Thursday, November 16, 2006

V-V-V-Vinny and the… PATS?????

We all know Bill Belichick loves the biggest bust named Vinny this side of Vin Baker, aka the pride of UHartford (Go Chazer and your Fighting Sousaphones or whatever the heck they are called). Conspiracy theories abound (Tom Brady/Matt Cassell have serious arm injuries, Belichick has gone crazy and is bringing back Touchdown Tommy Vardell to play fullback, or that Belichick is paying back Vinny for his silence about certain indiscretions from the past). In all seriousness, Vinny is here to replace the trifecta of back-up QBs who have bounced around New England since the exiling of Drew Bledsoe. Nothing more. Nothing less. Belichick likes to have a veteran QB on the bench. Too bad it is not more exciting.

Just to divert away for a second:

Here a very personal note regarding Vinny Testaverde. I was in Junior High (7th grade) when he won the Heisman while playing for the U aka Miami University of Florida (not Ohio). I remember watching his choke job on TV while sleeping over a friends house (Tom McManus). Not too long afterwards, I drifted away from Tom, eventually ending up with my friends who I am still friends with today who were much more involved in sports and more involved in the geek realm I populated, and Tom ended up as one of those kids in high school that were way too into drugs, partying, and just acting out for the sake of acting out. Do not get me wrong, he was a good kid, definitely not stupid, funny as all hell, but just not in a position in his life to put it together. I was not close to him, but he was one of those people I always said hi to in high school and would chat with, just because we had been better friends in our youth. Not too long after high school he crashed his motorcycle into a tree. Dead as a doornail. Other than his picture in the local paper for his memorial service, I never saw him again after high school. But when I hear the name Vinny Testaverde, I think of Tom and what a waste his death was and think about what he could have done and who he could have been been had he been in a different place.

DAMNGINI

Waitasec, the Pats lost to the Jets? The J-E-T-S Jets, Jets, Jets? What a horrid state of affairs. Once again, the Patriots offensive play calling needs to come into question, as they team could not figure out for the second week in a row if they were a running team or a team that should spread the field and let Tom Brady pick apart the secondary and poor saps trying to cover Ben Watson. Instead, the team kind of muddled around in between. Running somewhat effectively but not consistently. The passing game was not consistent or in rhythm the entire game.

I had the pleasure of watching the game at the Charlie Horse in West Bridge sitting directly in front of the 8 screens showing all the early games with the Pats on the big screen. Information Overload! Suffice to say, I cannot imagine how thoroughly annoying I would be with the Sunday Ticket as I switched from game to game. Suffice to say, after watching the game, I was more than ready to let the kids loose in the arcade and take out my frustrations on the kiddie games.

Where did the Pats go wrong? First and foremost, the defense let the team down in the fourth quarter when they could not stop the immortal Kevin Barlow and get the offense back in the mud. While I detest going away from natural grass, at this point I think the FinessePats are better off on turf. Third down stops were few and far between, as the Jets spent a lot of time eating the clock.

Also, at this point, it is ludicrous to keep bringing up David Givens and Deion Branch as reasons for the offensive slump the team has been in. Jabbar Gaffney, Reche Caldwell, Chad Jackson, Doug Gabriel (despite his fumble and benching), and Troy Brown are a solid group. I have no doubt that Jackson will emerge as a number one receiver next year, but the group now is still very good. Lest anyone forget, Caldwell is doing well, Gaffney caught 55 passes the other year, Gabriel looks better than Randy Moss, and Jackson is slowly coming into his own. Troy Brown is, well, Troy Brown. Last time I checked, David Givens went 8 receptions for 104 yards: FOR THE SEASON! He is down and out for the year. Branch, on the other hand, was a guy who held out while still under contract. Know what happens to slobs like us who do that? We get shown the door. I have nothing but a big hell yeah for the Pats for showing him the door. Who the hell is Deion Branch? A number two receiver for a mediocre Seattle team right now.

* * *

WEEK 10 PICKS RECAP

Baltimore at Tennessee
WINNER: BALTIMORE

Yawn. A crappy QB who never lived up to his billing returns to the play against the crappy team he once took up space for. Hooray for Baltimore. Ever inching closer to a first round loss in the playoffs.

Buffalo at Indianapolis
WINNER: INDIANAPOLIS

I wanted to pick Buffalo (and I did have them covering the spread). One freaking missed field goal.

Chicago at NY Giants
WINNER: NY GIANTS

Just when you think you have a team pegged, the Giants go out and lay an egg as they stand around and watch Devin Hester return a missed field goal 108 yards. Yeesh.

Cleveland at Atlanta
WINNER: ATLANTA

I was glad to see the Michael Vick Experience derailed as they float towards another 7-9 or 8-8 season, but I wish I had had the guts to pick Cleveland to win, instead of just covering the spread on the road.

Green Bay at Minnesota
WINNER: MINNESOTA

OK, that Pats win over Minnesota officially no longer looks impressive. I hope someone goes berserker on Favre next week (Seau? Bruschi?) and knocks his ass out and lets the Aaron Rodgers era get underway.

Houston at Jacksonville
WINNER: JACKSONVILLE

Jacksonville loses? Even with David Garrard? I am lost. So lost. My faith is shaken.

Kansas City at Miami
WINNER: KANSAS CITY

I guess the Damon Huard experiment has come to an end. I sure hope I did not release Trent Green in fantasy football.

New Orleans at Pittsburgh
WINNER: NEW ORLEANS

I hate Pittsburgh. Not really. Actually I respect them: they are smart, opportunistic, and well coached. I really thought this would be the nail in their coffin for the season if the Saints could take them down. Kudos to the Steelers for staying alive.

NY Jets at New England
WINNER: NEW ENGLAND

Aaarghhhhhhhhh!

San Diego at Cincinnati
WINNER: SAN DIEGO

I thought this one was lost in the first quarter. Of course, despite four touchdowns for LDT, I still lost this week in fantasy football. Once again, the only loser with more than 100 points. Everyone brings their A-Game against the Bentster.

San Francisco at Detroit
WINNER: DETROIT

Did this game really take place? Did anyone watch? How do we really know that San Francisco won?

Washington at Philadelphia
WINNER: PHILADELPHIA

When I pick against my Skins, you know all is lost. Joe Gibbs Racing gets their namesake back next year.

Denver at Oakland
WINNER: DENVER

Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

Dallas at Arizona
WINNER: ARIZONA

If anyone has not gone to see TonyHomo.com, what the heck are you waiting for? It is hilarious! (Written like it is the diary of a jealous Bledshmoe).

St Louis at Seattle
WINNER: ST LOUIS

Yeah, that was a heavyweight battle. These NFC West rivalries really suck. Bring back Jim Zorn!!! Put the Cardinals back in St. Louis and the Rams back to L.A. and someone put Eric Dickerson back in uniform and put on those goofy Chuck Muncie goggles.

Tampa Bay at Carolina
WINNER: CAROLINA

I hand it off the ComicBookGuy from the Simpsons for this analysis: Worst Monday Night Game ever!

TOTAL FOR THE WEEK: 6-10

6-10? What the $%&@# was I doing last week? Drinking too much IPA and not reading enough Len Pasquarelli at ESPN.com is what.

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