The Patriots Have One of the Easiest Schedule in the League, Why?

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As I watched the football games today, I was shocked to see New England playing Jacksonville in New England.  I thought that was absolutely absurd.  New England won the Super Bowl last year and if my memory serves me correctly, the rule in the NFL is that the Super Bowl winning team will be given a more competitive schedule the following season. When I saw that New England was playing Jacksonville in New England it gave me pause and I decided to look at New England’s schedule.

Well low and below, New England has one of the easiest schedules in the League setting them up to return to the Super Bowl.  Set forth below is New England’s schedule for the remainder of the season:

October 11 – Dallas in Dallas but Romo and Dez are out so no competition there.

October 18 – Indianapolis in Indianapolis

October 25 – New York Jets in New England

October 29 – Miami in New England

November 8 – Washington in New England

November 15 – New York Giants in New York

November 23 – Buffalo Bills in New York

November 29 – Denver in Denver

December 6 – Philadelphia in New England

December 13 – Houston in Houston

December 20 – Tennessee in New England

December 27 – New York Jets in New York

January 3 – Miami in Miami

Note:  The games in bold are conference game.

New England has a bye next week, why?  They just played Jacksonville in New England.  Jacksonville has never been a competitive team so there was no reason to schedule New England to play them and certainly not in New England.   Was the bye planned so they will be fresh to play Dallas in Dallas?  Dallas will be returning from having played the Saints in New Orleans.  New Orleans has the tendency to play well at home.  By the way, Dallas just played Atlanta and they have Seattle and Green Bay coming up.

Why is New England playing the Broncos again?  They played the Broncos last year.  They are not in the same division so why play back-to-back games.  Yes, we all know that the League “powers that be” like the Brady and Manning matchup, so what?  Enough of that nonsense.  Fans would rather see competitive games.

As you can see, Seattle, Green Bay, Kansas City, Arizona, Atlanta, Detroit and Cincinnati are missing from the Patriots schedule.  How is this fair to the rest of the teams in the League?  The Patriots are in the AFC East, which consist of the Buffalo Bills, Miami Dolphins and the New York Jets so the Patriots should win their division every year.  Clearly, the relationship between Kraft and Goodell is self-serving and not beneficial to the rest of the teams in the League.  It is time for the owners to wise up and see what’s happening.

This leaves me with a Cookie moment:

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NFL Football Week 2 Recap

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Everybody calm down this is just week two and there is still a lot more football to be played so STOP saying who is going to win the Super Bowl, just yet.  The cream still had not risen to the top and it will take a minute before that happens.  That said, this is my take on the games from week two.

Denver v. Kansas City = Denver won.  If the late fumble had not occurred the Chiefs may have been able to come back in overtime and win the game but we will never know.  The hand off by Alex Smith was poorly done, which caused the fumble. These two teams are pretty evenly matched in terms of offense and defense.  Clearly, there was a breakdown in the Kansas City offense.

New England v. Buffalo = New England won.  Most people were probably rooting for the Bills to beat the Patriots but it didn’t happen.  The game was sad to watch it wasn’t even close.  Rex Ryan should have just kept his mouth closed and focused on trying to coach his team to win the game.  Rex Ryan has been coaching in the NFL since 1994 and he’s NEVER won any big games so why do NFL teams continue to hire him?

Houston v. Carolina Panthers = Carolina won.  The Texans benched Brian Hoyer and started Ryan Mallett, who has a bad attitude by the way.  Hoyer was benched because he had two turnovers in game one, really? This is the problem with these NFL coaches.  They don’t have the ability to nuture talent.  Mallett was started over Hoyer and had an interception as did Hoyer.  Mallett had 71 attempts and only had 35 completions, really?  Was he throwing the ball just for the sake of throwing it.  That does not show good judgment to me.  I’m surprised he only had one interception but keep on with that nonsense and he will have plenty of interceptions.  I don’t think he was the best choice over Hoyer but all we can do is wait and see.

Arizona v. Chicago = Arizona won.  No surprise there.

