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There was nothing that demonstrated the sheepishness of the Detroit Lions’ effort against the Pats like the failed 4th and 10 effort of QB Matt Stafford in the fourth quarter of last Sunday’s game. With enough time remaining that a score and quick repossessing of the ball could have made things interesting, Stafford instead went into his protective slide after just 8 1/2 yards, and with a fairly clear path to the first down marker, effectively securing the victory for the Pats. If you required further evidence that the Lions and their number one rated defense were outmatched, I suppose you could just look at Dominic Raiola‘s admitted effort to intentionally take out Pats DL Zach Moore at the knees, because New England had the nerve to go for a touchdown with two and a half minutes left in the game rather then take a series of knees. Raiola had elected to ignore the fact that they had been given the opportunity to do so because the Lions had been called for a penalty for trying to injure long snapper Danny Aikens during a field goal attempt by diving at his head. I believe that’s called, “payback.”





Why is it when the Patriots chose to play the game to the end it called “running up the score” by the national media, but nothing critical is aimed at Aaron Rodgers and Green Bay, when they have back to back 50+ games, and four straight wins by more than 20 points? I understand that Bill Belichick is not loved by the sports media in general, and that many of them still feel that this is 2007 when the Pats continually ran up scores to over-compensate for “spy-gate,” but in this day of fantasy football, where the more points the better, isn’t it time to just let it go?





It maybe just the school teacher in me, but I have to admit I was at first, a little bothered by the Patriots re-signing running back LeGarrette Blount (pictured) so quickly after his release from Pittsburgh, as it struck me as the rewarding of bad behavior. I was also, initially at least, bothered by the apparent benching of Jonas Gray after his 201 yard effort, as it appeared to ignore his achievements of the week before. Of course, as it turned out, there was a bit more to the story than I was first aware. The 2 year, veteran’s minimum contract that they signed with Blount gives the Pats depth as well as some security against the threat of injury and free agency going into next season. Gray’s benching appears to also be the result of his actions after he was sent home for being late for practice, more so than the tardiness itself. There have been reports that his attitude was less than positive afterward, and may have shared his frustrations on one social network or another. Hopefully, Gray will regain his positive outlook and once again return to the form that made him such a great, feel good story just a week or two ago.





I won’t be surprised to see Belichick employ a monster size “full house” (t- formation) backfield in the weeks to come. Think about it; with the 6’3″ 255 pound fullback James Develin (pictured) in the middle of the “t”, he could block for the 6′ 250 pound Blount, or the 5’10”, 230 pound Gray. That could be a very formidable weapon for most defenses to take on, especially in cold and/or stormy conditions.




I expect that Sunday’s game at Green Bay will be the toughest one New England has had in a while. Still, I’m anticipating a win, something in the 27-24 range. Stay tuned…

About Jerry Ballgame

The personification of "old school", Jerry Ballgame was born in the shadow of Dr. Naismith's peach basket, and baptized in that "Dirty Water." Designated by his "Uncle" Ted, to keep an eye on things, he's here to tell everyone what his view is like from the Hub of the Universe.