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Monday, October 19, 2009
A circle jerk in Foxboro
One of the main reasons that ESPN and most mainstream sports media these days is a joke is that they make snap decisions after one game or a very small sample size.
No doubt, after yesterday's 59-0 win over the Titans at snowy Gillette Stadium, most Patriots fans as well as pundits will be quick to say Tom Brady and the Pats are back.
To quote the esteemed Lee Corso, head college football bozo on Gameday, "not so fast my friend." So while yes, the events of yesterday's contest were quite pleasing, let's keep in mind what a perfect storm of shit the Titans faced: coming in 0-5 (their season was already over), there was an unexpected snowstorm, on the road against an offense and team looking to breakout and playing without three of its top guys in the secondary.
Only later in the season will we be able to say if this game was a blip (like last season's thrashing of Arizona in somewhat similar circumstances) or a positive sign of things to come from Brady (380 yards, 6 TDs), Wes Welker (10 catches, 150 yards, 2 TDs) and Randy Moss (8 catches, 129 yards, 3 touchdowns).
Recapping the play by play of this one would be pointless. I'll just talk about the New England scores and some other random thoughts.
After Sammy Morris got hurt in the first quarter (with what looked like a knee injury), Laurence Maroney subbed in and had a big game with 16 carries for 123 yards and a touchdown. Second year back BenJarvus Green-Ellis had his first playing time of the year and he looked good, rushing for 67 yards and making two catches for 11 yards.
After Stephen Gostkowski missed a 39-yard kick, Maroney opened the scoring with a 45-yard run. Gostkowski hit a 33-yard kick as the Pats (4-2) led 10-0 after the first quarter.
The second quarter was something we'll never see again in our lifetimes. Brady set an NFL record with five touchdown passes in those 15 minutes.
He started it with his two best passes of the season: a 40-yard flea flicker to Moss then a 28-yard pass to Moss in the back of the end zone when Brady was about to be drilled.
Kevin Faulk turned a screen pass into a 38-yard touchdown then Wes Welker got his two touchdowns: from 30 and five yards.
The only real intrigue after the half (the biggest deficit in NFL history) was how much longer Brady would play (one series) and if the Pats would get the shutout (since I was facing them in fantasy football).
Brady's day was done after a 9-yard touchdown pass to Moss. Rookie backup quarterback Brian Hoyer got his first NFL action and made it memorable by scoring on a 1-yard QB sneak for the final mark.
Poor Chris Johnson had 128 yards rushing for the Titans (0-6) but Kerry Collins (2 for 12, -7 yards, fumble, interception) and Vince Young (0 for 2, interception) looked like they'd never played football before or seen snow. Collins must have fallen off the wagon yesterday because no sober NFL quarterback could play that bad. As for VY, he continues to rapidly regress as he only worries about partying shirtless in clubs.
Patriots rookie cornerback Darius Bulter had his first NFL interception and so did rookie safety Patrick Chung. In addition, New England's defense recovered three fumbles.
I thought Arizona's turd salad was the worst performance I'd ever see in the NFL but in less than a year, that was topped. It's hard to imagine any loss being worse than yesterday.
Next on the schedule, New England and Tampa Bay (0-6) meet in London on Sunday for another stupid NFL in the UK matchup. Earth to Roger Goddell: nobody in the UK gives a shit about American football. Never have, never will. Time to move on from this stupid experiment.
The Pats shouldn't have any trouble with the hapless Bucs and they'll cruise into their bye week at 5-2. Some other good news coming from yesterday was that the Jets continue to fall apart as they lost to Buffalo in overtime. It was a pathetic loss that dropped the Jets to 3-3, losers of three straight. Your New England Patriots now rest atop the AFC East.