San Diego v. Cincinnati = Cincinnati won.  No surprise there because Cincinnati has a very good defense and offense.  The Bengals have the offensive and defensive players with the height, weight and speed to beat the Patriots.  This is the team to watch for.  Marvin Lewis has the talent but he has got to figure out a way to win in the post season.  What’s missing from Cincinnati’s equation is a running back.  If they can fill this role, they can win the entire thing.

Tennessee v. Cleveland = Cleveland won.  This was an interesting game and a toss up.  That said, Johnny Manziel did quiet some of the critics.  Give the young man a chance and shut up.

Detroit v. Minnesota = Minnesota won.  What is going on with Detroit?  The team has a good defensive unit or so I thought.

Tampa Bay v. New Orleans = Tampa Bay won.  Let’s just call a spade a spade, New Orleans does not play well on the road and without Jimmy Graham they are not going to do well this season.  That was a bad decision by management.

Atlanta v. New York Giants = Atlanta won.  What needs to happen with the Giants is Eli needs to be allowed to be Eli and they will win.  I know a lot of people don’t believe that statements but it’s true.  Let him just play ball.  He was won two Super Bowls so just allow him to be himself and he will get the job done.

San Francisco v. Pittsburgh = Pittsburgh won.  The 49ers have some challenges with the OL.  I said last week that Kap needed to start off passing the ball in order for the team to have a chance.  Instead the coaching staff continued to try and establish a running game which was STUPID.  A coach is supposed to have instinct about the opposing team.  I knew before the game that Pittsburgh would plug the hole and stop the run.  Hence, they should have started off passing and allowing Kap to run, UGH!!!  What happened to the defense?  They disappeared after week one but they will be back, you can count on it.

St. Louis v. Washington = Washington won.  The Rams defense was not pressuring the Redskins QB so don’t know what was going on with the pass rush for the Rams.  This game is perplexing because Washington is not good at all and should not have won the game.

Miami v. Jacksonville = Jacksonville won.  This is one that just makes you go hummm.

Baltimore v. Oakland = Oakland won.  Baltimore is suffering from a lot of injuries and it’s showing.  Until the team is healthy it will be hard for them to win.

Dallas v. Philadelphia = Dallas won.  This and every Philly loss rest on the shoulders of Chip Kelly.  He wanted control of the team and he got it.  Subsequently, he tore the team apart and this has left people scratching their heads.  Why did he trade Nick Foles for the unproven Sam Bradford?  Why aren’t they using DeMarco Murray?  Why did he let Tim Tebow go?  Sam Bradford has not played a down since his first couple of games coming into the league and getting his big contract.  He has been injured the entire time.  Chip Kelly let Michael Vick go, who is really the only person that can run Chip’s offense so that was another bad decision.

Seattle v. Green Bay = Green Bay.  This was just a dogfight and was expected. It was a great game but Seattle without Kam Chancellor will have problems.

New York Jets v. Indianapolis Colts = Jets won.  I will say the Jets winning was a surprise but the Colts internal problems are being played out on the field.  If management and Coach Pagano don’t settle their differences look for the Colts not to do well.  People have to realize that tension between management and the Coach is a distraction for the entire team.





Football Recap: Week One Surprises and Not So Surprised

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I wanted to make sure and post about the games from week one.  That said, there is a lot of football that has to be played before the cream rises to the top.  There were some very interesting wins and losses.  Let’s look at the games from week one.

Pittsburgh vs. New England = My expectation was that Pittsburgh would win but Pittsburgh’s defense was on non-existent.  Read my blog about the breakdown of the Steelers defense.

Indianapolis vs. Buffalo = Buffalo won because their defense was able to shut the Colts running and passing game down. Buffalo’s win was a surprise to some and not others.

Green Bay vs. Cleveland Browns = Green Bay. Everyone expected Green Bay to win and they did.

Kansas City vs. Houston Texans = Kansas City won because their defense and offensive game was on.  The big question is can they continue to win?  Read my KC breakdown.

Carolina vs. Jacksonville = Panthers won, no surprise.

Cleveland vs. Jets = Jets won, no surprise.

Seattle vs. St. Louis = St Louis won because Pete Carroll continues to make the same bad play calling at a pivotal point in the game. Coach Carroll has a very good strategic mind but he believes his own hype and thinks he’s the smartest person in the room. That arrogance cost him the Super Bowl and the game against St. Louis.

