Jerry Ballgame weighs in on the Pats loss, the Sox situation and some other potent potables.
This full time teaching is not only cutting into my nap time, but my blogging time as well. But with so much happening with one season ending and the other getting started, I figured I’d endeavor to offer up a few reasonably well thought out, if somewhat brief, observations on what has been a rather interesting week or two here in the Hub of the Universe.
The speed with which the Patriots went from Super Bowl contenders to pretenders was incredibly fast and very disturbing. Also disturbing was that they just did not seem ready to play, were apparently very predictable on offense and made critical special team mistakes. Throw in the loss of the versatile Aaron Hernandez, and you have a defeat to the Cardinals that was as totally avoidable as it was difficult to watch. The truth be told, I didn’t watch most of it. I followed it on the internet and would occassionally check in on the broadcast. I did DVR it but deleted it almost right away, knowing full well that every play that mattered would be replayed continuously starting as soon as the game was over, and for the rest of the week.
In fairness to the Pats, the day was not without its bright spots. The defense, led by Brandon Spikes’ 5 solo tackles and 2 assists, continued to play well, essentially holding the Cards to 13 points. Running back Steven Ridley ran for 71 yards, which although about 44 yards less than the week before, was still respectable. But the right side of the O-line, minus the concussed Dan Connelly and the apparently retired Brian Waters, had a great deal of trouble dealing with the Cards’ big Darnell Dockett, who was a headache for the Pats all afternoon. Take Hernandez out of the equation, move Julian Edelman ahead of Wes Welker on the depth chart, throw Dion Branch back into the mix, and then add Kellen Winslow and his remarkably quick healing knee; and you have a team that’s probably going to lose in Baltimore Sunday night. (I see lots of field goals and one touchdown a piece.)
However, I still feel strangley calm. It feels to me like most Patriots’ seasons run opposite to the way you would like to see them go. Strong out of the gate, but hanging on at the end. Yes they manage to get their double digit wins, but they never seem to be going into the post season playing their best football of the year; like some 9-7 team that will not be named…. Anyway, hopefully this year, once they get Hernandez back in three or four weeks, they will they stay healthy, get their offensive act together, combine it with a stout defense, and ride it back to the Super Bowl. Now if they can just win their division…..
1) OK, so the Jets arn’t as bad aren’t as bad as they looked in pre-season, I still think they implode at some point.
2) The replacement refs will be replaced when they make some call that effects the spread and costs Las Vegas lots of money. (I have no idea if that’s even possible, but I don’t know what else is going to make Goodell move on this.
3) Did anyone else notice that the Colts FG kicker hit a 51 yarder to win almost at the exact moment the Pats kicker was missing a 42 yarder? (Why can’t we get guys like that?)
4) Michael Hoomanawanui.
5) Tom Coughlin must read from a different un-written rule book then the rest of us. Even if there is just a theoritical chance that that the losing team can tie it up, you play it to the end.
Although I’m going to reserve most of my comments for the Sox for my post mortem of their season, there are a few I want to share at this point. Things like, we should have known that Theo was not the genius we were taking him for when he traded Bronson Arroyo to the Reds for Wily Mo Pena. Arroyo turned into one of most durable, consistent pitchers in the game and Wily Mo hit some of the highest pop ups in recorded history. Seems fair to me…
There’s a theory being floated about by many of the baseball writers in Boston that Bobby V. took the Sox job in the hope that it would lead to a front office job somewhere. Not sure it’s going according to plan….
The Oakland Red Sox? It was pointed out the last time Boston was in Oakland getting swept, that there were six former Sox, all of whom had a role in the sweep. The Reddick for Bailey and Sweeney deal would have probably looked a great deal better if Sweeney and Bailey had stayed healthy. Maybe next year…
Joe Girardi’s name is being mentioned in the press as a possible replacement for Bobby V.. See, I’m not the only one who thinks the Yanks are in for a shake up should they not go all the way. Stay tuned….
Featured image courtesy of: John Freidah/The Providence Journal
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