

Arizona vs Atlanta
WINNER: ATLANTA

Dallas vs Tennessee
WINNER: DALLAS

Indianapolis vs NY Jets
WINNER: INDIANAPOLIS

Miami vs Houston
WINNER: MIAMI

Minnesota vs Buffalo
WINNER: MINNESOTA

New Orleans vs Carolina
WINNER: NEWORLEANS

San Diego vs Baltimore
WINNER: SAN DIEGO

San Francisco vs Kansas City
WINNER: KANSAS CITY

Detroit vs St Louis
WINNER: ST LOUIS

Cleveland vs Oakland
WINNER: CLEVELAND

Jacksonville vs Washington
WINNER: WASHINGTON

New England vs Cincinnati
WINNER:NEW ENGLAND

Seattle vs Chicago
WINNER: SEATTLE

Green Bay vs Philadelphia
WINNER: PHILADELPHIA

ALERT THE MEDIA

As I ride the train home on a beautiful fall Friday, I have come to think that apparently a couple members of the media (this in no way is meant to include Mike Reiss, Tom Curran at NBCSports.com/projo.com, and Michael Felger) seem to have selective amnesia about the New England Patriots under Bill Belichick. Time to review:

1. Fast starts are usually indicative of problems, slow starts are usually indicative of a good team getting its footing. In 2002 and 2005 (to a degree) (plus all those marvelous, pre-Belichick/Pioli, Pete Carroll seasons) the Patriots stormed out the gate initially, making things look too easy. In 2001 and 2003, the team struggled out of the gate. Change is a constant in the Bill Belichick/Scott Pioli system. Players need time to be eliminated (injury/poor performance), get integrated (healthy/late camp pick-ups), and the coordinators to get settled in and comfortable with the game planning. If it keeps happening, it is a trend!

2. There was a time that the Patriots won a Super Bowl or two with a collection of receivers and running backs with not even close to the prowess of the current collections. Laurence Maroney, Corey Dillon, and Kevin Faulk trump Antwain Smith, J.R. Redmond, and Kevin Faulk of 2001 by a significant margin. Do not get me started again about 2001 with Troy Brown, David Patten, and Fabulous Fred Coleman. And those were the starters! Doug Gabriel, Chad Jackson, and Reche Caldwell are a significant step-up. And what in the world of Rod Rutledge was going on at TE in the pre-Ben Watson/Daniel Graham/Christian Fauria era?

3. Bill Belichick has the hardware, the pedigree, the humility, and the desire to win. I beg some of these so-called hosts and writers to at least read The Education of a Coach and Patriot Reign. This is akin to Joe Morgan not reading Moneyball and denouncing it out of hand. Truly sad.

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