Tuesday, October 24, 2006

BIG D QB CONTROVERSY

With former New England Patriots franchise savior Drew Bledsoe looking like Brett Favre against the Giants in the first half of the Monday Night Football game on ESPN (and no, that was not a compliment), Bill Parcells reached for the old panic button. Realistically, if Tony Romo was going to be the choice, the old curmudgeon in the Big D (and co-New England Patriots franchise savior) should have went with Romo all along. Of course, Romo went on to save my fantasy football season by throwing three more picks, including one brought all the way back to give me the six points I needed and squeak out a win by less than three points.

Back to the big mess with the ex-Pats. Parcells is toast. He is done. This team will never win anything in Dallas. I would be surprised if he made it to the end of the season. The dream is over. Running game stinks, there is no QB, Terry Glenn is the mentally stable wide receiver on the field, and the defense cannot stop anyone. The problem is not Bledsoe. It is the entire offense. Dallas has two running backs that need to be morphed into one; two head-case wide receivers; and a leaky offensive line. The defense, a strength a few years ago, is obviously in transition and in need of a purpose.

Time for the Tuna to hang it up.

* * *

MONDAY REWIND

Ho-hum. Another impressive performance from the lunch-pail gang in Foxboro. A solid, near-mistake-free game in which the Patriots dominated from the opening drive until the end of the game. Nothing sexy. Just the Bill Belichick bend-but-do-not-break defense holding the hapless Bills to two field goals.

Seriously, the offense, defense, and special teams were excellent. Minnesota, Indy, and Chicago. Three tough teams standing between the Pats going 11-5 and 14-2. As good as they looked on Sunday, how could anyone not think that it is going to be Denver, New England, Indianapolis, and beating up on whoever gets in their way in January (that is presuming Denver dumps Jake the Snake for Jay Cutler).

OFFENSE:

Corey Dillon rushed for some tough yards.
Doug Gabriel looks like a solid receiver who can make a lot of plays for the Patriots. The Raiders gave this guy up and kept Jerry Porter and Randy Moss?
Tom Brady seemed not to have many body language issues.
The offensive line settled down nicely and protected Brady form the mid-second quarter on.
We have a Chad Jackson sighting! We have a Chad Jackson sighting! We have a Chad Jackson sighting!

DEFENSE:

I know what Asante Samuel is thinking (ala Mo Vaughn): Every day the price goes up! Seriously, the Pats need to get this guy locked up.
Junior Seau quietly had his best game yet as a Patriot.
Chad Scott! SMACKDOWN! Best hit of the year for the Pats (I would have said the double-team on Lick My Cotchery of the Jets, but he never went down and scored a cheap TD.
Willis McGahee is a good running back, and he looked very ordinary against the Patriots front seven.
Jarvis Green or no Jarvis Green, I am still holding my breath regarding Richard Seymour.

SPECIAL TEAMS:

Kicker? Is there some issue with the kicker?
Is this the best anyone has ever seen Josh Miller punt?
Laurence Maroney stealing the ball from Kevin Faulk and rumbling seventy yards was unbelievable. I was standing and pumping my fist. I have not been that excited about a kickoff return since Stephan Starring was running them back for the Patriots in the mid-eighties.

* * *

Highlight of the game? Check out the PET PICK OF THE WEEK over at ProFootballTalk.com. Big Vince Wilfork digging out a little second-half snack. Ughh.

* * *

Go Pats

Funny how much a bye week will throw you off. Suddenly, it is Friday afternoon and I wake up from the fog of a busy week to realize that the Patriots have a 1pm game on Sunday against Buffalo. Ohmygawd, ohmygawd, ohmygawd.

Can the Pats special teams keep the Bills dangerous returners out of the end-zone?
Can anyone keep Schobel & Kelsay off of Tom Brady?
Are Jabbar Gaffney and Chad Jackson ready to contribute in the passing game yet?
Is Corey Dillon healthy?
Should the Patriots bring in Mike Vrabel on offense and split-out Heath Evans to go with the first 5 tight end set?
Will Patrick Pass be taken off the PUP list?
Will he have a job when he is healthy?
Is Tom Brady in tune with Doug Gabriel and Reche Caldwell?

Probably.
I think the O-line is up to the task.
I am excited to find out.
Apparently.
No.
Not this week.
I am not sure.
Very likely so.

See, I have all the answers.

Seriously, the Bills are the type of team the Patriots should beat-up on. If they can get a lead and create some turnovers early, the Bills are likely to implode and give the Patriots the type of blow-out win seldom seen in these parts. On the other hand, if the Bills can run the ball effectively and Losman can hook-up deep with Lee Evans, the game could be a lot closer and not the blow-out everyone is assuming will take place. Dick Jauron is an excellent close. Remember, week one was a close game.

I take heart with the fact that as I sit on the train home on a rainy Friday afternoon, the graffiti on the seat ahead of me reads: Go Pats. That has got to be good karma.

* * *

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