Miami vs. Washington = All I have to say about this game is so glad Washington LOST!!! This is the most horrible team in the League both from an organizational and team standpoint.

New Orleans vs. Arizona = I know some people were surprised that Arizona won but the truth of the matter is the Saints don’t play well on the road. Also, since “bountygate” the team has struggled and continues to do so.  By the way, Coach Payton believes his own hype which is causing New Orleans to lose games as well.

Detroit vs. San Diego = No surprise that San Diego won.

Baltimore vs. Denver = No surprise that Denver won but Peyton’s performance in the game was off and gave a lot of people pause. Has Denver’s management started succession planning? If not, they need to.  Peyton is 39 years old and it’s time for him to take a look in the mirror and give some serious thought to whether he wants to continue putting his body through this.

Cincinnati vs. Oakland = No surprises that Cincinnati won. Oakland was business as usual.

Tennessee vs. Tampa Bay = Tennessee won. Tennessee was picked to win but I was more surprised at Tampa Bay’s lack of defense. Marcus Mariota threw four touchdowns. He had an outstanding game. The OL for Tampa Bay did not help Jameis Winston at all. Also, he was missing key receivers who are out due to injuries in the preseason. The injuries that occur during preseason is all the more reason to get rid of these preseason games. The teams need to figure out a better way of trimming down the rosters. This argument will be in a later blog.

New York Giants vs. Dallas = Dallas won, no surprise. The biggest surprise was how poorly the Giants were playing and were winning.  The play called by the coach to give the running back the ball and Eli telling him not to score was just plain STUPID!!!

Philadelphia vs. Atlanta = Atlanta won, no surprise.

Minnesota vs. San Francisco = San Francisco won. It was not a surprise to me but a big surprise to others around the League. The San Francisco defense was awesome and the running game was amazing. The 49ers play “smash mouth” football which is what they have been about and need to continue doing. That said, Kap will need to pass against the Steelers and use his legs because the Steelers defense will look different from week one.



Pittsburgh–The Ghosts of Steelers Defensive Past: Where Do They Go From Here?

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I want people to remember that football season just started and the first game won or lost does not signify that a team is going to end up at the bottom of the barrel or win the Super Bowl. That said, it does give a look into what is going on with a team and where minor tweaks need to be made or big gaping holes need to be filled.

On that note, this blog is about the gaping hole that is the Pittsburg Steelers defense. In their opening game against the Patriots, the Steelers offense sputtered initially but the defense was practically non-existent. Notwithstanding the fact that, Mike Tomlin’s headset was not working, there are some glaring problems with the defense. Was the non-working headset another ploy by the Patriots to cheat? I don’t put anything past that group of cheating scoundrels but I digress.

Defensive Breakdown: Gone are the days of the Steeler “Steel Curtain” defense. The Steeler defense was being manhandled by the Patriots. The defensive back that stood up on the field looking into the sky when the Steeler defense caused the Patriots to fumble at the goal line was mind boggling. Had he been paying attention, he would have made an attempt to grab the ball and prevent the Patriots from recovering their own fumble and scoring. Instead he appeared to be completely confused about what he was supposed to be doing.

How hard is it to know that Tom Brady is going to throw the ball to Gronkowski? That is not hard, it’s the obvious. Why wasn’t someone assigned to Gronkowski the entire game? Gronkowski was all over the field catching passes and Pittsburgh defensive backs were ineffective. What’s up with the Pittsburgh safeties? They appeared to be in fear of Gronkowski and allowed him to catch 3 touchdowns, which is ridiculous. The Pittsburgh defense is a poor representation of what it has been in the past. I’m not saying that Pittsburgh’s management should not have allowed Dick LeBeau to resign in January it was time for him to go. LeBeau is 78 years old and the League needs younger coaches.

However, is Keith Butler the right person for the role? He has been with Pittsburg for the last 12 years under the direction of Dick LeBeau so what is he bringing to the table? If the defense does not improve, he is not the right person and should not have been promoted. I found myself shaking my head and asking the question, what is happening right now? Reading Brady’s body language and figuring out that he’s going to throw to either Gronkowski or Edelman is a no brainer so why didn’t they figure that out? However, Gronkowski is 6’6’’ and there is no one in Pittsburgh’s secondary over 6’1’’. That is a BIG problem and although on paper they have speed it was of no value against a big body like Gronkowski. Therefore, Butler has to solve this matter by using the speed of the secondary to make more picks and breakup passes.

