In a game were many were predicting that his team would lose by as many as 50 or 60 points, Chuck Pagano had his team within 6 points of the lead with plenty of time to go. If nothing else was to have changed, people would likely have been talking about him in positive tones. They would have been saying that Pagano had stayed with the “Master;” that the onside kick was a well timed, well executed move that had put had the Pats on their heels. But instead, he got greedy, outsmarted himself, and threw in one too many tricks. In the end, the unintended decision to snap the ball in their own territory not only cost them the game, but also left everyone questioning Pagano’s intelligence and fitness to be a head coach.
He was made to look even worse when it was later revealed that the “snapper,” Griff Whalen, had never actually practiced the play and was never told that he wasn’t suppose to hike it. If you are going to try to use a trick play in a situation like that, it’s best to make sure that everyone on your team is in on the trick. So much preparation…
LEAP OF FAITH:
As you can well imagine, the botched fake punt got a great deal of air time on sports talk radio in the Boston area. The second most discussed play coming from Sunday night’s game was Jamie Collins leaping over the line of scrimmage to block a PAT. In the end, it pretty much sealed the deal for the Pats, as the Colts would have to have recovered another onside kick, driven for a touchdown, and then be faced with making a 2 point conversion if they were going to go for the win and avoid OT–a very tall order that was just too much for the Colts.
Even before the “Leap,” Collins was being held in very high regards in these parts. His extremely high level of athleticism is earning for him favorable comparisons to former New York Giants great Lawrence Taylor. He has become one of the key centerpieces of the Pats defense playing, according to the Boston Globe’s Ben Volin, in over 97% of the snaps. He may never block another PAT or field goal, but he may not have to. I’m sure he’s given opponents one more thing for which they’ll have to prepare, and that’s the kind of thing that just might get Bill Belichick to smile.
HARDLY HIS FIRST RODEO:
The Dallas Cowboy defense was obviously bolstered considerably by the return of Greg Hardy and Rolando McClain. You have to believe that if they had had a full compliment on the offensive side, namely Tony Romo and Dez Bryant, that it would have been a much closer game; something in the 27-24 range. Still a Patriots win, but definitely more of a battle for the full 60 minutes. Romo’s comment to Brady after the game that he would see him in February at the Super Bowl had a great many in these parts wondering if he had already bought tickets. Seriously, the NFL East is a very strange division and you can’t rule anything out, but even if they are able to get and stay healthy and were to win the division, they’d have to get by Green Bay, Carolina, Atlanta and Arizona before making it to the big game. We shall see…
THE JET SET:
Although Patriots Nation is expecting another victory this Sunday, no one is taking the Jets lightly. New York has a strong running game. Combine that with a strong defense that always gives the Pats trouble, and you have the makings for a very tough afternoon. In addition, the mounting injuries, especially to the Pats’ offensive line as well as Julian Edelman‘s fingers, could make things a little too interesting. Still, I’m looking for big games from Danny Amendola and Scott Chandler and a 24-17 Pats victory.
- The “Roger That” Edition - February 28, 2017
- The “Nice Ring To It” Edition - February 3, 2017
- The “Shaken, Not Stirred” Edition - January 17, 2017
- The “Malcolms in the Middle” Edition - January 11, 2017
- A “Catching Up, Following Up, and Weighing In” Edition - December 31, 2016
- The “Cannon and Flowers” Edition - December 21, 2016
- The “Farm, for Sale” Edition - December 10, 2016
- The “Tebucky Jones Tribute” Edition - November 13, 2016
- The “World, Serious” Edition - November 1, 2016
- The “Easy Come, Easy Go” Edition - October 18, 2016