The Steelers must improve their pass rush in order to be competitive.

Offensive Breakdown: When the offense took the field initially the OL was allowing the Patriots defense too much access to Ben. Eventually, they were able to tighten up and started blocking, which allowed Ben to get to work. There was a touchdown called back because the ref thought the receiver stepped out of bounds. I disagree with the call but it is what it is. When you compare the stats between Shady Brady and Big Ben, Ben has better stats with the exception of Brady’s three (3) touchdowns.

Clearly, if Pittsburg had a better defensive unit they would have won the game. Set forth below are the stats for Big Ben and Shady Brady:

Passing Cmp Att Yds TDs
B. Roethlisberger 26 38 351 1
Rushing Car Yds Avg TDs
De. Williams 21 127 6 0
W. Johnson 4 7 1.8 1
Receiving Rec Yds Avg TDs
A. Brown 9 133 14.8 1
H. Miller 8 84 10.5 0
Passing Cmp Att Yds TDs
T. Brady 25 32 288 4
Rushing Car Yds Avg TDs
D. Lewis 15 69 4.6 0
J. Edelman 1 9 9 0
Receiving Rec Yds Avg TDs
J. Edelman 11 97 8.8 0
R. Gronkowski 5 94 18.8 3


Kansas City Chiefs: Can they be a Contender?

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The Kansas City Chiefs under the direction of Andy Reid have started out strong the past two seasons but can’t seem to go the extra step to be a real contender. I can’t say the team lacks talent because it does not.

Andy Reid was the head coach for the Philadelphia Eagles from 1999 to 2012. During his tenure with the Eagles they advanced to play in Super Bowl XXXIX but lost to the Patriots 24 to 21. Since we all know the Patriots have done nothing except cheat to win, the game was stolen from the Chiefs. Yes, I said it and I will not back down, the Patriots CHEATED!!!! Andy Reid is a fan of the pass first game, which could probably be considered the West Coast Offense. In my opinion that’s a problem because everyone knows that offense and can defend against it.  It’s time for new and different plays, please!!!!

Chiefs Offensive Line: The offense line needs some work.  The team has strong offensive linemen but they lack speed and that critical if you’re going to keep the opponent from getting to the QB. In the past, they have allowed the opposing team too many opportunities to chase down the QB. The offensive line has to be more solid. There are times when the OL shines but they need to be more consistent and create more opportunities for the fullback and running back as well.

The opposing defense makes a “V” when coming into the OL, so that prevents opportunities for the fullback and running back to run north and south instead of east and west. If the OL was faster they could circumvent the convergence of DL and create more opportunities and stop them from getting to the QB. De’Anthony Thomas is an excellent running back with a lot of speed but he can improve his blocking for the QB.

Alex Smith has an amazing arm but he is very slow. He lacks the athletic speed to move around if the defensive unit starts coming at him. His arm strength works well in Reid’s playbook but without speed the OL’s blocking is even more critical for the team to be successful.

In a nutshell the OL has big bodies and strength but not enough speed.

Chiefs Defense: The Chiefs defense is solid. The Chiefs have a solid front line. The linebackers are very solid. They have speed, which is critical in order to break down the offense of an opposing team.

One area that could use some work is speed at the cornerback and safety positions.

If these gaps are filled, the Chiefs could make a solid run.


Tom Brady: He is Not Special, He’s a Liar

The judge rendered a 40 page opinion on why he nullified Tom Brady’s suspension. What that shows his is lack of knowledge and understanding of the League and why certain rules are in places. I am not about to write a long blog about Tom Brady and cry foul about the judge not siding with the Commissioner. The justice system is what it is and we don’t always agree with the decisions that are rendered but we have to live with them.

This decision sends a very bad message to our youth. The message is: as long as you look like Tom Brady you can, lie, cheat, steal and you will get a pass. No pun intended.

At the end of the day, Tom Brady LIED, AGAIN AND GOT AWAY WITH IT AGAIN!!!!